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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 2nd (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (26-23-11) at Vancouver Canucks (28-24-10), 4 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators have had trouble beating the Vancouver Canucks for the past few seasons under normal circumstances.

On Sunday afternoon, the Sens look to snap a six-game series slide to the Canucks as the two teams participate in the 2014 Heritage Classic at BC Place and the final outdoor game of this regular season.

Both the Canucks and Senators are making their NHL outdoor debuts and are set to become the 17th and 18th clubs to play a regular-season game under the sky. They will do so at the home of the CFL's B.C. Lions, a venue that features the world's largest cable-supported retractable roof.

While the franchises are new comers to the spotlight of playing outdoors, both head coaches have taken part in prior events. Vancouver's John Tortorella was the bench boss of the New York Rangers in the 2012 Winter Classic, while Ottawa's Paul MacLean was an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings during the 2009 Winter Classic.

"I was fortunate enough to play in one in Philly and it's a neat process," said Tortorella. "I think it's fun for the guys. I think it's great for our game. I hope there are some good stories that come out of it."

This is the third installment of the Heritage Classic, which premiered back on Nov. 22, 2003 when the Montreal Canadiens bested the hosting Edmonton Oilers. That was also the NHL's first ever regular-season game outdoors.

The Heritage Classic returned in 2011, when the Calgary Flames topped the Canadiens.

The Canucks have won six straight and 12 of their last 14 meetings with the Senators, who they haven't lost to since Feb. 4, 2010 in Ottawa.

Vancouver has won five straight at home in this series as well since a setback on March 13, 2004.

The Canucks picked up a 5-2 victory in Ottawa on Nov. 28, a game highlighted by Daniel Sedin's 300th career goal. Sedin, David Booth, Jason Garrison and Mike Santorelli all had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, while Roberto Luongo made 37 saves.

Craig Anderson surrendered the first four Canucks goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Robin Lehner in the decisive stanza.

The Senators come in having lost two straight and four of their past six (2-3-1), including a 6-1 setback to the Red Wings on Thursday. Bobby Ryan had a goal in Ottawa's first game following the Olympic break, while Lehner yielded six goals on 15 shots before getting pulled in the second period.

"They got a few goals pretty fast and it snowballed," Lehner said. "I think we all have to do better in our zone and I have to do better."

Andrew Hammond made his NHL debut in relief and stopped all 11 shots he faced. He was recalled to serve as the backup with Anderson back at home in Florida to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, a boy born on Tuesday.

Hammond has since been returned to the minors and Anderson will start this game. However, he is just 3-11-1 with a 3.55 goals against average and .880 save percentage in his career versus the Canucks.

Ottawa opens a four-game road trip five points back of Detroit for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, while Vancouver is tied with Dallas and Winnipeg for the second bonus playoff berth in the West.

The Canucks snapped a seven-game slide with a win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, then dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Eddie Lack turned aside the first six skaters he faced in the shootout before Minnesota's Justin Fontaine finally beat him in the seventh round for the lone tally of the tiebreaker.

Fontaine faked a shot and slid the puck through the five-hole of Lack. Booth had a chance to keep the Canucks in the game, but Darcy Kuemper stood tall and denied Booth's spin-o-rama attempt to seal the win.

Ryan Kesler scored in his return to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday's game against St. Louis with a hand injury, while Lack stopped 22 shots in defeat.

"I'm really happy with some of the structure I saw in this game," Tortorella said. "We have to keep on fighting."

Lack got a second straight start after shutting out St. Louis on Wednesday and while Tortorella would not name his starter for this game, reports on Saturday said Lack will get the call in net today over the veteran Luongo.

03/02 10:26:34 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
2nd
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
Half
MIA 40
LAC 58
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
CHI
3rd
WVU 3
KST 17
 
2nd
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
9:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
 
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
 
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
 
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
 
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
2nd
MD 57
FORD 41
 
2nd
WVU 71
GMAS 46
 
2nd
RAD 30
HOW 30
 
2nd
MURST 55
BRESCIA 30
 
2nd
VILL 38
BUCK 30
 
2nd
TENST 33
FISK 33
 
2nd
HARV 51
FATL 33
 
2nd
MINN 71
FRANKPRCE 36
 
2nd
TULA 44
MVSU 28
 
2nd
TCU 54
NO 33
 
2nd
NW 40
UNF 38
 
Half
LSUALEX 32
NWST 42
 
2nd
IND 38
SMU 38
 
2nd
UAB 37
SFLA 34
 
2nd
EILL 38
UCD 48
 
1st
SAV 24
WINT 27
 
1st
NIOWA 27
MRGST 23
 
1st
MISS 24
SOUTH 12
 
Half
SCAR 35
CORN 21
 
1st
VANDY 11
LIP 5
 
1st
ARST 7
LMU 8
 
1st
ALA 16
SMISS 14
 
1st
GRCN 4
TXARL 8
 
9:35pm Tonight
NILL
IDAHO
9:35pm Tonight
CAL
SYR
10:00pm Tonight
GAELS
DEN
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PACU
 
10:30pm Tonight
SDST
CALST
11:00pm Tonight
UCLA
NICST
 
2nd
PHI 0
MIN 0
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 3
NAS 1
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
STL 1
 
2nd Intermission
TOR 4
TAM 1
 
2nd
WIN 1
DET 0
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
ARI 1
 
1st
CAL 0
CHI 1
 
1st
COL 0
WAS 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
FLA
2nd
OAK 14
KAN 0