VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)– Ryan Kesler scored twice early in the second period and added an assist in the third as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Kesler fired in a wrist shot from the top of the circle 56 seconds into the middle period, and added his second goal on a nifty power play deflection less than five minutes later to chase goalie Brian Boucher. He came inches from his second hat trick in two weeks when he hit the crossbar on a breakaway 7:47 into the third, but linemate Jeff Tambellini tapped in the rebound.
Manny Malhotra scored late in the first period, Daniel Sedin added a goal in between Kesler’s two, and Jannik Hansen scored early in the third as Vancouver beat the Flyers at home for the first time since 1989.
Danny Briere and Jeff Carter, on a late power play, scored for Philadelphia, which was 10-0-4 in Vancouver since that loss.
Henrik Sedin had three assists, and Roberto Luongo finished with 35 saves for the Canucks, who are 12-1-2 in their last 15. They moved to one point behind Detroit for first place in the Western Conference.
The Flyers, playing their first game since a 5-0 loss to Florida eight days earlier, had a five-game winning streak snapped. They were outshot 22-8 in the first period.
They stayed in the game for a while, largely because of Boucher, who had won his last four starts. He made a great breakaway save off Alex Burrows, forced Tambellini and Daniel Sedin wide from close range in the opening four minutes, and stopped seven shots during one power play for the Canucks’ second-ranked unit.
Shortly after that advantage ended, Malhotra tipped a long shot past Boucher. Kesler’s 40-foot wrist shot then somehow went in off Boucher’s right pad in the opening minute of the second period.
Daniel Sedin made it 3-0 after a pretty fake shot and pass by Burrows left him with an empty net. Briere got that back a minute later, but Kesler tipped Henrik’s soft shot under Boucher’s blocker arm two minutes after that.
Russian rookie Sergei Bobrovksy, pulled during the Flyers’ loss to Florida, took over for Boucher, who finished with 24 saves. Bobrosvky stopped all eight in the second, but had no chance when Hansen’s pass during a 2-on-1 rush went in off the skate of defenseman Braydon Coburn 51 seconds into the third.
NOTES: Philadelphia LW Daniel Carcillo was a healthy scratch in favor of Jody Shelley, who was given a five-minute match penalty for a punch on Andrew Alberts, who was down on the ice and then forced to leave the game with 7:31 left. … Bobrovsky made 19 saves. … Kesler, signed by the Flyers to a one-year, $1.9-million offer sheet in 2006 that was matched by the Canucks, has seven goals and 14 points during an eight-game point streak. He is tied with Daniel Sedin for the team lead with 19 goals.
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