Canucks chase rare home win vs. Flyers
Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 1:38 PM
FLYERS (22-8-5) at CANUCKS (21-8-5)
TV -- TSN (HD), CSN-PH (HD)
Last 10 -- Philadelphia 7-2-1; Vancouver 7-1-2
Season series -- This is the teams' only meeting this season. In their only game last season, Roberto Luongo stopped all 28 shots he faced in a 3-0 Canucks victory in Philadelphia.
Big Story -- The Flyers have had eight days to seethe over their last game -- a 5-0 home loss to the Panthers. The Canucks are eyeing a win to stay in line for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Flyers -- After eight days off, the Flyers couldn't wait to get back to work. That's why they flew to Vancouver a day early and practiced Monday at Rogers Arena.
"They've been off long enough," coach Peter Laviolette told the club's website. "They need to practice and we might as well do it out here and get used to the time change and get settled in here."
Laviolette said the plan was to skate the players hard, and he said he was happy with how things went.
"It was pretty good, I thought," he said. "The guys skated pretty hard. We tried to get in a lot of skating. Get the legs underneath us -- I think that's important. Between the skating and competitiveness, you lose that over days off, so I think it's important to get back to both of those things right away."
Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa
earned rave reviews from coach Alain Vigneault following his performance in Sunday's win against the Oilers -- he scored the winning goal and was a plus-2 in 23:58 of ice time.
"Kevin has become one of our most consistent players, I want to say, for quite some time now," Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun. "At the beginning of the year, it was a very good game, a good game, etc. In all his games now, he's been very dependable at both ends of the rink. That's the Kevin we know and that's the Kevin we expect."
Bieksa has 3 goals, 5 points and a plus-8 rating in his last 13 games. In his first 20 games, he had 3 assists and an even rating.
Who's Hot --
Flyers goalie Brian Boucher is unbeaten in regulation in his last seven starts. He's 6-0-1 in eight games dating to Nov. 20, and he hasn't allowed more than two goals in a game in his last seven. His 2.11 goals-against average is fourth in the League. … Defending League scoring champion Henrik Sedin
has 20 points in his last 14 games. He's fourth in the League with 44 points.
Injury Report --
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is still about a month away from returning from a broken foot. Defenseman Matt Walker is on injured reserve recovering from hip surgery. … Canucks forward Mason Raymond
is out with a broken thumb.
Stat Pack --
The Flyers are 20-6-2 against the Eastern Conference, but just 2-2-3 against the West.
Puck Drop --
If there's any place for the Flyers to start a long road trip, Vancouver might be the best place. The Flyers are unbeaten in their last 14 trips to Vancouver, a streak that dates to Dec. 31, 1989. They're 10-0-0 with four ties since their last loss there, Jan. 18, 1989