Vancouver (39-18-0) at Columbus (23-33-2)

Fair Currently: Columbus, OH
Temp: 8° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Mar 6, 2003
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COLUMBUS, OHIO (TICKER) —The Vancouver Canucks try to avoid consecutive road losses for the second time this season Thursday night when they continue a five-game road trip against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Vancouver has the best road record in the NHL at 21-8-5 and has had consecutive road defeats only once this season, losing at San Jose on January 11 and Minnesota on January 16.

Since the loss in Minnesota, Vancouver is 8-2-3 on the road. The Canucks had a franchise-record nine-game (6-0-3) road unbeaten streak stopped with Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canucks had 41 shots on goal and went 0-for-6 on the power play.

Already without starting goaltender Dan Cloutier (knee) and defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knee), Vancouver lost Todd Bertuzzi late in the third period Tuesday when he was hit in the left leg by a teammate’s slap shot.

The Canucks are four points in front of the Colorado Avalanche for the lead in the Northwest Division and trail the Dallas Stars by three points for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Columbus is 1-7-1 over its last nine games, but captain Ray Whitney has five goals over his last three games after a 14-game goalless drought.

The Blue Jackets come off Monday’s 3-2 home loss to Detroit as Whitney and defenseman Rostislav Klesla tallied.

The season series is tied, 1-1-1. Vancouver took the last meeting at GM Place on February 23 as the line of Markus Naslund, Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison combined for 12 points in a 7-2 victory.

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