Flyers-Canucks: 5 things you need to know

Flyers-Canucks: 5 things you need to know

Simmonds ties Flyers record for multi-goal streak

December 30, 2013, 3:00 pm
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The Flyers will continue their road trip with a rare meeting against the red-hot Vancouver Canucks (23-11-6) on Monday.

Puck drop is set for 10 p.m. at Rogers Arena.

Here are five things you need to know for the game:

1. Wayne's world
Wayne Simmonds has emerged as the Flyers’ leading goal scorer after getting off to a slow start to the season.

Simmonds scored just six goals in his first 35 games but has found the back of the net two times in each of his past three games. He’s become the first Flyer since Reggie Leach in 1981 to string together three consecutive multi-goal games.

After scoring twice against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, Simmonds brought his point streak to five games. He has seven goals and two assists during that span and has 12 points overall in the month of December.

Simmonds isn’t the only Flyer riding an impressive point streak, however. Jakub Voracek has at least a point in a team-high nine straight games (six goals, nine assists) and Claude Giroux has collected 15 points during his current eight-game point streak (see story).

“We probably had the worst start to the season of all our careers,” Simmonds said Sunday. “So I guess you can say we’re trying to make up for lost time.”

2. It’s been awhile
The Flyers haven’t played in Vancouver since Dec. 28, 2010. Ryan Kesler scored twice and assisted another goal to help the Canucks hand the Orange and Black an ugly 6-2 loss on that night. Danny Briere and Jeff Carter tallied the Flyers’ two markers.

Giroux, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell are the only Flyers remaining on the current roster that skated in the last meeting between these two clubs.

The Flyers have had their struggles on the road this season -- they snapped a five-game road skid in Edmonton on Saturday -- but tonight they’ll be playing in a city in which they’ve had plenty of success.

Since the 1989-90 season, the Flyers have gone 10-1-4-0 in Vancouver and are 7-1-0 over their last eight trips to Rogers Arena.

A win won’t come easy this time, though. The Canucks are 10-1-1 in December and have won six consecutive games on their home ice. They’ve also outscored opponents 20-6 during their current streak.

3. Meet Eddie Lack
Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, but thanks to rookie Eddie Lack, the Canucks haven’t missed a beat.

Lack is 5-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average in six games (four starts) this month and is expected to start Monday against the Flyers.

The 25-year-old Swede made 18 saves in a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday to earn his second shutout of the season. In 12 games this season (eight starts), Lack is 7-2-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

4. Injuries
Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson is on injured reserve with a sprained left knee.

Vancouver has a handful of players on IR. Luongo (lower body); defensemen Alexander Edler (lower body) and Ryan Stanton (ankle); and forwards Alexandre Burrows (jaw) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) will not suit up.

Canucks defenseman Andrew Alberts left Sunday’s game against Calgary in the first period following a hit by Brian McGrattan. He did not return and is questionable with an undisclosed injury.

5. This and that
• Giroux has at least one assist in eight straight games. That’s the longest streak by a Flyer since John LeClair assisted in nine consecutive contests between Dec. 31, 1998 and Jan. 21, 1999.

• Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has one goal and 14 assists over his last seven games against the Flyers.

• The Flyers’ power-play units have gone 12 for 46 on the man advantage over the past 11 games.

• Mike Santorelli, who scored his ninth goal of the season on Sunday for Vancouver, has nine points in his last nine games.

• The Canucks’ .875 winning percentage in December is the second best in any month in franchise history, trailing only a mark of 12-1-0 (.923) in November 2002.