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Game 41: Blast from the Past

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
When the Flyers used to make routine trips to Vancouver just prior to the New Year, their clashes with the Canucks were often highly entertaining and rarely produced a dull moment. It was just like old times on Monday with the Flyers in town on the eve of New Year's Eve.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, the result was all-too-familiar for them when it comes to the Flyers visiting Vancouver.

Vincent Lecavalier scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Flyers to a 4-3 come-from-behind win at Rogers Arena on a night where the home team dominated nearly every category except for the final score.

The win snapped the Canucks' six-game home win streak and their overall three-game win streak. The Flyers, meanwhile, improved their all-time record in Vancouver to an impressive 32-11-12.

Monday's game was one where the Canucks clearly deserved a better result but just couldn't find a way to put the Flyers away for good despite their many chances to do so.

Vancouver out-shot Philadelphia 44-27 through regulation and overtime but weren't able to build on the two occasions they enjoyed a one-goal lead in this outing.

Daniel Sedin looked to have put the Canucks on top for good in the waning moments of regulation when his seemingly-harmless shot from the left side boards bounced off the blocker of Flyers' netminder Steve Mason and then off defenceman Luke Schenn and into the net with 2:48 left.

The Flyers however, with the goaltender pulled, would find the equalizer with 47 seconds left in the period with Brayden Schenn banging in a loose puck at the top of the crease after some nice work by Scott Hartnell and Matt Read to push the puck to the crease.

Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen also had goals for the Canucks while Mark Streit and Claude Giroux had the other markers for the Flyers.

Eddie Lack turned aside 24 of 27 shots through 65 minutes of play in the defeat while Mason made 41 saves through regulation and overtime while denying all three Canucks shooters in the shootout for the victory.

The Canucks are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in a New Year's Day clash.

The Canucks reached the midway point of their season on Monday with a record of 23-11-7 and 53 points. They are seven points behind their pace from 2010.11 – the season they won the Presidents' Trophy and ultimately made a run all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. At the midway point of the 2010.11 season, the Canucks had accumulated 60 points with a record with a record of 27-8-6. In the last full NHL season in 2011.12, a year the Canucks also won the Presidents' Trophy, they had an identical 53 points after 41 games played as this season. They had a record of 25-13-3 at the midway mark that campaign.

UGLIER THAN IT WAS: It hasn't been often this season where the trio of Santorelli-Kesler-Higgins has been accused of having a bad game but their stats line tonight was definitely not pretty. All three were on the ice for all three of the Flyers' goals – they finished with a combined minus-nine rating – and were held off the scoresheet despite more than their fair share of chances. Kesler finished the game with a game-high seven shots.

NOTES AND NUMBERS: The Canucks finished the month with a record of 10-1-2, one win shy of equaling a club mark for most wins in December. Their best December came during the 2010.11 season when they compiled a 11-1-1 record... Dan Hamhuis extended his point streak to three games. He has four assists in his last three outings... Utica (AHL) call-up Frank Corrado made his season debut. The defenceman finished with a plus-one rating in 7:26 of ice-time... The Canucks are 18-0-2 this season when scoring three-or-more goals in regulation. The two blemishes were both shootout losses... The Canucks are 2-5 in shootouts this season... Flyers' captain Claude Giroux extended his point streak to nine games (6-10-16) with his second period tally but a pair of lengthy personal point streaks by Flyers were snapped as Jakub Voracek's nine-game point streak and Wayne Simmonds' five-game point streak were both ended.

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