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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (30-28-10) at Washington Capitals (30-27-10), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Just when the sun brightens a bit for the Vancouver Canucks, it is followed up with a torrential downpour.

The Canucks will be without their leading goal scorer for the rest of their road trip, one that resumes on Friday night against the Washington Capitals.

Wednesday should have been a night that left the Canucks feeling good about themselves. They snapped a seven-game road losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets in the opener of a four-game swing and saw forward Alexandre Burrows net his first two goals of the season.

Of course, the good came with the bad as Ryan Kesler left in the game following a knee-on-knee collision and went back to Vancouver for further tests. It is not known how long he will be out, but head coach John Tortorella did admit that Kesler will not play for the rest of this trip, one that includes games versus the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kesler was mentioned in a number of trade rumors before last week's deadline, but the Canucks did not pull the trigger on a deal to move the forward, who has 22 goals on the season.

Kesler's 40 points are tied with Daniel Sedin, currently out with a strained left hamstring, and one back of Henrik Sedin for the team lead.

Minus the forward, Eddie Lack made 32 saves through overtime before stopping all three skaters he faced in the shootout. Vancouver then earned the extra point on Chris Higgins' third-round tally.

"We lose (Kesler) before the third and we get down, so yeah, I thought we played hard right on through. And that's two out of the last three games that we have played well in the third period, so good for them," Tortorella said. "They've hung in there, they've hung together. Losing a big guy like (Kesler), I thought they stuck together as a group. It was really nice to see."

So was the production from Burrows, who scored his first goals since April 15 of last year. That gave him a gap of 40 games between goals in the regular season.

"It was one of those nights it seemed the puck was finding me around the net," said Burrows, who hadn't scored a goal in his first 35 games of the season. "I had a lot of chances. Honestly, I think I had four real good looks."

Vancouver picked up its first road win since Jan. 21 in Edmonton and sits four points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Lack, meanwhile, rebounded after giving up six third-period goals in a 7-4 setback to the visiting New York Islanders on Monday and is likely to face Washington tonight for the first time.

The Capitals are looking to put their own struggles behind them as they were just swept in a home-and-home set by the Pittsburgh Penguins. That gave the club five losses in its past six games and Washington sits three points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

After losing a 3-2 decision at home on Monday, the Capitals were blanked 2-0 in Pittsburgh the following night. Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves, but the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 32 shots he faced.

"We were on our heels the whole first period, no question," said Capitals coach Adam Oates. "We turned it over too many times -- probably a little hangover from (Monday) night."

Evgeny Kuznetsov failed to record a point in the two games, the first of his NHL career after signing an entry-level deal on Saturday. He was the 26th overall pick of the 2010 draft and the Russian-born forward had been playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.

It has also been a rough few games for Caps forward Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 44 goals but does not have a point in his past four games. He is a minus-4 over that span.

Halak, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres before the trade deadline, started both games versus the Penguins and is 4-3-1 lifetime with a 2.12 goals against average versus the Canucks. Fellow Washington netminder Braden Holtby has never faced them.

The Capitals have lost four straight and nine of their last 10 meetings with the Canucks, including a 3-2 setback in Vancouver on Oct. 26.

The Canucks have won four of their last five trips to Washington and are eligible to have forward Zack Kassian back in the lineup tonight. He finished serving a three-game suspension for a hit-from-behind versus Dallas last Thursday.

03/14 10:55:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
 
2nd
NCCU 64
NCAT 58
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
6th
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
3rd
CHI 57
OKC 56
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
DAL
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
 
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
 
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
 
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
 
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
 
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
 
2nd
HAMP 63
NORST 71
 
2nd
NCCU 64
NCAT 58
 
2nd
COOK 70
SCST 56
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
2nd
LAMON 39
UGST 33
 
2nd
ODU 60
MARS 46
 
2nd
TXSA 68
RICE 72
 
2nd
FAM 31
SAV 34
 
2nd
LATU 59
SMISS 49
 
Half
JST 42
ALAAM 28
 
1st
GRAM 17
ALAST 30
 
1st
TXSOU 38
ALCOR 27
 
2nd
NICST 51
CARK 35
 
2nd
TAMCC 46
HOUB 35
 
2nd
NARZ 28
PORST 31
 
1st
LAM 21
SHSU 27
 
2nd
ARKST 37
SALA 57
 
1st
PVU 29
SOUTH 27
 
Half
LALAF 32
ARKLR 27
 
1st
NO 34
SELA 31
 
1st
INCWORD 4
ABCHRIST 11
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
1st
ARZ 29
CAL 16
 
Half
WASH 17
COL 30
 
1st
WEBER 33
IDAHO 25
 
1st
UCONN 17
MEM 24
 
1st
UTEP 38
UNT 22
 
1st
STEPH 39
NWST 25
 
1st
SUTAH 35
SACST 34
 
1st
DAVID 33
VCU 15
 
1st
IDST 26
EWASH 41
 
1st
QUIN 16
MAR 29
 
1st
BEL 25
EILL 9
 
1st
DRAK 3
BRAD 3
 
10:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSNO
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CSFU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCR
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARST
STAN
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
UTAH
3rd Intermission
BOS 3
CAL 3
 
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
 
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
 
3rd
FLA 3
DAL 2
 
3rd
TAM 3
TOR 1
 
2nd Intermission
NAS 1
NYI 2
 
1st
ARI 0
VAN 0
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
MON