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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, February 3rd (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (27-20-9) at Detroit Red Wings (24-19-12), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - John Tortorella will try to lead the struggling Vancouver Canucks to a win as the fiery head coach returns to the bench for Monday's road test against the Detroit Red Wings.

Tortorella has completed a 15-day suspension for his antics during a 3-2 shootout win against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 18 and returns to a club that has lost 12 times in its last 16 trips to the ice.

Angered by Calgary head coach Bob Hartley's decision to start that game with his fourth line, a move that helped instigate a game-opening line brawl, Tortorella tried to get at Hartley in the Calgary locker room between the first and second periods but he was restrained from doing so by Flames players and members of the Vancouver staff.

While Tortorella wasn't allowed to have any contact with his team during the 15-day ban, Hartley was fined $25,000 for his role in the brawl.

The Canucks, who are 4-9-3 over their last 16 games, went 2-4-0 while Tortorella was serving his suspension and the club has lost its last three tilts in regulation.

Assistant coach Mike Sullivan handled the bench duties during Tortorella's absence and he relinquishes the reins with Vancouver still hanging onto the eighth and final playoff seed in the West. The Canucks are just one point ahead of Phoenix for that distinction.

Like Tortorella, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has missed the last six games, although his layoff has been due to a rib injury and not a suspension. Sedin, who had played in 679 straight games before bruised ribs led to the end of the iron man streak, participated in a full practice on Sunday but he expects to sit out another tilt today.

Meanwhile, Daniel Sedin, Henrik's twin brother and linemate, has gone 15 straight games without a goal. The winger has five assists during the goal- scoring drought.

The Canucks were handed a 4-3 loss Friday in Winnipeg, as Devin Setoguchi scored the game-winner for the Jets with 2:56 to play in the third period.

Ryan Kesler had a goal and two assists for the Canucks, while Eddie Lack allowed all four goals on 34 shots.

"Well, it was frustrating because we fought our way back into the game," said Sullivan. "I give our guys credit for fighting back, but we've got to find a way to win that game."

Vancouver ended January with a 4-9-2 record and the club lost six of seven on the road during the month. The Canucks, who will make the second stop on five- game swing tonight, are 13-11-4 as the road team this season.

The Red Wings have lost three of their last four games (1-1-2) and recently split a home-and-home series with Washington. Detroit won the home portion of the two-game series Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, claiming a 4-3 shootout victory, but the Wings fell 6-5 in overtime in Sunday's wild battle at Verizon Center.

Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal 2:37 into overtime to lift the Capitals to Sunday's win. Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith was called for tripping at the 1:26 mark of the extra session. The Capitals moved the puck around and John Carlson fed Ovechkin for a one-timer from the left circle.

Detroit's Gustav Nyquist posted his first career hat trick and picked up an assist on Justin Abdelkader's goal that tied the game at 5-5 with 13:35 remaining in the third period. Henrik Zetterberg recorded three assists for the Red Wings, while Jimmy Howard surrendered all six goals on 28 shots in the loss.

"Offensively we played really well," Zetterberg said. "Some mistakes cost us a few goals, and obviously they're good when they get the power play."

The Red Wings had been shut out in their previous three road games, so Sunday's scoring outburst was a welcome sight. However, the club is tied with Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East and would've liked to have earned the extra point. The Red Wings and Flyers, who visit San Jose tonight, are only a point ahead of Carolina and Washington and two points in front of Ottawa and New Jersey.

"We showed some good resilience tonight," Howard said. "We found a way to come back, scraping and clawing and getting a point. At the same time, we could've easily been walking out of here with two points. I've got to find a way to come up with a couple more saves for the guys."

The Red Wings have won three of their last four on home ice but they are still only 10-11-8 at the Joe this season.

Detroit recorded a 2-1 regulation win in Vancouver on Oct. 30 and it has won three of the past four meetings in this series. The Red Wings also have claimed two of the last three encounters in Motown.

02/03 10:45:40 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
4th
CHA 80
TOR 71
 
Final
STL 5
HOU 2
 
Final
BOS 3
MIA 5
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
 
Final
PHI 1
NYY 4
 
Final
ATL 8
WAS 9
 
Final
TOR 5
BAL 4
 
Final
NYM 5
DET 4
Final
SDP 5
CWS 0
 
Final
CHC 2
CIN 5
 
Final
CLE 9
KAN 11
 
Final
MIL 1
LOS 10
 
Final
TEX 3
SFG 12
 
Final
LOS 7
SEA 4
 
Final
ANA 3
COL 0
 
Final
ARI 2
OAK 7
 
6th
NYY 0
PIT 3
 
3rd
IND 66
CHI 64
 
3rd
WAS 88
MIA 71
 
4th
ORL 92
SAC 86
 
4th
CHA 80
TOR 71
 
3rd
PHI 53
UTA 60
 
Half
ATL 53
CLE 43
 
2nd
NOP 37
BOS 43
 
2nd
HOU 34
DET 32
 
2nd
MEM 32
LAL 27
 
2nd
BRK 28
PHO 27
 
1st
SAN 7
DEN 7
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
Final
WICHS 56
SILL 45
Final
RAD 66
WINT 67
 
Final
ILLST 71
EVAN 67
Final
HIGH 71
GWEBB 72
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 76
 
Final
ELON 74
TOWS 69
 
2nd
KSU 64
AKR 59
 
2nd
BUF 55
BGU 57
 
2nd
DART 56
BRO 64
 
2nd
WMICH 53
CMICH 44
 
2nd
PENN 39
CLMB 32
 
2nd
PRIN 59
CORN 51
 
2nd
OU 59
ILLCH 62
 
2nd
OHIO 95
UMO 65
 
2nd
BST 38
NILL 43
 
2nd
EMICH 69
TOL 51
 
2nd
NIOWA 62
BRAD 41
 
Half
MURST 43
MORE 32
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
1st
HARV 17
YALE 22
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
1st
CITA 5
FUR 6
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
2nd Intermission
NJD 1
CLB 3
 
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
BUF 2
 
2nd
DET 2
CAL 2
 
1st
CHI 0
EDM 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT