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HOCKEY

Blue Jackets welcome Canucks to Ohio

The offseason addition of Jeff Carter to pair with sniper 2 start in six seasons.

A visit from the Canucks isn't likely to get the team going either.

Columbus hopes to avoid an eighth straight loss to Vancouver tonight at Nationwide Arena.

Though Carter has notched three assists over his first two games with the Blue Jackets, the club has yet to come through with a victory. They dropped a one- goal game at home to Nashville on Friday before suffering a 4-2 defeat in Minnesota the following night.

Derek Dorsett and Maksim Mayorov scored for Columbus, but goaltender Steve Mason allowed four goals on 23 shots faced through the first two periods. He was replaced at the start of the final frame by Curtis Sanford, who stopped all three shots he saw in his Blue Jackets debut.

Mason has struggled in his two seasons since winning the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, but forward Derek MacKenzie wasn't blaming his netminder for the loss.

"There's nowhere to point the finger. All 20 guys tonight were flat," MacKenzie. "We weren't able to sustain any kind of pressure. We let their big guns kind of freewheel in our zone."

Columbus is 0-2 for the first time since 2005-06 and hasn't beaten Vancouver since Oct. 5, 2009. Its current seven-game series slide includes four straight setbacks at home, where it hasn't defeated the Canucks since Dec. 1, 2008.

Vancouver kicks off a four-game road trip tonight after losing its season opener, 4-3, in a shootout at home to Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Canucks hope to get on track at Nationwide Arena after setting club records a season ago with 27 road wins and 58 road points.

Playing for the first time since a Game 7 home loss to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, Daniel Sedin, Keith Ballard and Maxim Lapierre all scored goals and Henrik Sedin had a pair of assists.

Roberto Luongo, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, did struggle in net while making 25 saves. He was also beaten by both skaters faced in the shootout phase.

"I'm sure he'll be the first to say that he'd like to have a few of those goals back," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "You know, goaltenders are going to give up bad goals sometimes. It's part of the game. You've got to play through them, he's got to play through them and the team has to play through them."

Henrik Sedin led all current Canucks skaters in scoring versus the Blue Jackets last year, posting two goals and four assists in the four games.