Blue Jackets-Canucks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 28, 2011
The Vancouver Canucks appear to have put their early season struggles behind them, and they're once again starting to resemble a Stanley Cup-caliber team. They've looked like a Cup contender against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the last few seasons. The Canucks, who might again go with backup Cory Schneider in goal, try to win a fifth straight game and beat the Blue Jackets for the ninth time in a row Tuesday night. After losing in last season's Cup finals, Vancouver (13-9-1) got off to a sluggish start to 2011-12, going 6-7-1. The Canucks have surged since, however, and are set to open a four-game homestand riding a four-game winning streak. "We were kind of waiting for this to happen,'' forward Daniel Sedin said after a 3-2 victory over San Jose on Saturday. "We have a good team. We know if we play the right way, how good we can be. It was a matter of time until we turned the corner and we have now.'' Strong play in net has been key to the turnaround, but it hasn't come from Roberto Luongo. Schneider has started five straight games since Luongo sustained an upper-body injury. Luongo has been healthy enough to start the last three, but Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault has stayed with his hot goaltender. Schneider stopped a season-high 43 shots Saturday and has a 0.74 goals-against average with two shutouts during the winning streak. He made his first start of the season in Columbus on Oct. 10, making 23 saves in a 3-2 victory, and has posted a 2.00 GAA in winning his three starts in the series. Luongo, 7-5-1 with a 2.97 GAA on the season, has a 1.91 GAA in winning his last three starts over Columbus. The Blue Jackets' eight-game skid in the series is their longest current losing streak against any opponent. The Canucks also own an eight-game win streak over Toronto to tie for their longest current run against a team. Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler have been playing well lately, and both have played a part in their team's dominance over Columbus. Burrows has scored two of his seven goals in the last three games, and has six goals and four assists during the winning streak. Kesler has recorded two of his four goals over the last three contests, and he has four goals and seven assists in the last seven versus the Blue Jackets. Columbus (6-14-3) arrives in Vancouver to open a four-game road trip after losing 2-1 to St. Louis on Sunday, snapping a 3-0-2 run. "When you lose one and you've got to start over and start a new streak,'' coach Scott Arniel said. "You can't let it linger.'' Arniel received another strong performance from Curtis Sanford, who made 27 saves. Sanford has gone 3-1-2 with a 1.45 GAA in starting the last six games, yielding two or fewer goals five times. No. 1 goalie Steve Mason was back on the bench serving as Sanford's backup Sunday after missing the last three games with a concussion. Mason, 3-12-1 with a 3.63 GAA, might not start Tuesday considering he has been in net for six games of the losing streak versus the Canucks, posting a 3.73 GAA. Sanford is 5-0-2 with a 1.56 GAA and a shutout in the series, though he hasn't faced the Canucks since March 2007. He played for Vancouver in 2007-08 and '08-'09. Rick Nash, Columbus' leader with seven goals, has scored once in his last nine games against Vancouver.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

Ryan Tannehill does not mince words regarding offense

Jerry Jones: Bryant might play Sunday if he can handle pain

Russell Wilson on playing Sunday against Jets: ‘No doubt’

Report: Tyson Fury failed drug test, will be stripped of title belts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Bill O’Brien taking over play-calling duties for Texans

Kevin Garnett offered coaching position with the Cavaliers

Dwight Gooden on Tim Tebow: I would’ve eaten him alive

Josh Gordon entering rehab

NFL announces Randy Gregory suspended another 10 games

Khris Middleton expected to miss six months after surgery

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

Ten unheralded players set to shine in NFL Week 4

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker