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Canucks goalie Miller healthy, ready to face Flyers

by Adam Kimelman /

CANUCKS (23-15-3) at FLYERS (17-20-7)


PHILADELPHIA -- The Vancouver Canucks will have a mostly healthy roster when they play the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.

Goaltender Ryan Miller, forward Nick Bonino and defenseman Christopher Tanev were among the players taking part in an optional morning skate. Miller had missed the past two games with the flu. Bonino and Tanev sat out practice Wednesday in Nashville.

They'll be welcome additions for a team that has lost three straight games.

"It's tough when a guy gets sick for a little bit," Bonino said of Miller. "Eddie [Lack] played great for us the last few games and it's too bad we couldn't get him a couple wins there. Definitely glad [Miller] is feeling better and I'm sure he'll be good tonight."

The offense has been the biggest recent problem for the Canucks, who have two goals in their past three games, and some of their top forwards have been struggling. Daniel Sedin has one goal in his past eight games; Nick Bonino, who had seven goals in his first 14 games, has two in the past 27 and one in the past 11; Alexandre Burrows has one goal in eight games; and Henrik Sedin has two goals in 18 games.

"We have to tighten up in a few areas," Bonino said. "We know what those areas are; we've been going over them in video, working on them a little bit. Have to get back quicker, help our [defensemen] break the puck out, and then get more pucks to the net."

They'll have a chance to do that against a Flyers team that lost 1-0 at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and did not have a morning skate Thursday; only forward Zac Rinaldo and goaltender Ray Emery, neither of whom played Wednesday, were on the ice.

However, Bonino said the back-to-back doesn't play too much into his thinking.

"Everyone is so used to playing back-to-back, so I don't think it's the advantage everyone thinks," he said. "They're going to be ready to go and they're going to come out hard and we have to be ready for that."

Emery will start in goal against the Canucks. It will be his first start since Jan. 3 against the New Jersey Devils, when he allowed three goals on 10 shots and was removed after the first period. Emery has lost his past three games, including a 50-minute relief effort after Steve Mason sustained a lower-body injury Jan. 10 against the Boston Bruins.

Since going 3-0-1 in his first four games, Emery is 4-7-0 with a 3.57 goals-against average and .869 save percentage in 11 games.

"Obviously his stats aren't as good, that's for sure," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "I think it's a combination of things with Ray and the team. We've got to play better in front of him and he's got to play better."

With second-line center Scott Laughton out of the lineup because of an upper-body injury sustained Wednesday, Berube said Brayden Schenn will move from the top line to Laughton's spot, flanked by left wing R.J. Umberger and right wing Wayne Simmonds. Michael Raffl will move to Schenn's spot alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek on the top line.

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alexandre Burrows

Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian

Derek Dorsett - Linden Vey - Jannik Hansen

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa

Frank Corrado - Luca Sbisa

Ryan Miller

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Bo Horvat

Injured: Dan Hamhuis (groin), Yannick Weber (knee)


Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

R.J. Umberger - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Vincent Lecavalier

Mark Streit - Andrew MacDonald

Michael Del Zotto - Nick Schultz

Luke Schenn - Carlo Colaiacovo

Ray Emery

Rob Zepp

Scratched: none

Injured: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Nicklas Grossmann (upper body), Braydon Coburn (lower body), Scott Laughton (upper body), Steve Mason (lower body)

Status report: Hamhuis was one of 14 Canucks to skate Thursday morning and said he expects to play Friday at the Carolina Hurricanes. Hamhuis has been out since Nov. 20 because of a groin injury. "The adductor was torn from the bone," he said. "Pretty serious. ... A lot of times theses things are associated with complications. We've been very fortunate with the process." Hamhuis elected for rehabilitation rather than surgery. "It's a very personal, not decision but it's really based on your personal profile," he said. "We got as much information as we could with surgeons and other experts in the field, and we took a look at my history with hips and my age (32) and the extent of the injury, all those things kind of factored in on making the decision. Even then it's not 100 percent but you hope you made the right decision and I think we did." ... Desjardins said Horvat could return to the lineup but did not say who might come out. ... Rinaldo returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past five games, and 11 of the past 12.

Who's hot: Henrik Sedin has 18 points in 13 games against the Flyers. … Giroux has one goal and four assists in his past five games.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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