Flyers vs. Vancouver Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers will end their four-day layoff tomorrow when they host Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks from the Wachovia Center.

After missing the past three games due to a two-game suspension and the flu, Danny Briere will return to the Flyers starting lineup. Briere will try and fill the scoring void that’s been lacking over the past few games for Philadelphia. The play-making winger is second on the club with 10 goals.

“Danny is a guy who is a game-breaking kind of player. He can score big goals at key times, and he can score goals that other guys can’t,” said John Stevens after practice.

“At this point, goals are a little bit tougher to come by, so hopefully I can help, but it’s not one player that changes everything,” said Briere, who saw the club score just four goals in its last three games. “It’s a team game, we all know that, but I hope that I can give a little spark.”

Recently hot netminder Brian Boucher will get the nod between the pipes for the second straight game. Boucher has been impressive since his poor outing against San Jose back on Oct. 25. Boucher is 2-3 with an impressive 2.01 goals against average and an .930 save percentage.

Vancouver comes in with almost the same situation as the Flyers. The Canucks are 14-12 and are third in Northwest Division behind the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games. What should stand out to the Flyers is the 4-8 record Vancouver has recorded on the road this season. The Wachovia Center should be an intimidating place to play for the Canucks.

The Flyers beat the Canucks in their last meeting on Dec. 30 of last year, beating them 3-2 at General Motors Place.

Coach John Stevens expects offensive improvements in  certain areas that will help them begin producing goals again. The Flyers own a 68-27-13-0 all-time record in 108 meetings against the Canucks, including an impressive 37-17-1-0 on home ice. That’s a promising stat if your the Flyers and trying to end a losing skid.

 “It all comes down to really digging in the hard areas of the rink to score goals,” he said. “Winning battles along the wall in the offensive zone and being a little more determined and competitive at the offensive net.

Quotes: Philadelphia Flyers

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