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Friday, March 12th (All times eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (36-21-9-4) at Edmonton Oilers (28-27-12-3), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks try to put the Todd Bertuzzi incident behind them tonight when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

The Canucks got some bad news Thursday morning when Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs for his cheap shot on Colorado's Steve Moore Monday. Vancouver was also slapped with a $250,000 fine.

Bertuzzi's eligibility for the 2004-05 NHL season will be determined by Commissioner Gary Bettman prior to the start of training camp.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bertuzzi made a tearful apology, just a few hours after a disciplinary hearing for his deliberate hit against Moore. Bertuzzi recorded 17 goals and 43 assists in 69 games this season.

Vancouver began life without Bertuzzi Wednesday night, skating to a 1-1 tie with the Minnesota Wild.

Newly-acquired Geoff Sanderson scored late in the third period to tie it for Vancouver, which is just 1-2-2 in its last five.

The Canucks fell four points behind first-place Colorado in the Northwest Division. Vancouver is four points ahead of fifth-place Dallas and five points back of conference leader Detroit.

Sanderson, despite a previous stint with Vancouver, scored his first goal as a Canuck. In nine games during the 1997-98 season, he posted just three assists before being traded.

The Canucks open a two-game homestand against Ottawa on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Oilers were handed a 3-2 overtime loss by the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. Adam Foote scored his second goal of the game on a power play in the extra session to lift the Avalanche.

Tommy Salo was Aebischer's backup on Wednesday. Salo was dealt from Edmonton to Colorado prior to Tuesday's trade deadline and received an ovation from the crowd while leaving the ice following the contest.

Ty Conklin started in net for the Oilers and made 27 saves. Petr Nedved and Georges Laraque scored for Edmonton, which lost for the first time in five games (2-0-2-1) but earned at least a point for the seventh straight game (3-0-2-2).

The Oilers, who are six points behind eighth-place Nashville and Los Angeles in the Western Conference playoff race, played their sixth straight overtime game.

Edmonton plays the third test of a five-game homestand against Ottawa on Sunday.

The Oilers have won two straight against Vancouver after going winless in the previous seven matchups. The Canucks have won seven of the last nine matchups in Edmonton.

03/12 10:59:59 ET


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