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Miller's shutout helps Canucks defeat Flyers

by Adam Kimelman /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Vancouver Canucks broke out offensively with a 4-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino, Jannik Hansen and Radim Vrbata scored to help Vancouver (24-15-3) end a three-game losing streak, during which they scored two goals.

"We needed to get back in the win column," Hansen said. "You lose one, two in a row, it's not good; three, that's starting trouble. We need to get back on the winning track in order to keep up with the other teams."

Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, in his first game after missing three because of the flu, made 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

Philadelphia goaltender Ray Emery allowed three goals on 12 shots and was removed 1:21 into the second period. Rob Zepp relieved him and allowed one goal on 10 shots.

The Flyers (17-21-7) are 2-6-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. It's the second straight game the Flyers were shut out; they lost 1-0 at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. It's the first time they were shut out in consecutive games since April 1-3, 2014.

Since scoring seven goals in two periods Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Flyers don't have a goal in seven periods, a total of 144:59.

Philadelphia had a good start but was deflated when Bonino carried the puck down the middle of the ice, spun off Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto and scored from the left circle at 6:35 of the first period.

The goal was Bonino's 10th of the season, his second in 12 games and third in 28.

Henrik Sedin made it 2-0 when he skated through the left circle and redirected Daniel Sedin's shot over Emery's right shoulder for a power-play goal at 13:21.

Daniel Sedin said he could feel the game shift in the Canucks' favor after Bonino's goal.

"Any time a team plays back-to-back, the second night you need to get a jump on them," he said. "I thought they started out pretty good, their first five minutes was really good. Then we got the first goal and you can tell we took over from there. It was good.”

The Canucks took control of the game with two goals in 22 seconds early in the second period.

Vrbata started the run with a power-play goal 1:21 into the period when his shot from the left faceoff dot beat Emery over his right shoulder, blocker side under the crossbar. The puck bounced off the back bar and came out so quickly a replay review was needed to uphold the goal.

Emery was replaced in net by Rob Zepp. It was the second straight time Emery was removed from a start; on Jan. 3 against the New Jersey Devils he was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the first period.

Emery has lost four straight games; since starting the season 4-0-1, he is 3-8-0 with a 3.75 goals-against average and .864 save percentage in 12 games.

"Tonight was frustrating, but you know it's an easy solution," Emery said. "You work, you make the most of the next opportunity, and you make sure you're prepared for it."

Zepp provided some relief but allowed a goal to Hansen on the first shot he faced. Wayne Simmonds turned over the puck at the Vancouver blue line and Alexander Edler sent a pass the other way that split Philadelphia defensemen Luke Schenn and Carlo Colaiacovo and allowed Hansen to skate in alone on goal. His wrist shot from the hash marks beat Zepp and gave the Canucks a 4-0 lead 1:43 into the second.

It was Hansen’s second goal in 20 games since he had a hat trick Nov. 23 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It was great play by [Edler] breaking it up in our end to send me and I got a lot of time," Hansen said. "The goalie is coming right off the bench, probably doesn't want to see the first shot on a breakaway. I tried to get it off quick before he was ready."

The Flyers outshot the Canucks 12-3 in the third period but went 0-for-4 on the power play, managing four shots with the man-advantage.

Philadelphia’s best opportunity came with 13:35 left in the second period when Luke Schenn had an open chance in the slot but Miller robbed him with a glove save.

"He made a nice play to lean inside and go back outside," Miller said. "I had a good, strong edge, got some bite on the ice and got a good push."

It was Miller's second shutout in 32 regular-season games against the Flyers. It also was his first regular-season win in Philadelphia since March 5, 2011 with the Buffalo Sabres. In his previous 11 regular-season and playoff games in Philadelphia, he was 3-7-0 with a 3.42 GAA and .899 save percentage.

"It's been a while," Miller said. "That was on my mind a little bit. They've rained on my picnics a few times. We needed to get a win and also it's nice to give them a little bit of a knock. They've gotten me plenty of times."

The Canucks jumped the Los Angeles Kings to move into a top-three spot in the Pacific Division, and they'll try to continue their solid play at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

The Flyers will try to regroup before their game at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. The loss leaves them 11 points behind the New York Rangers for the second wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Though they have 37 games remaining, there is a sense that their chance for a spot might be slipping away.

"You worry about it but there's a lot of hockey," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "Regroup tomorrow, go to Buffalo and win a hockey game. That's what we're going to worry about. We'll go over tonight's game tomorrow, talk about it. Get the guys refocused for Buffalo."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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