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Canucks turn to Lack as they take on Flames

by Brian Hunter

CANUCKS (22-11-6) at FLAMES (14-18-6)


Last 10: Vancouver 8-1-1; Calgary 4-4-2

Season series: This is the second of five games between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. Mike Santorelli scored his second goal of the game in overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 win against the Flames on Oct. 6 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The teams meet three more times this season, all in Vancouver.

Big story: Goalie Eddie Lack is the man of the moment in Vancouver, though for how long is anyone's guess. An undisclosed injury to Roberto Luongo has thrust the undrafted 25-year-old Swede into the spotlight, and he'll carry a 6-2-0 record with a 1.93 goals-against average and .928 save percentage into his 12th NHL appearance Sunday.

Team Scope:

Canucks: A six-day break for Vancouver wasn't enough for Luongo to get healthy after he left the Canucks' game against the Winnipeg Jets last Sunday in the first period. Coach John Tortorella has termed his No. 1 goalie day-to-day, and the team recalled Joacim Eriksson from Utica of the American Hockey League to back up Lack.

Lack, who spent three seasons in the AHL after coming over from Sweden, has given Tortorella as well as his teammates confidence in his brief body of work this season. Now he might get an extended chance to show what he can do.

"I always thought I was capable of playing in this League," Lack said in the National Post. "I worked hard a long time to get here.

"I'm just trying to have fun every day."

Flames: Goaltending was expected to be an issue in Calgary following the retirement of Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Flames entered the weekend 26th in the League with a 3.10 team goals-against average.

The issue Friday against the Edmonton Oilers wasn't in net; Reto Berra stopped 26 of 27 shots. The Flames had a goal by Mark Giordano in the first period disallowed and were stymied all night by Devan Dubnyk. An empty-netter in the final seconds sent them to a 2-0 defeat.

"When you don't get any goals, it's frustrating," forward Matt Stajan said in the Calgary Sun. "We've got to maybe get some puck luck, but at the same time, we've gotta bear down in front. We've gotta do a better job of getting to the net, screening the goalie. They got one goal by being in our crease and going to the dirty areas, and we have to do more of that."

Who's hot: Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev, who scored the game-winner against the Jets, has four goals in 39 games this season. He had two goals in 92 career games over his first three seasons.

Injury report: Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton (ankle) is out indefinitely, and defenseman Alexander Edler (lower body) and forwards Alexandre Burrows (jaw) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) are on injured reserve. … Flames forward Blair Jones (knee) is out indefinitely. Defenseman Kris Russell (knee) is out 4-6 weeks. Defenseman Dennis Wideman (hand) and forward Curtis Glencross (ankle) are on injured reserve.

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