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Flames look to get back on track in Vancouver

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (21-18-3) at CANUCKS (23-13-3)

TV: CBC

Season series: The Vancouver Canucks have defeated the Calgary Flames twice, and eight times in a row. Radim Vrbata has a goal in each for the Canucks, and goaltender Ryan Miller has allowed four goals on 53 shots.

Flames team scope: Calgary has started 2015 by losing three in a row at home, including 6-5 to the Florida Panthers on Friday. The slide has dropped the Flames two points behind the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets, who hold the two Western Conference wild-card positions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With backup goaltender Karri Ramo on injured reserve, coach Bob Hartley might opt to start Joni Ortio instead of Jonas Hiller, who has played in each of the past nine games. The Flames acquired center Drew Shore from the Panthers on Friday in a trade for forward Corban Knight; Shore was assigned to the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League but could find himself with Calgary soon if forward Brian McGrattan clears waivers Saturday.

Canucks team scope: Vancouver has split the first four games of its five-game homestand after losing 3-1 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The Canucks had 33 shots on goal but former Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo stopped 32 of them. Miller is expected to start after taking that loss. Vrbata has three goals in his past four games and leads the Canucks with 16. Captain Henrik Sedin has nine points in his past eight games. Defenceman Dan Hamhuis, out since tearing his groin Nov. 20, is skating and told the Vancouver Sun he hopes to be able to play before the Canucks wrap up a five-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 20, their final game before the All-Star break.

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