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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
Half
NCCU 62
BASC 20
 
2nd
CHA 56
PHO 46
 
Half
NCSU 39
TENN 27
 
2nd
CLE 54
ATL 55
 
2nd
CHA 56
PHO 46
 
1st
DET 23
DAL 18
 
1st
BOS 19
ORL 20
 
1st
MIA 12
UTA 19
 
8:00pm Tonight
TOR
BRK
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
IND
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Half
MSST 27
ARKST 35
 
Half
NCCU 62
BASC 20
 
Half
GMAS 45
CATAWBA 37
 
Half
WOFF 27
CSOU 26
 
Half
HIGH 47
FERR 22
 
1st
JVU 30
GWEBB 43
 
Half
ILL 37
HAMP 25
 
Half
BST 23
JMU 30
 
1st
YOUNG 39
KNST 46
 
Half
UMO 31
LONG 21
 
Half
PITT 26
MAN 21
 
Half
OSU 39
NCAT 26
 
1st
FSU 30
UNF 25
 
Half
TOL 40
RMU 28
 
Half
CAMP 37
SIUE 30
 
Half
DUQ 27
RFLSH 40
 
Half
NCSU 39
TENN 27
 
1st
UCF 17
DET 19
 
1st
UNCW 12
LIB 9
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MURST
ALCOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ARKPB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NW
CMICH
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
CHIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ODU
UGST
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
ILLCH
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
MIZST
8:00pm Tonight
UWGB
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEOM
NCOL
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
SCST
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
TAMCC
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
TXST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
TXPA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
USCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MSU
EMICH
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
INCWORD
 
9:00pm Tonight
STAN
LMU
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
NMST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CIN
SDST
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
WINT
 
10:00pm Tonight
NMU
CARK
 
10:00pm Tonight
PEPP
HOW
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
NE
 
10:30pm Tonight
UNLV
PORT
11:00pm Tonight
OREG
CSNO
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
GRAM
1st Intermission
NJD 0
OTT 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL