The Vancouver Canucks have been thoroughly outplayed on the first two stops of a six-game trip, putting them closer to matching their longest road losing streak in nearly two years.
A matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night could be just what they need to end that slide.
Vancouver (11-13-8) opened the trip with a 4-0 loss to Chicago on Sunday before giving up a season high in goals in a 6-2 defeat to Minnesota two days later.
The Canucks allowed those teams to go 4 for 7 on the power play, and they failed to generate a power-play opportunity for the first time this season Tuesday after going 0 for 3 against the Blackhawks.
''There's quite a bit that bothered me,'' coach Willie Desjardins said after Vancouver fell to 0-3-2 in its last five on the road and 2-5-2 in its past nine overall.
Ryan Miller was pulled after allowing six goals through two periods as he faced 36 shots while the Canucks put 21 on net.
''If things break down, I have to make reads. I was trying to battle and find some pucks, but they just made some plays around us tonight,'' Miller said. ''For me, it's just if I can't find a way, regroup and go after the next puck. I can't judge the guys, and I can't sit there and try and coach.''
Miller has a 4.27 goals-against average in going 0-3-1 in his last four road starts.
''Can't blame it on Millsy. It could have been 10-1 after two periods. We kind of left him out to dry tonight,'' left wing Chris Higgins said.
Vancouver has been outscored 35-16 in going 1-6-3 in its last 10 on the road, but this stop in Philadelphia might give it a solid chance to avoid losing six in a row away from home for the first time since a seven-game skid – all in regulation – Jan. 31-March 6, 2014.
That's because the Canucks have won two in a row in Philadelphia and are 4-1-0 in their last five visits. Vancouver has also won three straight overall meetings and is 6-1-1 in the past eight.
The Flyers (13-12-6), though, enter this one after beating Carolina 4-3 in overtime Tuesday to earn at least one point for the sixth time in their last seven at home (3-1-3).
Rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was again the hero, scoring for the third time in the extra session to tie for the most OT goals in the NHL.
''It's definitely fun, for sure,'' said Gostisbehere, who has six goals and five assists in 15 games. ''It's the guys around me. (Jakub Voracek) with the pass – he's one of the best in the NHL for a reason.''
Voracek had a goal and two assists, and Sean Couturier added one of each. For Voracek, it was just his second goal after scoring at least 22 in each of the last three seasons.
''I played the same way, but I had a couple of lucky bounces,'' he said.
The Canucks beat the visiting Flyers 4-1 on Nov. 2 and have outscored them 12-2 in the last three meetings.
Miller has won each of his last three starts against Philadelphia behind a 0.32 GAA.
- Chris Higgins
- Jakub Voracek
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Ryan Miller
- Sean Couturier
- Shayne Gostisbehere
- Vancouver Canucks