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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
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
3rd
CHA 75
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
 
5th
NYY 0
PIT 3
 
3rd
IND 57
CHI 54
 
3rd
WAS 86
MIA 58
 
3rd
ORL 86
SAC 73
 
3rd
CHA 75
TOR 71
 
3rd
PHI 50
UTA 52
 
2nd
ATL 53
CLE 43
 
2nd
NOP 27
BOS 36
 
2nd
HOU 29
DET 23
 
2nd
MEM 28
LAL 21
 
1st
BRK 21
PHO 21
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
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 57
AKR 59
 
2nd
BUF 51
BGU 52
 
2nd
DART 47
BRO 59
 
2nd
WMICH 50
CMICH 42
 
2nd
PENN 38
CLMB 30
 
2nd
PRIN 57
CORN 50
 
2nd
OU 53
ILLCH 54
 
2nd
OHIO 84
UMO 61
 
2nd
BST 36
NILL 35
 
2nd
EMICH 62
TOL 46
 
2nd
NIOWA 55
BRAD 37
 
Half
MURST 43
MORE 32
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
1st
HARV 15
YALE 17
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
1st
CITA 0
FUR 3
 
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
NJD 1
CLB 3
 
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
BUF 2
 
2nd
DET 2
CAL 1
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT