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Flyers conclude California trip against Sharks

by Brian Compton

FLYERS (27-23-6) at SHARKS (35-15-6)


Last 10: Philadelphia 4-4-2; San Jose 7-3-0

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks. They will face each other again on Feb. 27 at Wells Fargo Center.

Big story: Philadelphia is wrapping up its three-game road trip through California on Monday night. The Flyers bounced back from a 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday by blanking the Los Angeles Kings in a 2-0 win at Staples Center on Saturday.

It's the second of a four-game homestand for the Sharks; they earned a 2-1 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Flyers: With 12 goals in 43 games, Vincent Lecavlier has been asked by coach Craig Berube to change positions. The longtime center has been shifted from center to right wing, and the 33-year-old admits the transition has not been easy.

"I'm definitely not used to this," Lecavalier told "I've never played that side. It's where I am at so I've got to try and adjust, and I have to adjust. That is part of it. Every game I am getting more comfortable, but it's not my natural position."

But the change may have provided a spark -- Lecavalier has scored twice in the past four games.

"It's been a little bit of an adjustment for Vinny," assistant general manager Ron Hextall said. "He was in Tampa [Bay] a long time there. Different system, different way of thinking. That's No. 1.

"The second thing is, we're a team with a lot of centermen. Some teams have them and some don't. He's effectively played out of position a big part of the year. He played well for us earlier. Recently, I don't think he's played his best hockey.

"He was a scoring threat in Anaheim [on Thursday]. Vinny has to be a scoring threat. That's what he's done his whole career. ... He has to find openings, get to the net. In the end, he's got to put the puck in the net. The Anaheim game was a step in the right direction."

Sharks: San Jose wasn't given much time to celebrate its hard-fought victory against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Sharks' homestand now continues against a Flyers team that is in a heated battle for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and is coming off an impressive win of its own.

"We haven't seen them. They've been through some roller coaster moments during the year," Sharks coach Todd McLellan told on Sunday. "I think since Craig [Berube] has been there, they've looked like a refreshed team. They always play hard. Their goaltender (Steve Mason) has obviously played quite well since the change.

"Just looking at the pre-scout and the forwards they can put out on the ice, it's four pretty dangerous lines. Like any team, we've got our work cut out for us."

Who's hot: Mason has recorded shutouts in two of his past three appearances, including a 35-save performance in Los Angeles on Saturday. Flyers captain Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist Saturday, giving him six points (three goals, three assists) in the past four games. … Sharks forward Joe Pavelski scored his 29th goal of the season Saturday. He has 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in his past nine games.

Injury report: Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen (foot) did not practice Sunday and is questionable for the game Monday. … Sharks forwards Tyler Kennedy (lower body) and Raffi Torres (knee) are day-to-day. Forwards Logan Couture (hand), Tomas Hertl (knee) and Adam Burish (lower body), and defenseman Jason Demers (lower body) are out. San Jose is expected to recall defenseman Matt Tennyson from Worcester of the American Hockey League for the game Monday.

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