NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, October 15th (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (3-3-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (1-5-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After losing the final two tests of a recent homestand, the Vancouver Canucks hope to turn things around on the road when they kick off their longest trip of the season Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
The Canucks opened their recent three-game homestand with a win over New Jersey last Tuesday, giving Vancouver three straight wins since opening the season with a loss in San Jose. However, the Canucks lost the final two tests of the residency by 4-1 scores, dropping decisions against San Jose and Montreal.
Vancouver, which is 1-1-0 on the road so far this season, is kicking off a seven-game road trip on Tuesday. The trek features six straight games against Eastern Conference teams before closing on Oct. 25 in St. Louis.
While Vancouver hopes to get itself back on track in Philadelphia, the Flyers have been in shambles since their season opener. The club fired head coach Peter Laviolette after an 0-3-0 start and is just 1-2-0 since Craig Berube took over behind the bench.
Philadelphia hopes its recent success against the Canucks can get them a second win on the season. The Flyers have won six of the last nine meetings with Vancouver, but Canucks head coach John Tortorella had tremendous success against Philadelphia while previously coaching the New York Rangers in recent years. Under Tortorella, the Rangers won 11 of the last 13 meetings against the Flyers.
Tortorella's club was last in action on Saturday when it lost 4-1 to the visiting Canadiens. Henrik Sedin scored Vancouver's lone goal and Roberto Luongo stopped 34-of-38 shots in the setback.
The game-winning goal surrendered by Luongo was of the odd variety. Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis misplayed the puck behind the net and it went on to bounce off both of Luongo's skates and into the net. Lars Eller, the only Montreal player close to the net, was credited with a short-handed goal that gave the Habs a 2-1 lead.
"I didn't see it. I didn't see it," Luongo said of the own goal. "I left it for our guys and was looking up ice to get back to my net and all of a sudden it's in the back of my net."
The Flyers hope Luongo and the Canucks aren't through giving up soft goals, however, as the offensively-challenged club needs all the help it can get in the scoring department.
With just eight goals through six games, the Flyers are off to the worst offensive start to a season in team history. Making matters worse, general manager Paul Holmgren recently revealed that forward Scott Hartnell will miss 2-to-4 weeks with an upper-body injury and forward Vincent Lecavalier will be out one week with a lower-body issue.
Philadelphia lost its second straight game on Saturday, dropping a 5-2 decision in Detroit. The Flyers were trailing by a 3-2 score early in the third period before Henrik Zetterberg finished off the visitors with two goals in the last 6:12 of regulation.
Erik Gustafsson and Tye McGinn lit the lamp for the Flyers, while Ray Emery was victimized for all four goals on 29 shots in his second start of the year. Philadelphia also allowed the Red Wings to convert on three of their seven power-play opportunities.
"You don't ever want to get comfortable with losing," Berube said. "But we played a solid game, a lot of urgency. We were competitive, but it wasn't enough."
Flyers captain Claude Giroux, the club's leading scorer from each of the past three seasons, finally recorded his first point of the season on Saturday when he notched the primary assist on McGinn's goal. Giroux had 48 points in 48 games for the Flyers in the lockout-shortened season of 2013 and he registered a career-best total of 93 points in 2011-12.
10/15 10:39:55 ET