NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, October 6th (All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (1-0-0) at Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks shoot for a 2-0 start tonight when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The tilt marks the season opener for Columbus.
On Thursday night the Canucks opened their campaign with a 3-1 victory over Detroit. Roberto Luongo made 27 saves and Sami Salo tallied a goal and an assist to lead the road effort at Joe Louis Arena
Luongo, who was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers the night before the NHL Entry Draft, was solid in between the pipes for the Canucks in his regular season debut with the team.
Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden also tallied for Vancouver, which gave new head coach Alain Vigneault his first win with the club in his first regular season game behind the bench.
The Canucks will visit Minnesota on Tuesday to finish their season-opening three-game road trip.
Columbus, meanwhile, now has playoffs on the mind after the best season in franchise history. They shrugged off a poor start to finish the 2005-06 season strong, ending up with a club-record 35 wins and 74 points.
This offseason saw general manager Doug MacLean take an aggressive approach. He acquired winger Fredrik Modin from Tampa in a trade that cost the expendable Marc Denis and he also signed Anson Carter.
Modin gives the Jackets another weapon to compliment Rick Nash, who, despite having tied for the league goal-scoring title a few years back, is still developing.
Denis' departure, meanwhile, means that former first-rounder Pascal Leclaire has the starting job all to himself. Leclaire went 11-15-3 with a 3.23 goals- against average and .911 save percentage in 33 appearances last season.
Columbus will visit Chicago on Saturday.
Vancouver won three of the four meetings against Columbus in 05-06.
10/06 10:20:42 ET