Flyers 8, Canucks 2
PIC OF THE GAME
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Maybe it’s the orange in the uniforms that distracts Vancouverites, or maybe the Flyers have some kind of funky hex on the city; whatever it is, it's working for them.
The Canucks haven’t clipped two points off the Flyers on home ice in 18 long years and they didn’t do anything to halt that streak Wednesday night.
Mike Richards bagged four points to help Philadelphia rout Vancouver 8-2 in a game that was marred by an ugly hit to the head by Jesse Boulerice midway through the third that left Ryan Kesler
face-down on the ice.
Riding a 7-2 lead, Boulerice skated deep into the Flyers’ zone and caught Kesler flush in the jaw with a cross-check.
“Obviously he was out to get me, and he got me,” said Kesler, who moments earlier threw a big hit along the end boards on the forecheck.
“I'm just lucky my jaw isn't broken, hopefully it's not fractured. Obviously it's a dirty play and you don't like to see that happen to anyone. ... It shouldn't be in the game."
Flyers coach John Stevens called the hit “unacceptable” and said he expects a suspension.
“It's something that we can't have,” said Stevens. “We didn't need to get involved in anything really, we had the hockey game in hand and that was the message on the bench, so that kind of stuff can't happen."
Boulerice received a match penalty for intent to injure, which comes with an automatic review by the league. "I reacted in a bad way the wrong way," Boulerice said.
Despite a five-minute power-play - two minutes of which was a two-man advantage for the home side - the Canucks couldn’t manage to best Martin Biron, who finished with 25 saves.
In fact Richards scored shorthanded on the five-on-three to cap an ugly night for the Canucks who fall to 1-2-0, and have surrendered 14 goals in three games.
“It has to be preparation,” said Naslund, who finished the night a minus-two. “This is as bad as I’ve seen this team play. We talked about getting back into good habits, like we had last year, but we haven’t done that so far.”
Jeff Carter and R.J Umberger scored 13 seconds apart midway through the first, and Daniel Briere scored and set up Simon Gagne in the first period as Roberto Luongo
gave up four goals on 13 shots.
Joffrey Lupul, Mike Knuble and Richards added second period goals to blow the game open as the Canucks trailed 7-2 after 40 minutes.
| Mike Richards
Scored two goals, assisted on two goals and was a game high +4 rating.
| Simon Gagne
Had a goal and an assist and led all skaters with six shots.
| Daniel Briere
One goal, Two assists, +2 rating
“Obviously the entire team was off,” said Alain Vigneault. “It seemed like there was one team on the ice that had something to prove, and that was Philly. It seemed that we might’ve thought that we’ve proven something, [but I’m] not quite sure what that is. Obviously we didn’t play a very good game, and the results indicate that.”
Both Canucks goals on the night came on the power play and were set up by the Sedins. Ryan Shannon lifted his second of the season over Biron after Daniel slipped a neat backhand pass through the crease in the first.
With Philadelphia leading 5-1 early in the second, Lukas Krajicek snapped his first of the year inside the post from the high slot.
Vancouver finished 2-for-9 on the power play.
Briere, the free agent centerpiece in a rebuilding project that saw the Flyers dress nine players that weren't with the team to start last season, had two assists to bring his season point total to seven.
Umberger, who was picked by the Canucks in the first round of the 2001 draft but traded without playing for Vancouver because of a contract dispute, had an easy backdoor tap-in early in the opening period – his first goal of the season.
Curtis Sanford saw his first action of the year in relief of Luongo, who watched from the bench for the second and third periods. Sanford was beaten on the first shot he faced just 1:24 into the period as Joffrey Lupul stepped around Ohlund and had a clean look from below the left dot.
Sanford finished with 13 saves on 17 shots.
Trevor Linden and Henrik Sedin
were a combined 20-for-30 in the face-off circle.
The Canucks now face the Oilers in a home-and-home series beginning Friday in Edmonton.
|Three star selections