Blue Jackets-Canucks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 25, 2013
The Vancouver Canucks can continue their winning stretch by preventing the Columbus Blue Jackets from starting what they hope is another successful run of their own. Trying for a fifth consecutive victory, the Canucks look to extend their home success over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Vancouver (17-9-6) has won four straight one-goal games and continues to mix it up with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest Division. Mason Raymond scored for the second straight game and Cory Schneider made 26 saves as the Canucks concluded a three-game trip with a 3-2 win over Colorado on Sunday. "We've got to kind of put our heads down and plow ahead and pile up the points, get as many as we can get and not look around to see who's doing what or where we are in the standings," Schneider told the Canucks' official website. "If we do our jobs and win our games, it forces other teams to do the same." Vancouver's four wins came while playing five games in seven days. "It's just phenomenal how these guys in this stretch of five games in seven nights continue to pay the price," said coach Alain Vigneault, whose team ranks among the league leaders with 11 victories in games decided by one goal. "They've done everything they're supposed to do to give themselves a chance to win." Schneider has stopped 111 of 116 shots during the four-game run. "I have been playing my best hockey and winning is the best part of the game," he said. "But it doesn't come without doing extra work and without your teammates in front of you blocking the shots." Raymond has two goals and two assists during the same span. The Canucks and Blue Jackets (13-13-6) split the first two meetings, both in Columbus. Schneider made 25 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss March 7, then watched Roberto Luongo stop 26 shots in a 2-1 shootout victory five days later. Schneider is 5-1-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average versus Columbus. He's allowed four goals on 84 shots to win both home appearances against the Blue Jackets. Columbus will try to end an 0-3-2 slide at Vancouver and bounce back from its first regulation loss in a month, 5-2 at Nashville on Saturday. Artem Anisimov and R.J. Umberger scored for the Blue Jackets, who had gone 8-0-4 following a 1-0 loss at Chicago on Feb. 24. "Guys did a lot of really good things (during the point streak)," coach Todd Richards told the NHL's official website. "A lot of things to be really proud of during that stretch. The emotions are still high after this game right here but we've got to get back on the horse here and we've got to try to start a new streak." Sergei Bobrovsky had a 1.34 GAA during an 8-0-3 stretch before he was pulled for giving up four goals on 11 shots against the Predators. He stopped 71 of 73 in the two games with Vancouver this season. Umberger, who scored in the win over the Canucks, has four points in three games after he was held without one in the previous three.
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