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game recap

Shayne Gostisbehere sends Flyers past Canucks

Defenseman gets three points in game for first time in NHL career

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had three assists for the first three-point game of his NHL career, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 at Rogers Arena on Sunday.

Gostisbehere finished second in voting for rookie of the year last season after scoring 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games, but had four goals and 18 assists in 52 games this season before Sunday.

 

WATCH: All Flyers vs. Canucks highlights

 

"He had his confidence and a little bit of swagger," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. "[Gostisbehere] has had his ups and downs this year but he's a heck of a player and has unbelievable skill. He can be a catalyst offensively for us."

Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn scored and Michal Neuvirth made 18 saves for the Flyers (28-24-7), who won for the second time in six games to move two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"We're right in the thick of it," Schenn said. "We believe in this locker room we can do it."

Video: PHI@VAN: Schenn nets PPG on shot through traffic

Philadelphia came into the game with two power-play goals on their previous 19 chances over six games, but scored on their second and third opportunities against the Canucks.

Simmonds gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 5:45 into the first period when he sent a rebound through Miller and just over the goal line after a slap shot from Gostisbehere from the top of the left faceoff circle. It was his fourth goal in the past five games.

Voracek scored his first goal in 10 games on a rebound off the rush 1:11 into the second period after a great breakout pass from Gostisbehere and Schenn scored his NHL-leading 14th power-play 1:27 later to make it 3-0.

"The puck was going in," Gostisbehere said. "A different look on the [power play] helps a little bit."

Markus Granlund and Jannik Hansen scored for the Canucks (26-28-6), who have three wins in the past 11 games. They start their five-day break on Monday.

Vancouver is four points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Canucks were 0-for-4 on the power play and only generated two shots.

"Our specialty teams let us down," coach Willie Desjardins said.

Ryan Miller, starting back-to-back games for the first time this season, made 25 saves.

"Stamina was there, I felt fine," Miller said. "Just not thrilled about the penalty kill situation."

Video: PHI@VAN: Hansen tallies from slot on fortunate bounce

 

Goal of the game

Gostisbehere sent a pass off the boards from behind his own net to Sean Couturier in stride at the far blue line, and his shot off Miller's left pad bounced straight to Voracek, who was left with an empty net after beating two defenders up the ice.

Video: PHI@VAN: Voracek pots rebound to double the lead

 

Save of the game

Granlund was alone in tight 1:13 into the game after a pretty backdoor pass from Daniel Sedin but Neuvirth stretched out to get his stick on the shot.

Video: PHI@VAN: Neuvirth stones Granlund with a stick save

 

Unsung performance of the game

Flyers rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov, who was moved up to the first power-play unit that produced both goals, had one assist and four of Philadelphia's 24 blocked shots.

Video: PHI@VAN: Simmonds jams home rebound in front for PPG

 

Highlight of the game

Miller robbed Voracek on a redirection in tight off the rush with 2:10 left in the game, then scrambled back to prevent Couturier from knocking in the resulting loose puck.

Video: PHI@VAN: Miller stones Voracek before freezing puck

 

They said it

"I felt good. I have been practicing well and playing with confidence. The last game, it didn't work out. I put that one behind me and restarted my mind and got back to work tonight." -- Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth, who gave up six goals in a loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday

 

"They had lots of energy tonight. Their rest was a difference for them. You could see they had good legs. I thought our guys played hard coming off that road trip." -- Canucks coach Willie Desjardins

 

Need to know

Flyers forward Dale Weise returned after being a healthy scratch in seven of the previous 12 games in place of Jordan Weal, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Oilers. … Philadelphia defenseman Andrew MacDonald was a healthy scratch for the first time since Nov. 19. … Canucks right wing Reid Boucher replaced Jack Skille, who sustained a groin injury against the Flames on Saturday.

 

What's next

Canucks: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Flyers hang on to edge Canucks in Vancouver, 3-2

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