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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 1st (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (42-30-4) at Vancouver Canucks (34-31-11), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Alain Vigneault hopes to lead the New York Rangers to their seventh win in eight games when the head coach returns to Vancouver on Tuesday to face the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

Tuesday's matchup is the second between the Canucks and Rangers since the teams essentially swapped head coaches in the offseason, with Vigneault taking over the Rangers and John Tortorella filling the Canucks' vacancy after both were fired from the opposite posts.

New York hosted Tortorella and the Canucks on Nov. 30 and recorded a 5-2 victory, giving the Blueshirts wins in three straight meetings in this series. The Rangers last visited Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2011, when Tortorella helped the club notch a 4-0 win and halt a five-game skid at Rogers Arena.

Vigneault led the Canucks to 30-or-more wins in six straight seasons before the lockout-shortened campaign ended that streak in 2013. He also got Vancouver to within one win of the franchise's first Stanley Cup title in the spring of 2011, only to lose a home Game 7 to the Bruins.

This season, Vigneault has the Rangers in second place in the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. The top three teams in each division earn automatic bids to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Tortorella's Canucks are five points out of last playoff spot in the West with only six games remaining on their regular-season schedule. Tortorella led the Rangers to the playoffs in four of five seasons, but was only able to get the club past the second round once, when the Blueshirts lost to New Jersey in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

The Rangers had a five-game winning streak snapped Friday in Calgary before rebounding the following night with a 5-0 rout in Edmonton. Cam Talbot stopped 26 shots for his third shutout of the season as New York dominated the Oilers at Rexall Place.

Mats Zuccarello had two goals and an assist, while Rick Nash scored twice and Derrick Brassard also scored for the Rangers.

"On some nights you need some bounces and we got a couple tonight," Vigneault said.

New York improved to 24-14-0 as the road team this season with Saturday's win. The club will complete a four-game trip when it visits Colorado on Thursday.

The Canucks enter Tuesday having lost two straight on the heels of a three- game winning streak.

After losing 3-2 in overtime at Colorado on Thursday, Vancouver was handed a 5-1 loss by visiting Anaheim when it opened a five-game homestand on Saturday. The regulation loss dropped the Canucks to 18-12-6 at Rogers Arena.

Brad Richardson scored the only goal on Saturday for the Canucks, who had a four-game points streak snapped (3-0-1). Eddie Lack gave up five goals on just 21 shots.

"Every loss now is tough because we need wins, we need points," said Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin.

The Canucks are five points behind Phoenix for the second of two wild card spots in the West, while Dallas is only one behind the Coyotes. Phoenix hosts Winnipeg on Tuesday and the Stars are scheduled to visit Washington.

The Coyotes hold two games in hand over Vancouver, while Dallas has played one less game than the Canucks.

Henrik Lundqvist expects to start in net Tuesday for the Rangers. He is 2-3-0 with a 2.50 goals against average and .926 save percentage in five career games against Vancouver.

The rookie Lack's only career appearance against New York came in relief of Roberto Luongo in the 5-2 setback on Nov. 30. He surrendered two goals on 14 shots and did not take the loss.

04/01 10:45:19 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
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
 
4th
WAKE 10
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 14
 
3rd
MARS 21
FATL 16
 
4th
PITT 21
GT 35
 
4th
SMISS 10
LATU 17
 
3rd
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 17
MSST 24
 
4th
STAN 35
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 47
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 17
 
3rd
WKENT 42
ODU 30
 
3rd
UTST 17
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 24
TEMPL 7
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
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COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
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7:30pm Tonight
TENN
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7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
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PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
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MON
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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