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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, October 20th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (2-5-0), 6 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - So much for avoiding another slow start to the season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets try to snap a four-game losing streak on Sunday evening when they play host to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blue Jackets missed out on just their second ever trip to the playoffs last season after losing a tiebreaker to the Minnesota Wild for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Columbus put itself in position to challenge for a spot by finishing the lockout-shortened campaign 19-5-3, but that came following a 5-12-4 start.

Columbus won just twice through its first eight games last season, but began the 2013-14 campaign by winning two of its first three. However, the Blue Jackets have since dropped four straight, held to a single goal in three of those games.

Artem Anisimov put the Blue Jackets on the board in the third period of last night's meeting with the Washington Capitals, but it was the only goal the club managed in a 4-1 setback.

Sergei Bobrovsky was tagged for all four goals on 39 shots in the loss.

"I think we started to go after them later in the game," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "But we got what we deserved because we were lazy in the first two periods."

Richards' squad is trying to avoid posting its longest losing streak since a 0-5-1 slump from Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2012 and opens a four-game homestand today after going winless on a three-game swing.

Bobrovsky has been in net for all seven games this season, including back-to- back outings on Oct. 4 and 5 to begin the season. It is unknown if backup Curtis McElhinney will make his season debut tonight in place of Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky has had some tough luck in his career versus the Canucks, going 1-0-2 against them in four games (3 starts) despite a 1.05 goals against average. He has recorded one shutout against them, a 1-0 shootout loss on March 26.

McElhinney is 1-0-1 with a 2.87 GAA in five meetings with Vancouver, including three starts.

The Canucks won the first two contests of their season-high, seven-game road trip before dropping a 4-3 shootout decision on Saturday to Pittsburgh. Roberto Luongo made 25 saves and gave up the only tally of the shootout.

Zack Kassian, Brad Richardson and Alexander Edler scored for the Canucks, while Kevin Bieksa assisted on all three goals. Michael Santorelli, Edler and Ryan Kesler all came up empty in the shootout, however.

Kassian's goal with 7:10 left in the third period gave the Canucks a one-goal lead, but the Penguins answered with a game-tying tally just 22 seconds later.

"For half the game, I thought we played great," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "The second half, I thought we gave up a little too many scoring chances. They came out on 3-on-2s, 2-on-1s a few times and (Luongo) made some big saves for us.

Luongo made his sixth consecutive start and is 10-5-5 with a 2.11 GAA and four shutouts in 20 career meetings with the Blue Jackets. Head coach John Tortorella could opt to rest the 34-year-old tonight and give rookie backup Eddie Lack his second career start.

Lack made his NHL debut on Oct. 6, a 32-save win over Calgary.

The Canucks won two of three over the Blue Jackets last season, with all three games going past regulation. Vancouver has won 12 of the last 14 meetings overall and six of its last eight in Columbus.

10/20 10:26:45 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
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UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
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Final
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MD 7
Final
SMU 10
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Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
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Final
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Final
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Final
ARK 45
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Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
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NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
 
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
 
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
3rd
UCF 33
TEMPL 14
 
Half
WASU 16
ARZ 31
 
2nd
CLEM 0
SYR 3
 
2nd
LAMON 6
TXST 0
 
2nd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 14
 
1st
COLST 10
WYO 3
 
1st
LSU 0
MISS 0
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 6
 
1st
AUB 0
SCAR 7
 
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
1st
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
1st Intermission
NYI 2
DAL 1
 
1st Intermission
PHI 0
DET 1
 
1st
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
1st
MON 1
NYR 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14