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Preview: Flyers at Canucks

Ryan Miller to start second of back-to-back for Vancouver; Dale Weise in lineup for Philadelphia

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (27-24-7) at CANUCKS (26-27-6)

10 p.m. ET; SN360, CSN-PH, NHL.TV

 

Flyers team scope

Philadelphia Flyers left wing Dale Weise returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first two of a three-game road trip through Western Canada. Weise will take the place of Jordan Weal, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, on the second line with center Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. "It's a great opportunity to play with two good players, and for myself to get back in the lineup is huge," said Weise, who had been scratched for seven of the previous 12 games and has five points in 46 games. "I have to make the most of it." Goalie Michal Neuvirth will make his fourth straight start ahead of Steve Mason. Philadelphia is three points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "The more I play, the more comfortable I feel," said Neuvirth, who allowed six goals on 25 shots in a 6-3 loss to Edmonton. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald will be a healthy scratch for the first time since Nov. 19, but coach Dave Hakstol said the decision wasn't performance-related. "We have eight healthy guys right now, and I think it's an opportunity for rest for [MacDonald]," Hakstol said. "He's played a lot of minutes."

 

Canucks team scope

Goaltender Ryan Miller will start again after making 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday. It's the first time this season the Vancouver Canucks haven't split back-to-back games when Miller and Jacob Markstrom each is healthy, and the first time this season the 36-year-old Miller has started both. The Canucks are four points behind the Flames for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, and Markstrom allowed four goals on 21 shots in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday in his previous start. Coach Willie Desjardins cited Miller's recent play, a five-day break that starts Monday, and splitting starts on a recent six-game road trip for the decision. "It's not like he's played seven of the last eight," Desjardins said. "I'm not going to play a guy who is tired and I think there is a risk of injury, but I think we got one game to the break and he's played well." Miller has started both ends of back-to-back games five times during three seasons with the Canucks, and is 2-2-1 with two shutouts and a .923 save percentage in the second game. Forward Jack Skille won't play after injuring his groin against the Flames. Reid Boucher, who has no points in six games since being claimed off waivers from the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 4, will take Skille's spot on the fourth line.

 

Flyers projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Claude Giroux -- Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl -- Nick Cousins -- Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Roman Lyubimov

Ivan Provorov -- Brandon Manning

Mark Streit -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michael Del Zotto -- Radko Gudas

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Scratched: Nick Schultz, Andrew MacDonald

Injured: Jordan Weal (upper body), Travis Konecny (knee)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Alexandre Burrows -- Bo Horvat -- Jannik Hansen

Loui Eriksson -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Brendan Gaunce -- Michael Chaput -- Reid Boucher

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Philip Larsen, Alex Biega

Injured: Jack Skille (groin), Sven Baertschi (concussion), Anton Rodin (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery), Derek Dorsett (neck surgery)

 

Status report

Hakstol shuffled his defense pairings with MacDonald out, including Manning switching from the left side with Gudas to the right side with Provorov. "Is it easy? No. I don't want to label it as easy because I don't believe that's the case, but he's been able to do it pretty proficiently throughout the year," Hakstol said of switching sides. … Desjardins indicated Boucher could also see time on the second power-play unit. "He's got a good shot," Desjardins said.

 

Who's hot

Simmonds has three goals in his past four games. … Horvat has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past seven games despite having a goal called back Saturday.

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