VANCOUVER — A bit of extra rest did Alexandre Burrows a world of good.
The veteran winger scored goals 17 seconds apart in the third period Tuesday as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1.
Burrows, who has been dealing with a groin injury, didn’t dress for Saturday’s victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs even though he was cleared medically to play.
But with Zack Kassian out of the lineup against the Flyers because of an undisclosed knock of his own, Burrows took up a familiar role alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the Canucks’ top line and didn’t disappoint.
Burrows snapped a 1-1 tie at 6:44 of the third, ripping a shot five-hole on Steve Mason before burying his second of the night and 14th of the season on a rebound at 7:01.
"They play well together," said Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins. "They’ve played together for a long time and the chemistry’s good. That was timely to get those two goals. They battled hard all night.
"You have to admire those guys."
The goals were the first for Burrows in 11 games, but he also missed seven other contests with the groin ailment, meaning that he hadn’t scored since Feb. 7.
"It’s been a long time, for sure. It was nice," said Burrows, who turns 34 next month. "I wanted to make some plays and get some offence. Lucky enough the twins are great players and they were able to find some open space, find me in shooting areas."
Desjardins said Burrows is an example of what added down time can do for a player at this point in the season.
"Burr took a little bit of time off and it paid off today," said the coach. "If we have guys banged up a little bit, and even if we don’t, guys can use it to get the rest they need so they can come back fresher. It’s really disappointing when you’re not going to get to play, but I think if we use it right it can help us down the stretch."
Alexander Edler added a goal and an assist for Vancouver (40-25-4), Radim Vrbata scored into an empty net late, and Eddie Lack finished with 27 stops as the Canucks moved three points up on the Calgary Flames for second in the Pacific Division with a game in hand.
"I felt good out there," said Lack. "We played good defensively, and it was just a good win for us."
Michael Raffl replied for Philadelphia (29-28-15), which got 31 saves from Mason.
"We’re playing well, two plays and it’s 3-1," said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. "Second goal I’m sure (Mason) would like it back, but we find a way to lose the game rather than win it.
After a scoreless first period, the Flyers grabbed a 1-0 lead at 10:42 of the second when Raffl deflected a nice feed from Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux past Lack for his 17th of the season.
Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen rang a shot off the crossbar-post seam on a one timer earlier in the period, but the Canucks finally got on the board with 5:32 left. Seconds after Lack made a big glove save on Nick Cousins at the other end, Derek Dorsett threw a puck in front of Mason that linemate Brad Richardson deftly directed with his skate to a pinching Edler, who buried his sixth of the season from the side of the net.
With the game being played on St. Patrick’s Day, the Canucks honoured former player, head coach, general manager and team president Pat Quinn prior to the opening faceoff in an on-ice ceremony
Quinn, who also coached the Flyers, died in November at age 71.
"The Pat Quinn ceremony definitely got us going," said Lack. "It was a fun atmosphere today."
Notes: The City of Vancouver unveiled Pat Quinn Way — a renamed portion of a street that runs adjacent to Rogers Arena — about an hour before the game. … Vrbata’s empty-net goal was his team-leading 26th.