Better With Popcorn

Flyers Start Six-Game Road Trip in Toronto

The Matchup:

Philadelphia Flyers (5-6-1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (7-5-0)
Air Canda Centre — Toronto, ON, Canada
7:00 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage:

On Saturday, the Flyers rebounded from the shootout loss at the hands of the Florida Panthers, winning 4-3 in overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes. They out-hustled the Hurricanes for most of the game and came out victorious courtesy of a Danny Briere shot that beat goaltender Cam Ward.

Toronto is riding a three-game winning streak and is coming off a 6-0 rout of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Maple Leafs defenseman Korbinian Holzer netted his first career NHL goal, which turned out to be the game-winner. Holzer scored a pair of goals in the win.

This is the first meeting of the season between the Flyers and Maple Leafs. During the 2011-2012 season, the Flyers swept the season series 4-0 and outscored Toronto 16-6 in those four contests.

Wayne Simmonds, who has been out since last Friday with a concussion, returned against the Hurricanes. Simmonds had 15:41 of ice time and had two shots on goal and seemed to be back to his physical self after missing three games.

What to Expect:

The Maple Leafs are playing extremely well right now and went 3-1 this past week. They defeated the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets both by a score of 3-2. Former Flyer James van Riemsdyk is playing extremely well as he has three goals and an assist in the past three games.

The Flyers offense is coming off a game in which they played pretty well. Their forecheck was solid and they were aggressive in going to the net.

It could come down to goaltending. Toronto's James Riemer is coming off a 37-save shutout of the Canadiens. 

Ilya Bryzgalov allowed three goals against the Hurricanes. However, when the Flyers needed their netminder to come up big in the third period to keep the game tied, Bryzgalov was up to the challenge.

The Masked Men:

Despite a 5-5-1 record thus far, Bryzgalov is playing very well between the pipes. The Russian netminder should get the call once again after an impressive showing against Carolina in which he stopped 30 of 33 shots. The Flyers did just recall Brian Boucher to take the place of injured goalie Michael Leighton. It's quite possible that Boucher could get the call sometime this week.

Riemer is seeing the puck pretty well so far this season as he has compiled a 5-3-0 record to go along with a 2.30 GAA. The Winnipeg native has stopped 62 shots and only allowed two goals in his last two starts.

Keys to the Game:

1. Put pressure on Riemer early. The Flyers scored four goals against Riemer in his only start against them a season ago. He's playing extremely well and is in a zone so it's absolutely paramount that the Flyers pepper him with shots early. 32

2. Keep up the physical play. The Flyers delivered 32 hits against the Hurricanes with Luke Schenn leading the way with eight. Toronto has some very talented forwards in Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk so Philadelphia will have to be physical to keep them from doing too much damage.

3. Capitalize on the power play. The Flyers were zero-for-five on the man advantage against the Hurricanes despite having plenty of chances. They were baffled by Cam Ward early in the first period and just couldn't seem to light the lamp. Getting to Riemer on the power play could go a long way in securing a Flyers victory.


"We just have to take it one game and at a time and keep climbing the ladder here and go into Toronto and get two points."

- Winger Matt Read on heading into a six-game road trip.