Vancouver at Columbus
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, November 28, 2014
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
The Vancouver Canucks face a major test after a solid first quarter of the season as they embark on a seven-game road trip, beginning against the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. The Canucks are among the league leaders in victories after missing the playoffs a season ago and boast an 11-3-1 record over their last 15 contests. The Blue Jackets have gone in the opposite direction, managing only two victories in their last 15 contests with an injury-plagued roster.
Free-agent signing Ryan Miller notched his second shutout of the season with a 2-0 victory over New Jersey on Tuesday as Vancouver extended its point streak to four games (3-0-1). Columbus, which is last in the league in scoring defense (3.57), will have to find a way to contain the top line of Radim Vrbata with Daniel and captain Henrik Sedin. Ryan Johansen continues to produce for Columbus, standing among the league leaders with 24 points.TV:
7 p.m. ET, SNET-Pacific (Vancouver), FSN Ohio (Columbus)ABOUT THE CANUCKS (15-6-1):
The Sedins lead the team with 16 assists apiece and Vrbata tops the Canucks with 10 goals after being signed late as a free agent. Nick Bonino was acquired in a trade for Ryan Kesler in the offseason and has produced 16 points for Vancouver, which has totaled 14 goals in the last four games. Right wing Jannik Hansen boasts eight goals – five in the last four games – and Alexander Edler leads the defensemen with a plus-5 rating after finishing at minus-39 last season.ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (6-13-2):
Columbus finished 13th in the league in scoring defense last season and has dropped to the bottom while allowing at least four goals in 11 of its last 16 games. The offense has not been much better while scoring two or fewer goals in 12 of the last 15 games. “Right now, maybe we’re over thinking,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards told reporters. “Sometimes that can handcuff you and make you tentative instead of just going out and playing.”OVERTIME
1. Vancouver is 5-1-0 against Eastern Conference teams and 8-0-1 when leading after two periods.
2. Columbus G Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed fewer than three goals once in his last eight starts.
3. Vancouver F Bo Horvat, 19, will stay with the team and use the first year of his contract rather than return to juniors after the nine-game limit.PREDICTION:
Blue Jackets 4, Canucks 2
Stats and Records