Columbus (15-19-9) at Vancouver (25-16-1)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Vancouver, BC
Temp: 36° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Tue Jan 5, 2010
  • TV: RSNP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

When the Columbus Blue Jackets started their road schedule this season with a victory over the Vancouver Canucks, they probably couldn’t have imagined their current predicament.

The Blue Jackets will try to end their franchise-record 12-game road losing streak Tuesday night when they take on the Canucks and red-hot Roberto Luongo(notes).

Columbus (15-19-9) won 5-3 over Vancouver (25-16-1) on Oct. 5 as part of its 12-6-2 start. Rick Nash(notes) had three assists as the Blue Jackets won for the sixth time in seven meetings against the Canucks.

The Blue Jackets haven’t played well against anyone or anywhere lately, going 1-8-4 since Dec. 10 to fall into last place in the Central Division. They’ve been especially bad on the road, posting an 0-8-4 mark since a 4-1 victory at Dallas on Nov. 19.

Columbus is beginning a three-game Western Canada road trip that includes stops in Edmonton and Calgary.

“The road has been tough for us lately and this is going to be a big trip,” forward R.J. Umberger(notes) said. “There are three hard teams, three hard places to play and we have to break that streak on the road. We have to continue this effort and hopefully we’ll get rewarded a little better.

The Blue Jackets have also gone a team-record 10 straight games without scoring more than two goals. Kristian Huselius(notes) ended his 14-game drought without a goal in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Colorado.

“These are disappointing losses for everybody,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Every game is tense for us because there’s no margin for error.”

Hitchcock’s struggling offense will face a tough assignment in Luongo, who has gone 9-2-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average in starting Vancouver’s last 12 games. Luongo made 31 saves Saturday in a 3-1 victory over Dallas.

“I think a lot of it starts with goaltending,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Roberto, when he gets on a roll like he is now just gives everybody that extra boost of confidence.”

Ryan Kesler(notes) had a goal and an assist, and Henrik Sedin(notes) added two assists as Vancouver completed a 3-0-1 road trip.

“We got seven out of a possible eight points, so I’m real happy with the overall road trip,” Vigneault said.

Sedin had six points on the trip and has 11 in a six-game run. He’s got 21 points in his last 19 games against the Blue Jackets.

The Canucks have killed off 36 of their opponents’ last 40 power-play chances in the last 11 games. They have scored 11 power-play goals on 52 chances in the same span.

Luongo is 1-3-2 with a 3.47 GAA in his last six games against Columbus, and was bested in the first meeting this season by Steve Mason(notes), who made 40 saves.

Mason, though, has had a difficult season after winning the 2009 Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. He’s posted a 3.18 GAA after finishing second in the league with a 2.29 mark last season.

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Tuesday, Jan 5