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Canucks look to slow down Simmonds, Flyers in Vancouver

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The Sports Network
12/30/2013 11:49:44 AM
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Wayne Simmonds is on a stretch not seen by a Philadelphia Flyers skater in 32 years.

The Vancouver Canucks will be tasked with slowing him down when they host the Flyers Monday night.

The red-hot winger looks to extend his goal-scoring streak to four straight games on Monday night when the Flyers resume their road trip against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks played for the first time in a week on Sunday night in Calgary and did so without No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo due to a lower-body injury that has him day-to-day.

Vancouver didn't miss a beat with backup Eddie Lack in net as the rookie posted his second career shutout with an 18-save effort in the 2-0 win.

Jannik Hansen and Mike Santorelli each scored a goal for the Canucks, who have won three in a row and are 10-1-1 overall in December.

"I thought we played in the areas and we played hard. I'm very happy we found a way to get it done," Canucks coach John Tortorella said.

Vancouver did lose defenseman Andrew Alberts 2:43 into the game when he took an elbow from Calgary's Brian McGrattan, who was given a major penalty and game misconduct for the hit. Alberts did not return to the game.

The 25-year-old Simmonds meanwhile, netted two of Philadelphia's three power-play goals in Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers. Scott Hartnell had the other and Steve Mason made 13 saves and another two stops in the tiebreaker.

Michael Raffl had the winner for the Flyers in the third round as he skated down and out to the left, out-waiting Edmonton netminder Ilya Bryzgalov before throwing the puck in under the crossbar for the win.

"I didn't really expect to be sent out there. I really enjoyed it," said Raffl, who took his first chance in an NHL shootout in his 26th career game.

It was the first time Philly faced Bryzgalov since buying out the final six seasons of his eight-year, $51 million deal over the summer.

Philadelphia trailed 2-0 after the first period, but Simmonds led the comeback charge with his third straight two-goal game. He is the first Flyer to post such a streak since Reggie Leach in 1981.

"Obviously we had (Bryzgalov) the last two years and I actually thought he played a really good game. He made a lot of stops for them," Simmonds said. "We just had to keep crashing the net, and we had some pretty nice goals in that shootout. It was nice to get the two points."

Philadelphia improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven games and won the opener of six-game road trip, snapping a six-game losing streak as the visiting club.

Simmonds has nine points over a five-game point streak, while Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, who also scored in the shootout, extended their respective runs with two assists each.

Voracek has six goals and nine helpers over a nine-game point streak, while Giroux has posted five goals and 10 assists during an eight-game run.

The trio will try to help the Flyers avenge a 3-2 home loss to the Canucks on Oct. 15. Vancouver has won three of its past four versus Philadelphia overall.

That includes a 6-2 victory the last time the clubs met in Vancouver on Dec. 28, 2010. Philadelphia had won seven in a row as the guest in this series before that meeting.

Mike Santorelli (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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