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Canucks aim to extend Flames' road woes

by John Kreiser /

FLAMES (13-19-4) at CANUCKS (20-11-6)


Last 10: Calgary 2-8-0; Vancouver 7-3-0

Season series: The Vancouver Canucks have won two of the first three meetings with the Calgary Flames this season, both at Rogers Arena.

Big story: The Canucks haven't been as dominating as they were during the past couple of seasons, but they're starting to find their game. Their 4-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday moved the Canucks back into first place in the Northwest Division. The Flames come to Rogers Arena after a heartbreaking 2-1 road loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Team Scope:

Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff has struggled for much of the season, but he was at his best against the Sharks -- and the Flames still couldn't win. Kiprusoff stopped 39 of 41 shots, but the Flames managed only a first-period power-play goal by Mikael Backlund and couldn't hold off San Jose in the third period. Joe Pavelski scored the game-winner with 2:06 left in regulation.

The loss was the Flames' 13th in a row away from Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I thought tonight we saw the real Kipper," coach Bob Hartley said. "For the first 10 minutes he came out hard. We saw a team that really applied pressure on us. They were flying and they were shooting from everywhere, and we saw the real Kipper. He gave us a chance. We kept up in the game, then we scored the power-play goal and I saw from there we generated some confidence. We generated some momentum and in the second and third period we skated very well."

Canucks: If his first game in blue and green is any indication, Derek Roy may have filled a huge hole in Vancouver's lineup. In his first game since being acquired from Dallas earlier in the week, Roy stepped in as the No. 2 center on a line with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen; the trio combined for eight shots, including a goal by Higgins, and created a lot of chances while showing immediate signs of chemistry.

"That line had some great looks," coach Alain Vigneault said after the game. "Higgins played a real strong game at both ends of the rink and made some real good plays offensively. For our first game with those three guys together, I'm real happy with that line."

Who's hot: Hansen has three assists in his past two games. Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider recorded his fourth shutout and second in five games by blanking Edmonton.

Injury report: The Flames report no injuries. … The Canucks are without Mason Raymond (shoulder), Ryan Kesler (foot), Keith Ballard (foot), Dale Weise (shoulder) and David Booth (season-ending ankle surgery).

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