COLUMBUS, Ohio â€” The Columbus Blue Jackets talked about gaining some ground in the playoff push in a seven-game homestand that began Thursday night.
Instead, they ran into a hot goalie and were shut out by a team with nothing to lose.
Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Miller stopped 33 shots as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Blue Jackets 3-0 in a game that had Columbus coach John Tortorella questioning his team’s emotion.
Loui Eriksson and Jayson Megna also scored for the Canucks, who are far out of the playoff hunt in the Pacific Division. It was the third shutout this season for the Canucks and Miller, and the first on the road.
“We needed to turn this thing around, and to do that I think you need your goalie to be good, and I think he was great,” Sedin said. “Good for him and good for our team.”
Sergei Bobrovsky had 21 saves for the Blue Jackets, who had plenty of offensive opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Columbus is in playoff contention in the tough Metropolitan Division, but has been plagued by inconsistent play since a 16-game winning streak earlier this season.
“We didn’t play well,” Tortorella said. “It was zero emotion in the game, for what reason I don’t know. We’re going to try to find out. Nothing happens right if you don’t play the game with emotion, so we’ve got to get that figured out.”
The game was scoreless after a blasÃ© first period in which both teams struggled for momentum. The teams had nine shots apiece, and Columbus squandered the only power play of the period, unable to get off even one shot with the man advantage.
Sedin put the Canucks up 44 seconds into the second period when he beat Seth Jones to a rebound and slammed it past Bobrovsky for his 12th goal of the season and his first since Jan. 12.
The Canucks got another one during a power play when Sedin fed Eriksson at the doorstep to make it 2-0 with 8:56 remaining in the second.
Megna capped the scoring with 9:18 left in the game when he deked Bobrovsky on a breakaway.
The Blue Jackets, with the league’s best power play, got another chance with a man advantage in the final period, but the best they could do was a shot off the post by Jones.
“Offensively, I thought we had a lot of good looks, just couldn’t bury it,” Columbus captain Foligno said.
Cam Atkinson, the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer, said the team “might have been a little flat at times,” but needs to turn it around as Detroit comes to Nationwide Arena on Saturday to try to avenge a chippy 3-2 overtime loss on Tuesday night.
“We’re pretty much here the whole month of February, and we have to make it hard for teams coming into this building,” Atkinson said. “And we haven’t done that of late.”
NOTES: The Blue Jackets were shut out at home for the third time this season. … Vancouver LW Sven Baertschi was out after taking a blindside hit from Nashville’s Cody McLeod on Tuesday. The league ruled the hit was the result of an accidental collision. … Columbus RW Oliver Bjorkstrand was an emergency recall from Cleveland of the American Hockey League in case Josh Anderson had to sit out after undergoing concussion protocol from a hit Tuesday night. The 21-year-old Bjorkstrand, the Monsters’ leading scorer, was scratched when Anderson was cleared to play. … The game was the first of seven straight at home for the Blue Jackets. It was the second of a six-game road trip for the Canucks.
Vancouver: Plays at Boston on Saturday in the second game of a six-game road trip.
Columbus: Play Detroit Saturday in the second of a seven-game home stand.
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Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press