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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 23rd (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (0-2-0) at Vancouver Canucks (0-1-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of home games to begin the season did not benefit either the Calgary Flames or the Vancouver Canucks.
The Flames now try to pick up their first victory of the campaign on the road on Wednesday night as they visit a Canucks club hoping to salvage the finale of a season-opening homestand.
Calgary was looking to come out of the gate strong with five of its first six as the host, but dropped decisions to the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks ahead of Wednesday's road game. The club will return home for three straight beginning Saturday.
The Flames hope to do so with a victory and nearly found the win column on Monday against the Ducks before losing a 5-4 contest. Anaheim scored the game's first three goals, but Calgary rebounded to tie the game. However, the Ducks got the next two and though Lee Stempniak closed the deficit to just one with 5:56 to play, the Flames could not get the equalizer.
"I'm really happy with the way that we bounced back. That's one thing that I can't fault this team on, the way that we work. We're relentless," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said.
Curtis Glencross scored twice with an assist, while Alex Tanguay posted a goal and an assist for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff made just 19 saves in the loss.
The Flames have not lost their first three games to begin a season since starting the 2007-08 campaign 0-2-1. They haven't dropped the initial three in regulation since 2000-01.
Calgary could have two forwards back in the lineup by the weekend as Roman Cervenka was cleared to return to practice beginning on Thursday. The 27-year- old Czech signed as a free agent in May after netting 100 points in 105 games in the KHL. He has been out with a blood clot in his leg.
Jiri Hudler, meanwhile, is returning from the Czech Republic following the passing of his father. He did not travel to Vancouver however.
The Canucks will have a new face in their lineup on Wednesday after recalling Jordan Schroeder from the AHL. The 22-year-old Minnesota native was the 22nd overall pick of the 2009 draft by Vancouver and had 21 points and 44 points in 76 games last year in the minors.
He'll look to jolt a Canucks team that opened the season with a 7-3 loss to visiting Anaheim on Saturday before dropping a 3-2 shootout against the Edmonton Oilers the following day.
Roberto Luongo got the start on Sunday and made 30 saves, but could not protect a 2-0 lead. He was also bested twice in the shootout, while Vancouver came up empty on its two chances.
Luongo, the continued subject of trade rumors, is opening the season as the backup to Cory Schneider, who was pulled early in Saturday's loss and will start tonight.
Alex Edler and Zack Kassian tallied on Sunday for the Canucks, who wrap a homestand with this contest and are trying to avoid their worst start since going 0-3-0 in 2009-10.
"We didn't have much left in the tank halfway through the third period but we tried to battle through," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We got a point and I believe we took a step forward tonight."
Though these two clubs split six meetings last season, the Canucks have won six of the past nine encounters overall as well as six of the past eight played in Vancouver.
01/23 10:33:37 ET