Better With Popcorn

Gameday at Ottawa: Questions Will Be Answered On Road Trip

Philadelphia Flyers (5-10-1) at Ottawa Senators (7-6-4)
Canadian Tire Centre — Ottawa, ON.
TV: CSN Philly - Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic - 7:00 p.m.

Setting the Stage

It's been the hot topic the last couple of days: Claude Giroux has finally scored a goal. The next question will be whether or not the struggling captain had awoken from his offensive slumber.

Giroux isn't the only one waking up. The Flyers scored four goals on Saturday, a feat they've only done twice this season. Can they keep it up during this three game road trip? Giroux and the Flyers will answer those question tonight in Ottawa.

What to Expect

The Senators are on a three-game winning streak, putting them back in the mix in the Atlantic Division. 

New addition Bobby Ryan has been working out for them, leading the team with nine goals and 19 points. Kyle Turris has a team-high 14 assists to go along with his 18 points, and Jason Spezza has eight goals and eight assists. The big factor is Ottawa's best player, Erik Karlsson, who is playing at the same high level he normally does. He has six goals and 12 assists for the Sens from the blue line.

The Masked Men

Philadelphia: Steve Mason (4-7-1, 2.34 GAA, .925 sv%)

After a solid effort on Saturday, Mason, the established starter, will get the nod again tonight. Mason has been the Flyers best player this season as well. In the Flyers' 7-0 loss in which he let up three goals, it was just his third sub-.900 save percentage game of the season. He's bounced back since then, stopping 36 shots in an overtime loss to Carolina in which he deserved the win, and 24 shots on Saturday.

Ottawa: Craig Anderson (4-4-2, 3.14 GAA, .912 sv%)

Anderson is back after missing three games due to a neck injury he sustained in a collision. He hasn't been that impressive to start the season, allowing over three goals per game. A part of that is due to him seeing so many shots. He's made 30 saves per start, and has seen just a shade under 33 shots per game.

Keys to the Game

1. Heat up, G. Claude Giroux got that first goal on Saturday. The Flyers also scored four goals that game. Oddly enough, in the Flyers' five wins, Giroux has a goal and two assists and registered a point in just two of them. 

2. Stop the weapons. Ottawa is loaded with scoring, and are 6th in the NHL with 3.12 goals per game. It's going to be a task for Philadelphia to nuetralize Spezza, Ryan, Karlsson and Turris among others. Minimizing their damage will be key.

3. Score. An awesome stat was tweeted out by Sam Carchidi: "Before 4-2 win over EDM, Flyers had 22 goals (as did Buff) in first 15 games.First time a team did that since 1956-57 Blackhawks, per Elias." Despite those four goals, their 1.62 goals per game is the worst in the NHL.

Quotable

“I really think when you go on the road with the team for a week, you get closer with the guys -- go to dinner, lunch, and just spend time with the guys. When you do that, it’ll make you care a little bit more for each other. Off the ice, we’re really close with everybody. To us, a week together, I think will be a lot of fun. And to get a couple a wins would be fun, too.” - Claude Giroux on the road trip.