Flyers-Canucks: Game 44 Preview


(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)

By Bill Minchin, Sports Talk Philly writer

The Philadelphia Flyers (21-16-6) make a brief stop at home on Thursday night to host the Vancouver Canucks (20-19-4). This is the first of two meetings between the two clubs and the lone game in Philadelphia. Opening face off is set for 7:00.

Philadelphia will look to bounce back after consecutive losses. The Flyers fell 2-1 in overtime Sunday in Columbus and followed that up with a tough 4-1 loss in buffalo on Tuesday. In that game, the Flyers fired 40 shots on goal but only managed to put one past Anders Nilsson.

Vancouver is also riding a two game losing streak into tonight's game. The Canucks dropped a 3-1 decision to Calgary on Saturday followed by a 2-1 overtime loss in Nashville on Tuesday.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Canucks Leaders GP G A P
Jake Voracek 43 13 26 39 Bo Horvat 43 13 16 29
Claude Giroux 43 10 25 35 Henrik Sedin 43 9 17 26
Wayne Simmonds 43 17 15 32 Sven Baertschi 40 11 13 24
Brayden Schenn 40 13 15 28 Daniel Sedin 43 10 13 23
Travis Konecny 42 6 14 20 Brandon Sutter 43 11 10 21
Player to Watch
17 Wayne Simmonds 53 Bo Horvat
Last 5 Games:0 G, 1 A, 1 P, -2 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, +3
The Flyers power play has struggled of late. It has fallen from at one point the number two ranked unit in the league to ninth. Wayne Simmonds has a lot to do with the power play success. The "Wayne Train" is mired in a bit of a scoring slump right now although not for lack of effort. IF the Flyers can the train back on track, the power play will be too.
21 year Bo Horvat leads Vancouver in goals and points. Horvat was  selected to participate in his first All Star game earlier this week. Horvat had a seven game point streak snapped in Nashville on Tuesday. The Flyers will hope he does not start another streak tonight.
Goalie Matchup
35 Steve Mason 30 Ryan Miller
14-14-6, 2.80 GAA, .903 SV% 12-10-4, 2.59 GAA, .915 SV%

Steve Mason will make his third straight start between the pipes for the Flyers. Mason played well in Sunday's loss in Columbus and got very little help on Tuesday. Mason will shoulder the load from here on out as Dave Hakstol tabbed him the team's number one goaltender earlier this week.

Ryan Miller will make his fifth start in the last six games for the Canucks. Miller has gone 3-1 in his last four starts allowing two goals or less in each game. At 36 years old, Miller is not what he once was but is still a viable starting goaltender. 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Nick Cousins, Radko Gudas, Mark Streit, Boyd Gordon

Left Wing Center Right Wing
12 Michael Raffl 28 Claude Giroux 11 Travis Konecny
24 Matt Read 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
22 Dale Weise 10 Brayden Schenn 17 Wayne Simmonds
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 13 Roman Lyubimov
23 Brandon Manning 15 Michael Del Zotto  
47 Andrew MacDonald 9 Ivan Provorov  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 55 Nick Schultz  
35 Steve Mason    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (9th, 8th at home), Canucks (27th, 29th on the road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (18th, 10th at home), Canucks (20th, 11th on the road) 
  • Recent History vs. Vancouver
    • 12/17/15 – Steve Mason picked up a 36 save, 2-0 shutout victory. Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier each scored for Philadelphia. Canucks star Henrik Sedin was injured in the game. It was officially listed as a lower body injury.
    • 11/2/15 - In the first of two meetings for the 2015-16 season, Vancouver skated away with a 4-1 victory. The Canucks got a first period goal from Jannik Hansen, a second period goal from Bo Horvat and two third period goals (one each) from Jake Virtanen and Matt Barkowski. Claude giroux netting the lone goal for the Flyers in the second. Ryan Miller made 27 saves for the win.

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic