Monday, February 8, 2016

Surging Canucks are Flyers' latest challenge

VANCOUVER, British Columbia _ The Flyers will try to avenge a painful early-season loss when they face the streaking Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night.

Surging Canucks are Flyers' latest challenge

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

VANCOUVER, British Columbia _ The Flyers will try to avenge a painful early-season loss when they face the streaking Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night.

Vancouver is on a 10-1-1 run.

The Canucks scored a pair of third-period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit and beat the Flyers, 3-2, at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 15. Ryan Kesler netted the game-winner with 2:25 left.

The Flyers fell to 1-6 with the loss, and they dropped their next game to Pittsburgh, 4-1.

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Since that franchise-worst 1-7 start, the Flyers have gone 17-9-4. They are in third place in the Metro with an 18-16-4 record.

Led by Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux (see story), the Flyers have climbed back into the playoff hunt.

Vancouver (22-11-6) has been much more consistent, and this could be the Flyers’ most difficult task on their six-game road trip. The Flyers also have games remaining in Calgary, Colorado, Phoenix and New Jersey.

The Canucks combine skill and grit, Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

“They play a hard game. John Tortorella teams play hard, just like when he coached the Rangers,” Berube said. “They’re going to compete for 60 minutes, and you have to match their compete level.”

The Flyers have disappeared for five or 10 minutes during some winnable road games this season. They can’t do that Monday and expect to beat a quality team like Vancouver.

The Canucks  are without injured goalie Roberto Luongo (groin), but Eddie Lack has stepped into his spot and played admirably. Lack blanked Calgary, 2-0, on Sunday.

The Flyers’ toughest challenge : Containing the line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Jannik Hansen. Henrik Sedin, the Canucks’ captain, was struck in the ear during pregame warm-ups Sunday and needed to be stitched up, but he returned for the start of the victory; he has played in 669 straight contests.

Breakaways. Former Flyers winger Tom Sestito is on the Canucks’ fourth line….Defenseman Andrew Alberts, another former Flyer, took a hit to the head in Sunday’s game against Calgary and is expected to be out of the lineup….By going 3 for 5 on the power play in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win in Edmonton, the Flyers have moved into a tie for No. 15 with New Jersey in the NHL power-play ratings, clicking at 18.4 percent…..Besides Luongo, the Canucks are missing injured defensemen Alex Edler and Ryan Stanton, and forwards Alex Burrows and Jordan Schroeder.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Covering all things Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL from, the Inquirer, and the Daily News.

Sam Carchidi Staff Writer
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