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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
Half
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
2nd
BGU 48
FERST 56
 
2nd
ARMY 37
MAINE 40
 
2nd
QUIN 53
ORST 46
 
2nd
CLST 45
USF 48
 
Half
CARK 27
CCAR 26
 
1st
UWGB 23
ARKLR 21
 
1st
RAD 21
CORN 21
 
1st
UNT 17
CREI 10
 
1st
CAN 17
HC 11
 
1st
USB 11
GHND 13
 
1st
OKST 13
MD 13
 
1st
WINT 13
REIN 14
 
1st
UGST 22
SMISS 18
 
1st
NEOM 23
TXPA 21
 
1st
STLU 13
VERM 11
 
1st
UNCA 16
WCU 11
 
1st
EVAN 22
ALAST 12
 
2:30pm Today
HART
FIU
 
2:35pm Today
VALPO
GOSHEN
 
3:00pm Today
LIP
PEAY
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
BRY
 
3:00pm Today
MONT
SD
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
2nd
NOS 7
ATL 13
 
2nd
HOU 9
BAL 0
 
Half
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
Half
CHI 7
DET 7
 
Half
TAM 3
GBP 10
 
Half
PIT 10
KAN 6
 
2nd
MIA 7
MIN 14
 
Half
NYJ 10
NEP 7
 
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA