Flyers-Canucks Preview

November 1, 2015

Jared McCann had a significant hand in Vancouver's first home win of the season and he's getting a chance to stick around for more games in front of the Canucks fans.

The rookie will try to boost his team to another victory on its own ice Monday night against the slumping Philadelphia Flyers.

McCann scored a pair of first-period goals in a 5-1 rout of previously 9-0-0 Montreal on Tuesday, helping end Vancouver's 0-2-3 start at home. The 19-year-old center tallied his team-best fifth goal in a 4-3 victory Friday in Arizona, and the Canucks (5-2-4) rewarded him for his play this week by deciding to keep him on the roster instead of sending him back to his junior league team.

Vancouver also chose to keep winger Jake Virtanen, who has two assists during the team's 2-0-1 stretch. Virtanen was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft and McCann was the 24th.


"Both guys deserve to be here, and saying that, there is still lots to learn," coach Willie Desjardins said. "That's one thing we are counting on, that by January we are going to have an even better player."

The two players will try to pay the Canucks back by helping them win two in a row for just the second time this season. Vancouver won back-to-back games Oct. 12 and 13.

"They both have been really good for us so far, but it's only a small sample. Now that they're here for the long run, we need them to step up and play big minutes for us every game," forward Alexandre Burrows said.

The Canucks swept last season's two meetings with Philadelphia (4-4-2) by a combined 8-1 margin. Burrows scored a pair of third-period goals in a 4-1 home win March 17, including the tiebreaker with 13:16 remaining.

The Flyers lost 3-1 to Buffalo in the opener to a five-game trip, falling to 0-2-1 in their last three and 1-2-1 away from home. They only avoided a shutout when Mark Streit scored with 3:26 remaining, and have been outscored 17-9 on the road.

The team has also struggled on special teams lately, going 0 for 10 on the power play in its last four overall contests and allowing six goals in 19 times short-handed in its past five.

"I think there are a lot of things that aren't clicking right now," general manager Ron Hextall said. "I think the special teams are losing that battle. That's a big one. That's a huge one. That's one that's hurting us right now. We need to get it corrected soon."

Scoring more goals could prove difficult if Philadelphia has to face Ryan Miller. He has shutouts in each of his last two matchups with the Flyers, stopping 30 shots in a 4-0 win in Philadelphia on Jan. 15.

Burrows has three goals and five assists in a six-game point streak against the Flyers. Daniel Sedin has tallied four goals and 12 assists in his last 10 matchups.