NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 15 (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (23-15-3) at Philadelphia Flyers (17-20-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks look to get their offense going and avoid a fourth straight loss on Thursday night when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Canucks have been outscored 9-2 over a three-game slide and have lit the lamp just 15 times in eight games since a 7-1 win over Arizona on Dec. 22.
Vancouver was limited to just a second-period tally by defenseman Alex Edler in Tuesday's 5-1 loss to Nashville. His marker did pull the Canucks to within one goal, but netminder Eddie Lack was beaten between his arm and body at 13:32 of the third period for the first of three goals by the Predators in the frame.
Lack allowed all five goals on 30 shots faced.
"It's disappointing because we battled back. That third goal is a save I have to make," Lack admitted.
Lack had started the previous two games in part because Ryan Miller has been dealing with an illness. Miller, though, is expected to return to action tonight and is 14-13-2 with a 2.98 goals against average and .904 save percentage in 31 games (29 starts) versus the Flyers.
Vancouver plays the second contest of a five-game road trip tonight and continues the swing on Friday in Carolina.
The Flyers hope to rebound tonight after getting dealt a 1-0 road loss by the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots to record the shutout.
Rob Zepp made 25 saves but suffered his first NHL defeat in his third career start for the Flyers, who were coming off a 3-1-0 homestand that included a 7-3 win over Tampa Bay on Monday.
Philadelphia had some chances late to tie the game, but Vincent Lecavalier was unable to push a rebound chance into an open net with just over a minute left and captain Claude Giroux flubbed a one-time attempt from the left circle moments later.
"We played well, but we don't deserve a point. We missed some opportunities offensively," said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. "It was almost an empty net there (on Lecavalier's chance), but we've got to bear down and put those in."
Forward Scott Laughton could miss this game after exiting in the second period on Wednesday night following an open-ice hit from Washington's Matt Niskanen.
With No. 1 netminder Steve Mason out with a sprained right knee and Zepp having started last night, Ray Emery could get the call versus the Canucks. He is 1-1-0 against them in three prior meetings, including two starts, posting a 2.25 GAA and .900 save percentage.
The Flyers and Canucks split two meetings last season, with each team winning on the road. Vancouver has won three of its past four in Philadelphia.
01/15 10:46:24 ET