After late equalizer, Flyers top Canucks in shootout

Gordon McIntyre, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube struck gold with a line combination he threw together nine games ago.
After beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in a shootout on Monday night, the Flyers are 6-2-1 since captain Claude Giroux was placed between left winger Michael Raffl and right winger Jakub Voracek.
The trio combined for 37 points over the nine games together, Giroux and Raffl each picking up two points Monday.
"I'm gaining more confidence, it's fun playing with those guys," said Raffl, a 25-year-old rookie.
Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier was the only scorer in the shootout after Philadelphia center Brayden Schenn scored with 46.8 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Schenn, who was on pace for a 26-goal season at the quarter mark of the schedule, broke a 16-game scoring drought Monday.
"It was good for Brayden to get that goal," Giroux said. "He told us before the game the puck just wasn't going in for him.
"He did what he does, he went to the net and was rewarded."
Schenn was unchecked, a fact that displeased Vancouver coach John Tortorella.
The Canucks played the day before at Calgary while the Flyers were already in Vancouver. Yet the Canucks dominated play, outshooting Philadelphia 44-27.
Even so, the blown coverage on the late tying goal drove Tortorella crazy.
"We played our (rears) off in back-to-back games, and it's a kick in the teeth that a big detail was missed on that faceoff," the Vancouver coach said. "A mistake on a faceoff like that, that's aggravating, that's what keeps you out of the playoffs."
At the start of the game, Vancouver took a 12-6 edge in shots, but Philadelphia opened the scoring.
Giroux got the puck to Raffl, who skated out from behind the net and tried a wrap-around. The puck slid to unguarded Flyers defenseman Mark Streit, who moved in from his position on the blue line to make it 1-0 at 15:24 of the first.
Fourth-line left winger Tom Sestito tied it for Vancouver with a nifty move, kicking the puck to his stick at 4:24 of the second period. Canucks right winger Jannik Hansen finished off some magic with left winger Daniel Sedin and center Henrik Sedin to make it 2-1 at 16:51 of the second.
Giroux outworked Canucks defenseman Christ Tanev to beat Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack (24 saves) at 16:51 to send the teams to the dressing rooms tied 2-2 after two periods.
Daniel Sedin got credit for a goal that bounced off Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn for a 3-2 Vancouver lead at 17:12 of the third, before Brayden Schenn made it 3-3.
The last time the Flyers gave up more than 35 shots was against the New York Islanders on Nov. 23. The largest total they allowed this season before Monday was 38.
"This is a tough building to play in, and they played well tonight," said Mason, who made 41 saves and improved to 6-0-2 in his last eight starts. "They're a very creative team, they have the ability to make you look silly.
"I was confident out there, it was fun."
When he was pulled for an extra attacker late in the game, Mason said, he just put his head down and couldn't look.
"Then I heard the boys cheering," he said.
The loss dropped Vancouver's December record to 10-1-2 and ended a seven-game home win streak.
Philadelphia (20-16-4) plays the Flames on Tuesday in Calgary.
Vancouver (23-11-8) hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.
NOTES: Philadelphia lost only once in regulation at Vancouver since Dec. 31, 1989 (12-1-4). ... Flyers RW Wayne Simmonds had two goals in three straight games heading into Monday night. The last Flyer to score two or more goals three games in a row was RW Reggie Leach in 1981. ... Philadelphia RW Jakub Voracek's points streak ended at nine games. Flyers C Claude Giroux extended his points streak to nine games. ... Vancouver C Ryan Kesler's assist on Sunday at Calgary ended a four-game pointless skid. Kesler has not gone more than four games without a point this season. ... The Canucks recalled D Frank Corrado on Monday. On Sunday, D Andrew Alberts (concussion) joined D Alex Edler (knee) and D Ryan Stanton (ankle) on the injured list. ... Canucks G Eddie Lack started again in place of injured G Roberto Luongo. Luongo was 5-1-1 with a 1.75 goals-against average in his previous seven starts before suffering a lower-body injury against the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 22.

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