Canucks-Flames Preview

An injury to goaltender Roberto Luongo has forced backup Eddie

Lack into the starting role for the time being, and that’s quite

all right with Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella.

Lack looks to help Vancouver stay hot after a six-day break as

it visits the slumping Calgary Flames on Sunday night.

The Canucks (22-11-6) improved to 9-1-1 over their last 11 with

a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg last Sunday, but Luongo exited toward

the end of the first period with a lower-body injury.

Lack entered and stopped 15 of 16 shots to earn the victory.

Though Luongo went into that contest 5-1-1 with a 1.75

goals-against average over his previous seven starts, Lack appears

ready to carry the load for as long as Luongo is out.

“I’m just trying to take it day by day and just improve my

game,” Lack said. “Once I get in there, I’m focused and just trying

to do my best to help the team. It’s been good so far.”

The rookie is 6-2-0 with a 1.93 GAA in seven starts and four

relief appearances. He’s 4-0-0 with a .955 save percentage this

month.

“This is what happens when you have an injury, and we have total

confidence in his play,” Tortorella said. “I’m not sure what’s

going to happen with Roberto. Lack plays (Sunday) and we go from

there.”

Lack will be returning to the site of his first career start. He

made 32 saves before Mike Santorelli scored his second goal of the

game in overtime to help the Canucks beat the Flames 5-4 on Oct.

6.

“I’m just looking at Calgary,” Lack said. “I’ve played once

there before so I know the building and everything. I’m just going

to try and get two points out of there.”

Tortorella said Luongo is considered day to day, though he

didn’t offer any updates on Alex Burrows (jaw) or Alex Edler

(knee). Burrows has been out since Dec. 1, while Edler hasn’t

played since Dec. 3.

“You can’t depend on just a couple of guys,” Tortorella said. “I

don’t think this team for the last little while has. I think

everybody has kind of chipped in.”

Vancouver has won three straight meetings with the Flames

(14-18-6), who are 1-3-2 over their last six after falling 2-0 to

Edmonton on Friday.

Calgary has split the first two on its five-game homestand.

“The bottom line is we didn’t play a very good game,” coach Bob

Hartley said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win. Here’s one

game that I didn’t think we had our usual jump.”

The Flames were shut out for the second time in their last five

games after not being blanked at all through their first 33.

“We didn’t get the bounces, but we weren’t good enough,” said

defenseman Mark Giordano, who had a shot ring off the post. “We

have to generate more and find ways to score. We were standing

around and not moving our feet enough.”

Reto Berra stopped 26 of 27 shots, but again didn’t receive much

offensive support. He’s 2-3-0 over his last five starts despite a

1.79 GAA.

Berra has started the last two, but Karri Ramo could get the nod

against the Canucks. Ramo is 0-1-2 with a 3.26 GAA over his last

three outings.

Flames 19-year-old rookie Sean Monahan, who has no points in his

last five but is tied for fourth on the team with 16, scored in the

first meeting with Vancouver.