Canucks-Flyers Preview

The acquisition of Ilya Bryzgalov appears to have solved the

Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltending issues of last season. Bryzgalov,

though, may face his toughest test yet from the Vancouver Canucks’

Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Philadelphia looks to win its third straight home opener when it

faces Vancouver on Wednesday night.

The Flyers (2-0-0) revamped their roster in the offseason, and

trading for the right to negotiate a long-term deal with the former

Phoenix All-Star goalie may have been their most important


Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton and Sergei Bobrovsky combined to

allow 38 goals in 11 playoff games last season, making the need for

a more proven goaltender more pressing. So far, Bryzgalov seems to

have stabilized the position.

He has stopped 42 of 43 shots faced through two games, making 20

saves for his 24th career shutout in a 3-0 victory over New Jersey

on Saturday.

”I can’t say enough about the whole team work ethic,” said

Bryzgalov, 7-7-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average against

Vancouver. ”Everybody’s doing their part. It’s been amazing.”

Rookie winger Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds – acquired from Los

Angeles in the Mike Richards trade – scored in the third period,

adding onto Claude Giroux’s first-period goal.

Jaromir Jagr will make his home debut with the Flyers after

returning to the NHL following three seasons in the KHL.

”Can’t wait,” he said. ”It’s very good to go back home with

two wins, with the team playing well. Good team coming in to play

us, and it should be fun.”

Facing the Sedins may not produce such a great time for the

Flyers, however.

Henrik Sedin has 12 assists in his last six games against

Philadelphia, while Daniel has two goals and seven assists in that

span. Henrik had three assists – one of which set up a goal by his

brother – in a 6-2 win over the Flyers on Dec. 28.

Each assisted on Alex Burrows’ third-period power-play goal that

gave Vancouver (1-0-1) a 3-2 win over Columbus on Monday.

The Canucks, though, have entered the third period trailing in

their first two games. Vancouver had the league’s best power play

at 24.3 percent in 2010-11, but failed to convert on its first six

chances this season before Burrows’ goal.

“Obviously we were slow off the start,” Burrows said after

Vancouver was outshot 11-2 in the first period Monday. “We weren’t

moving our legs, and that forced us to take a few penalties. That’s

definitely not the start we’re looking for.”

Backup Cory Schneider stopped 10 of those first-period shots and

had 23 saves overall, but Roberto Luongo likely will be back in net


Luongo made 25 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh on

Thursday. He has won two straight over Philadelphia, stopping 35

shots in the Dec. 28 win and turning aside 38 to beat the Flyers

3-0 on Dec. 3, 2009.

The Flyers had gone 15-3-0 with one tie in 19 matchups with the

Canucks before dropping the last two.