The Vancouver Canucks will try to snap a two-game losing skid when they open their season-high seven-game road trip in the City of Brotherly Love taking on the Philadelphia Flyers who are led by their new head coach, Craig Berube.
After dropping back-to-back games to close out their recent three-game home stand including falling 4-1 to the Habs on Saturday, the Canucks will be desperate to get back on the winning track knowing this seven-game swing could go a long ways towards determine their fate at the end of the season. Although it's still early in the campaign, a less-than-successful trip could drop them to the bottom of the pack in a very tough Pacific Division and leave them playing catch up for the rest of the season.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are an equally desperate club to turn their recent fortunes around. They fired former coach Peter Laviolette after a 0-3-0 start but it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing since Berube took over. Philadelphia is 1-2-0 with their new bench boss, most recently dropping a 5-2 decision to Detroit on Saturday. This is the start of a three-game home stand for the Flyers.
Puck drop at 4 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, THE TEAM 1040, or online at www.teamradio.ca.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Start better. Neither the Canucks nor the Flyers have been known for quick starts with both teams only managing to open the scoring twice in the six respective games they've each played so far. Winning might require a 60-minute effort butit might be more about a race to one for these teams.
2. Keep playing up-tempo hockey. The Canucks haven't had much success offensively in their last few outings but if there's one team they won't mind trading chances with it's the Flyers, who have scored just eight times in six games and are missing two of their key forwards up front in Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier.
3. Get the power play going again. The Habs exposed a weakness in the Canucks' previously perfect penalty kill on Saturday scoring twice on three opportunities. The Flyers will want to take a page out of their book and get their own man-advantage, which has not scored in four straight games, to be a difference-maker.
IN THE INFIRMARY
For the Canucks…
F Alex Burrows (foot) and F Jordan Schroeder (broken left foot/ankle) are on the injured reserve list.
For the Flyers…
F Scott Hartnell (upper body), F Vincent Lecavelier (lower body) and D Chris Pronger (post-concussion syndrome) are on the injured reserve list. D Marc-Andre Bourdon (post-concussion syndrome) is on the non-roster injured reserve list.
DID YOU KNOW?
Canucks forward Tom Sestito is expected to play his first ever game against the Flyers tonight. Sestito spent parts of three seasons in the Flyers' organization, including suiting up In 21 games with Philadelphia from 2011.12 to 2012.13 where he recorded two goals, three points and 95 penalty minutes.
0 – First period and third period goals scored by the Canucks combined over their last three games.
1 – Point needed by Henrik Sedin to reach 800 in his NHL career.
4 – Years since the Canucks last road win in Philadelphia – a 3-0 shutout victory on December 3, 2009.
18 – Head coaches in Flyers franchise history, most recently Craig Berube who took over eight days ago from Peter Laviolette.
185 – Minutes and 54 seconds the Canucks have gone in consecutive game time without playing with a lead.
500 – Career games played in for Braydon Coburn including tonight when he suits up against the Canucks.
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