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Gameday vs Anaheim: Flyers, Ducks Battle in Philly Tonight

Philadelphia Flyers (3-7-0) vs Anaheim Ducks (9-3-0)
Wells Fargo Center -- Philadelphia, Pa.
7 p.m. on CSN Philly and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage - The Flyers

The Flyers' 5-2 win over the Islanders on Saturday was the biggest step forward for a team that has started off the year on the losing side of things. It was the first game they scored three goals, and it was the first third period the Flyers closed out all season.

The power play unit, which is 27th in the NHL, has looked better in the last two games as well. They went 1-for-3 against the Islanders on Saturday while the penalty kill unit shut down New York, which had the top unit going in.

Vinny Lecavalier hasn't lost a step since returning from his injury. Lecavalier lit up the Islanders for a hat trick, and now leads the Flyers with four goals. He is also tied with Brayden Schenn for the team lead in points with six.

In terms of scoring, Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux have yet to find the net but Giroux has a team-high five assists. Jakub Voracek scored his first goal of the season on Saturday.

For tonight's game, Andrej Meszaros will return to the lineup. Erik Gustafsson is a healthy scratch as coach Craig Berube hasn't been pleased with his play in recent games.

What to Expect - The Ducks

Anaheim is 2-2 since starting off the season 7-1, which included a seven-game winning streak after a season-opening loss to the Avalanche.

Despite being one of the top teams in the West the Ducks have the worst power play unit in the league. They have converted only four of their 49 chances so far this season. What makes that stat even stranger is the Ducks are seventh in the NHL with 3.17 goals per game.

Corey Perry leads the team with six goals and seven assists. Ryan Getzlaff is right behind him with five goals and seven assists.

This is also the last trip the legendary Teemu Selanne will be making to Philadelphia as he is expected to retire at the end of the season.

The Masked Men

Philadelphia: Steve Mason (3-5-0, .930 sv%, 2.15 GAA)
Mason has been the MVP of the Flyers through 10 games and will be making his ninth start of the season. Mason was once against lights-out against the Islanders, winning his second straight start with a 30-save effort.

Anaheim: Jonas Hiller (4-2-0, .911 sv%, 2.64 GAA)
Hiller will get the start for Anaheim. Hiller has lost his last two decisions on October22 and 24 and was pulled from his October 20 start after giving up three goals in the first period to Dallas. Hiller is obviously in a funk right now and would be the perfect goalie for the Flyers to face.

Keys of the Game

1. Hiller. Kick him when he's down. The Flyers have the opportunity to have success off a struggling goalie. 

2. Power Play. The Flyers offensive special teams unit has played well the last two games, scoring a goal in each effort. Building off of that effort will be another huge step in the right direction.

3. Goal for G. Claude Giroux has yet to find the back of the net. Though he isn't the only goalless Flyer, he's the captain and 2013 team points leader. Finding the net will not only help the team but help him get started.

Quotable 

“We’ve played pretty solid this season on the PK. If you take away the three goals in Detroit, our PK units have been pretty good all season.” - Max Talbot on the penalty kill after Saturday's win against the Islanders.

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John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers
Email: russo@thecheckingline.com