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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, October 5th (All times eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (1-0-0) at Vancouver Canucks (0-2-0), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - After going winless on a two-game road trip to begin their 2009-10 schedule, the Vancouver Canucks will try to claim a victory in tonight's home opener as they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to General Motors Place.

Vancouver began the year with a pair of road tests against Northwest Division rivals and was dealt regulation losses in both outings. After dropping a 5-3 decision Thursday in Calgary, the Canucks were shut out in Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots for his eighth career shutout to lift the Avs to a 3-0 win in Denver.

Roberto Luongo was tagged for three goals on 27 shots in the loss for the Canucks, who have dropped their first two games of the season for the first time since losing three straight to begin the 2001-02 campaign.

"We gotta go out and have a good practice and be ready for Monday," said Luongo about tonight's contest.

Tonight marks the first of three straight on home ice for the Canucks, who were 24-12-5 as the host in 2008-09. Vancouver will also welcome Washington and Dallas to British Columbia before going back out on the road.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, began the season with a victory in their home opener and are now headed west for a three-game road trip.

Columbus notched a 2-1 victory over visiting Minnesota on Saturday. Rostislav Klesla, fresh off signing a contract extension, scored the go-ahead goal to lift the Blue Jackets to the win over the Wild in both teams' season-opener at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus announced earlier Saturday it had signed Klesla to a four-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2013-14 season, and the veteran defenseman delivered in the third period to put the Jackets in front.

R.J. Umberger had a shorthanded tally, while Steve Mason stopped 32-of-33 shots for Columbus, which is coming of its first postseason appearance in franchise history. The Jackets went 41-31-10 last season, setting franchise marks for wins and points, before being swept out of the first round by Detroit.

Mason, last year's Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, looked strong in his first game as a sophomore, stopping nine shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 11 in the third.

A win tonight would mark the first time the Blue Jackets have started the season with consecutive victories since joining into the league prior to the 2000-01 campaign.

Columbus, which was just 16-18-7 as the road club last year, will visit San Jose on Thursday before capping the swing Saturday in Phoenix.

The Blue Jackets took three of four from Vancouver during the 2008-09 season series and Columbus has won seven of 10 overall from the Canucks. Columbus has also posted three victories in its last five trips to GM Place.

10/05 10:44:53 ET


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