VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Wanting to add some physicality to the lineup, coach Peter Laviolette put winger Jody Shelley on the fourth line Tuesday night as the Flyers tried to continue their dominance in Vancouver.
They entered the night 10-0-4 in Vancouver since 1989, but this night did not go well. The Canucks romped, 6-2.
Dan Carcillo was a healthy scratch. Shelley had not played in the previous four games. After being suspended for two games because of an illegal hit in Boston, Shelley, the team's good-natured enforcer, also sat out the next two games.
"We're deep and everybody wants to play. And when you do something that gets you out of the lineup - whether it's a suspension or you're not playing well, then someone else is champing at the bit to get in," Shelley said Tuesday after the morning skate at the Rogers Arena.
Late in the game, Shelley received a match penalty for punching unsuspecting former Flyer Andrew Alberts in the face, and he could get another suspension.
Shelley was asked if Tuesday's game against the surging Canucks was a measuring stick for the Flyers.
"The measuring stick for us is to make sure we play the same way every night," he said. "That's the most intimidating thing you can be as a team - consistently hard to play against. . . .
"It's not a measuring stick because of our opponent. It's more: What do you have after a loss, after a [long] break?"
The Flyers, playing for the first time in eight nights, had a bad taste from their previous game, a 5-0 loss to the visiting Florida Panthers on Dec. 20.
"If you look at the big scheme of things, it's probably not a terrible thing, either," Shelley said of the embarrassing defeat. "It's easy to get way too comfortable . . . when you have all success. I think it works out in the long run to be a good thing. Or it can work out to be a good thing."
Tuesday marked the first of five straight road games for the Flyers.
In somewhat of a surprise, goalie Brian Boucher started Tuesday night.
Boucher had been the hotter goalie lately, but he hasn't been as strong as Sergei Bobrovsky on the road. Bobrovsky is 7-1-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average in nine road starts.
Boucher entered Tuesday with a 2-7-1 mark and a 3.70 GAA in his career against the Canucks.
In his last seven starts overall, Boucher was 6-0-1 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .943 save percentage before Tuesday. His 2.11 GAA was fourth in the NHL.
Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros was thrilled to go into the Vancouver Giants' ring of honor before the junior team's game on Monday. "It was a classy act. Just awesome. I got to drop the puck. No speech, thank God," said Meszaros, a former member of the team who went into Tuesday leading the NHL with a plus-20 rating. . . . The Flyers are four wins shy of their 1,000th regular-season, home-ice victory.
- Sam Carchidi