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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 6th (All times eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (35-20-8-4) at Columbus Blue Jackets (20-35-8-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks try to make their way back into the win column this evening, as they enter Nationwide Arena to battle the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Canucks were handed a 3-1 setback by the Western Conference-leading Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. Nicklas Lidstrom registered a season-high three points on a goal and two assists to lead the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Mike Keane scored the lone goal for the Canucks, while Dan Cloutier made 24 saves, as Vancouver lost for the first time in five contests (3-1-1). The Canucks were coming off Wednesday's 5-5 tie in Colorado.

Vancouver has 82 points and is currently fourth in the Western Conference playoff race -- three ahead of Dallas. The Canucks are also three behind the Avalanche for the Northwest Division lead.

The Canucks complete their three-game road trip tonight and return to British Columbia for Monday's test against Colorado.

Columbus, meanwhile, was dealt a 4-2 setback by the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

Rick Nash scored twice to provide the scoring for Columbus, which had its three-game win streak stopped. Marc Denis was peppered with 36 shots and saved 32 of them in a losing effort.

Nash tied Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for the league lead in goals this season with his 35th and 36th tallies of the campaign.

Despite its three-game win streak over the last week, Columbus has still dropped eight of its last 12 games.

The Blue Jackets, who have just 52 points this season, open a three-game homestand tonight and welcome Carolina to Columbus on Monday.

Vancouver is 9-3-2 all-time against the Blue Jackets, but just 3-2-1 in the last six meetings. The Canucks are also winless in their previous three trips to Columbus (0-2-1) and 3-2-2 all-time at Nationwide.

03/06 10:23:09 ET


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