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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, November 30th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (13-9-5) at New York Rangers (13-13-0), 2 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A highly anticipated battle between teams that swapped head coaches during the offseason is on tap Saturday, as John Tortorella and the Vancouver Canucks visit Alain Vigneault's New York Rangers for a clash at Madison Square Garden.

One of the most intriguing storylines of the offseason began with Tortorella and Vigneault being fired last May by the Rangers and Canucks, respectively. Before the end of June both coaches landed on their feet by taking each other's former job, with Vigneault landing in the Big Apple and Tortorella moving from the East Coast to the West to lead the Canucks.

Tortorella is the one making a homecoming on Saturday, as he returns to New York for the first time since being fired. He 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.

"Quite honestly, we've beaten this thing up. We're going there (and) it's another game on the schedule. It's a very important game for us to try and gain some traction," said Tortorella.

"We're going in there to coach, be with the team, try to win a hockey team and get the hell out of there."

Vigneault, who will have to wait until April 1 for his return to Vancouver, led the Canucks to 30-or-more wins in six straight seasons before the lockout- shortened campaign helped ended that streak. 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.

Vigneault was fired after the Canucks lost for the second straight time in the opening round during last spring's playoffs.

Under Tortorella this season, the Canucks are off to a 13-9-5 start, while the Rangers are 13-13-0 with Vigneault behind the bench.

The Canucks enter today's tilt in New York coming off a win, but Thursday's 5-2 rout in Ottawa was just the second victory in nine outings for Tortorella's club.

Daniel Sedin's 300th career NHL goal highlighted a second-period barrage on Thursday. The Canucks had found scoring to be a difficult task of late, but they pumped home four in the second against the Senators, including three in a 3:35 span.

Sedin, David Booth, Jason Garrison and Mike Santorelli each had a goal and one assist for Vancouver, which had totaled two goals or less in seven of its previous eight games. Not surprisingly, the Canucks posted only one win during that stretch.

"We wanted to create more offense and we did," Garrison said. "It was nice to get one. We responded in the second after a poor start."

Roberto Luongo made 37 saves in Vancouver's sixth straight win over the Senators. Luongo is 7-11-1 with a tie and a 2.73 goals against average in 21 career outings against the Rangers.

New York has taken the last two encounters in this series, but the Blueshirts and Canucks haven't faced each other since Oct. 18, 2011, when Tortorella led the Rangers to a 4-0 victory in Vancouver.

Despite losing the two most recent matchups, however, the Canucks have still claimed nine of the past 12 meetings in this series. Vancouver also has won four of six and six of the last nine encounters in NYC.

Vigneault and the Rangers will try to rebound from their second loss in three games when they take the ice today. The Blueshirts visited Boston on Friday afternoon and were handed a 3-2 regulation loss despite carrying a 2-1 edge into the third period.

Boston's Patrice Bergeron tied the game at 2-2 when he scored just 1:35 into the third period and Zdeno Chara provided the winning tally for the hosts with 8:55 remaining in regulation.

Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash scored for the Rangers, who had won three of four heading into Friday. Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 25 shots in defeat.

"We got exactly what we deserved today because we gave a "B" effort," said Vigneault.

Beginning with Saturday's test, the Rangers are playing two straight and 11 of their next 12 games on home ice. New York is 4-5-0 as the host this season and 9-8-0 on the road.

11/30 10:31:11 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
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
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
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14