Flyers End Homestand With Senators
Philadelphia Flyers (10-11-1) vs. Ottawa Senators (12-6-3)
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
12:00 noon on CSN and 97.5 The Fanatic
Setting the Stage
This is the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. They split last season's series, 2-2.
This is also the Flyers' seventh chance to get back to .500. They are 0-6 in games in which they can get to .500 this season.
The Flyers have won four of their last six games while the Sens have won five of their last six, earning a point in each of those six games (5-0-1). On Thursday the Sens fell to Boston 2-1 in overtime. The Flyers manhandled the Capitals on Wednesday, winning 4-1.
The Flyers are 6-3-1 at home this season. Ottawa is a dismal 3-5-1 on the road.
As far as injuries, Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson is expected to play today after injuring his leg in the second period on Wednesday, not returning to the game as a result. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson is still out with an injured ankle and is doubtful to play today.
What to Expect
Claude Giroux is in the middle of a six-game point streak. He extended it on Wednesday with a goal 23 seconds into the game. He added an assist later in the game to bring his season totals to 7 goals and 15 assists.
Giroux is still behind team scoring lead Jakub Voracek. Voracek, also on the same line as Giroux, leads the team with 8 goals and 16 assists. Wayne Simmonds is tied with Voracek in goals with 8 as well.
Ottawa is 27th in the league in scoring right now, and part of that has to do with the loss of both Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson. Kyle Turris is their scoring leader with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists).
The Senators goal leader is still Karlsson with six. Jim O'Brien is their active leader with five.
The Masked Men
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to make his lead-leading 21st start. He was impressive in the Flyers win over Washington, stopping 23-of-24 to earn his 10th win of the year. On the season he has a 2.69 GAA and .902 save percentage.
Since taking over for the injured Anderson, Ben Bishop has been excellent for the Senators. He has won his last four games while boasting a 1.69 GAA and .949 save percentage in those wins.
Keys to the Game
1. Repeat Wednesday. The Flyers played a near-60 minutes in their 4-1 win over the Caps on Wednesday. They let up a bit in the final 10 minutes of the game, costing Bryzgalov a shutout. Even though they were up 4-0 at that point, they have to keep the same mindset of not taking the foot off the gas. Ottawa is a low-scoring team. They have to get ahead and stay ahead and not allow Bishop to keep them in the game.
2. Pile Up the Wins. The Flyers have yet to win three straight games this season. Though a win today gives them two, they have to create winning streaks in order to really gain ground in the standings. The players have said it and Peter Laviolette has said it.
3. Gagne. The Flyers could find out today if Simon Gagne's game on Wednesday was a fluke or not. Though two games is a small sample size, the 33-year-old winger needs to ride off of his performance. He scored, got four shots on net and played 16 minutes, doing more than he was doing in Los Angeles this season. New life was breathed into his game.
"Maybe once or twice we’ve had two wins in a row. Come Saturday, we’re going to want to see a lot of heart to get that second one and to continue on from there."
- LW Scott Hartnell