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Lack is back with Flames to face Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A video tribute appears unlikely, but goaltender Eddie Lack still has a chance to appear in a highlight reel Saturday night.
Lack, a former fan favorite despite being primarily a backup, will return to Vancouver as his latest new team, the Calgary Flames (3-2-0), visit the Canucks (1-1-1) at Rogers Arena.
He becomes the second former Canucks player to return this week after former teammate Alex Burrows hit the same ice Thursday night with the Ottawa Senators. The goaltender is with his second team since leaving Vancouver in a trade to Carolina for two draft picks in the summer of 2015.
So he cannot expect a scoreboard video tribute like the one that Burrows, his former teammate, received Tuesday night in his first game in Vancouver since being traded last spring.
Instead, Lack will have to settle for some mask time on the TV postgame highlights. The quick-witted Swede is expected to start as Mike Smith gets a rest in the second game of a back-to-back.
Smith, who got off to a stellar start in his first season with the Flames, made coach Glen Gulutzan's choice easy by allowing five goals and getting the hook in a 6-0 home loss to Ottawa on Friday.
But the Flames are not blaming Smith by any means and, if captain Mark Giordano's comments are any indication, Lack can expect a better showing from teammates in front of him than Smith received Friday.
"(We allowed) too many quality chances that we can't let happen," Giordano told reporters. "As a team, we just let (Friday's loss) go now. We can be mad for a bit, but we've got a game (Saturday), so we've gotta win that one."
Lack joined the Flames as a free agent in the offseason from the Carolina Panthers after he never came close to unseating Hurricanes No. 1 Cam Ward.
Iconic winger Jaromir Jagr, 46, is vowing to do better after he was held pointless in two games with the Flames.
"Since I signed here, (Flames management) were very nice to me, so I really appreciate it," said Jagr, who signed as a free agent with Calgary recently after Florida chose not to re-sign him after last season. "I'm going to do the best I can do to show them I can still can play hockey."
He called on his new teammates not to store Friday's performance in their memory banks.
"It could (have been) a different game, but it just didn't happen," he said. "But we have to forget about it and concentrate for tomorrow.
"That's the good thing about it. We had a tough time, but there's always tomorrow. We have to regroup and get the two points tomorrow."
Meanwhile, the Canucks are also feeling pressure to produce a win after dropping two straight. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto wants the Canucks to start spending more time in the offensive zone.
"When you re playing O-zone, those minutes are a lot more fun," Del Zotto said. "We have to be better Saturday."
The Canucks will play their fourth game in seven days, so it is a good bet that backup Anders Nilsson could make his debut in the Vancouver net.
It is also a good bet that 20-year-old winger Brock Boeser, the Canucks' top draft choice in 2015 (23rd overall) will draw into the lineup for his second straight game. He produced an assist in a loss to Winnipeg on Thursday after sitting out the first two games of the season as a healthy scratch.
Although Boeser led the Canucks in preseason scoring, his play dropped near the end of the exhibition season as most teams used regular NHLers. He could not get into new coach Travis Green's lineup when games began to count.
Saturday's game gives the 20-year-old Burnsville, Minn., native another chance to prove that he can be a regular after some pundits touted him as an NHL rookie-of-the-year candidate.
If Thursday's showing against the Jets was is any indication, he might become a regular soon.
"I felt pretty good," he said. "Not playing, I had some good workouts and good extra ice after practice. I think that helped."
Updated October 14, 2017