FLAMES (17-15-2) at CANUCKS (18-11-2)
Season series: The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 8 in each team’s season opener. Center Henrik Sedin and defencemen Christopher Tanev and Brad Richardson each had two points for Vancouver.
Flames team scope: Calgary has lost seven games in a row following a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday. It’s the first time since the 1974-75 season that the Flames have lost seven straight in regulation. "It's tough," said captain Mark Giordano, who scored his ninth goal in the loss to Dallas. "It's more than a rut now. It's seven games now that we haven't got a point. The thing about our start was that we didn't fall out of it. We're still right there. We have to find a way now to get one. First, we get one, and then try to string some together. We have to start trying to generate more goals, obviously." Calgary has scored 11 goals in the seven losses. The Flames will visit the Los Angeles Kings on Monday before returning from the holiday break to open a six-game homestand next Saturday vs. the Edmonton Oilers.
Canucks team scope: Vancouver has lost five in a row (0-4-1), including the first two of its four-game homestand. At practice Thursday, coach Willie Desjardins moved forward Jannik Hansen up to the second line with center Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins, according to The Vancouver Sun, and dropped Alexandre Burrows to the fourth line with center Bo Horvat and Derek Dorsett. "Whenever you lose a couple of games — in our case, five games — changes are due to happen," Hansen told the newspaper. "It’s the norm, so we have to find a way to make it work. It’s that simple." Hansen has eight goals, but has gone 10 straight games without scoring, dating to his hat trick Nov. 23 against the Chicago Blackhawks. Right wing Radim Vrbata, who leads the Canucks with 12 goals, has been held without a point in three straight games after he had at least a point in seven of 10 (six goals, four assists). Goalie Ryan Miller has allowed 18 goals in his past five starts. He is 1-4-0 with a 4.11 goals-against average and .843 save percentage.