Flames-Canucks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 22, 2013
Cory Schneider's first season as a No. 1 goalie in the NHL didn't get off to an ideal start. He'll get a chance to bounce back along with the rest of the winless Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night against the visiting Calgary Flames, who are still seeking their first point. Schneider started Vancouver's season opener Saturday against Anaheim, but was pulled after allowing five goals on 14 shots and replaced by Roberto Luongo in a 7-3 defeat. Luongo got the nod the next day in a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton, stopping 30 of the 32 shots he faced. Schneider will return to the crease Wednesday as Luongo continues to be shopped to other teams, with general manager Mike Gillis telling the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday that a potential trade is already in place. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault dismissed the suggestion that the fluid situation could be a distraction to his team. "We're not concerned about what's being said outside our environment really," Vigneault said. "It's never been an issue and I'm sure it's not now." Luongo had a 2.41 goals-against average in 55 games last season. Schneider posted a 1.96 GAA over 33 contests before displacing Luongo as the starter during the playoffs. "I've got two great goaltenders," Vigneault said. "My job is to pick the one that I feel gives us the best chance to win and (Wednesday) I think Cory gives us the best chance to win." Vancouver's power play, which converted 19.8 percent of its chances last season to rank fourth in the league, went 2 for 4 against the Ducks but was 0 for 5 versus the Oilers. Perhaps more concerning is the penalty kill, which has yielded four goals on seven chances. The Canucks (0-1-1) hope to get a spark from Jordan Schroeder, a first-round pick in the 2009 entry draft. Schroeder was recalled from the club's AHL affiliate on Tuesday and is expected to make his NHL debut against the Flames. The center had 19 points in 30 games for the Chicago Wolves. "I'm excited," Schroeder said. "I've been working really hard for this. ... I'm really looking forward to the opportunity." The Flames (0-2-0) also lost two games at home to begin the season, dropping 4-1 and 5-4 results to San Jose and Anaheim, respectively. Another regulation defeat would give them their worst start since they were 0-3-0 in 2000-01. Calgary showed some life Monday against the Ducks, erasing an early 3-0 deficit before stumbling in the third period. Curtis Glencross scored his first two goals of the season - both on the power play - in the loss. "We have some young kids in the lineup," first-year coach Bob Hartley said. "It's just a matter of playing an NHL style that's going to allow us to win some games. We can't fault the effort, we can't fault the attitude." Forwards Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler will still be unavailable Wednesday, though both are expected to play Saturday against Edmonton. Cervenka (blood clots) saw a specialist Tuesday and was cleared to return to practice Thursday. Hudler, signed as a free agent after tallying 25 goals and 25 assists last season for Detroit, has yet to make his Flames debut following the death of his father last week.
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