Flyers Start West Coast Trip In Anaheim
The Philadelphia Flyers (13-7-3) head to the "left coast" this weekend for back-to-back matchups with the Anaheim Ducks (7-13-4) and the Phoenix Coyotes (13-8-3).
The matchup with the Ducks tonight is an interesting one.
The Flyers will be in a sort of a déjà vu type of situation, as Bruce Boudreau will be making a coaching debut against them for the second time in the last four years. He won his Washington debut (4-3 OT) against the Flyers in November of 2007.
This will be a tough matchup for the Flyers as any time a coach gets fired it is a reflection of the players and you can be assured the Ducks will come out tonight with an extra jump in their skates.
This will be the first and only meeting between these teams this season.
Anaheim took both matchups against the Flyers last season. The last time the Flyers beat the Ducks was January 2, 2009 in Anaheim (5-4 OT).
The Flyers are still the highest scoring team in the league (3.48 GPG) while the Ducks are at the bottom of the category at 29th (2.21 GPG).
These teams are a little closer when it comes to surrendering goals; the Flyers are allowing 2.91 goals per game (19th) while the Ducks are giving up 3.08 goals per game (22nd).
Special teams are where these two teams matchup a little better as the Flyers are 12th in the league in power play percentage capitalizing 17.6 percent of the time. The Ducks are in the 15th spot connecting 17.2 percent of the time with the man advantage.
The penalty kill is where the Ducks really have the advantage over the Flyers as they have an 86.5% kill rate (7th) compared to the Flyers whose kill rate is 83.5% (15th). The Ducks do not have a short-handed goal this season while the Flyers have three (Couturier, Talbot, Read).
While on the penalty kill tonight, the Flyers will have to pay extra attention to Corey Perry (7), Teemu Selanne (4), Getzlaf (2) as they account for 13 of the Ducks 16 power play goals.
The ageless Teemu Selanne leads the Ducks with 22 points followed by Cory Perry (19) and Ryan Getzlaf (14). Selanne also leads the team in penalty minutes with 38.
Looks like the Ducks will have to prepare for Jagr as indications are he will be ready to go tonight. The Flyers also will have other players injected into tonight's lineup; With JVR out again, Brayden Schenn will look to stay healthy and prove he belongs.
Matt Walker who is expected to pass through waivers today at noon Eastern Time should arrive in time to be in the lineup causing Marshall to be a healthy scratch.
It will be interesting to see how the Flyers react to these roster changes, they have struggled in their own zone this season and one would have to wonder if that will continue happen with all these new faces in the lineup.
This is where the goalie will have to earn his keep and bail this team out for at least the rest of the calendar year when the lineup has more stability.
In The Nets
Facing both his former teams this weekend in back to back games, look for Ilya Bryzgalov to get the start in goal tonight. He is 8-5-2 with a 2.89 GAA and a .897 save percentage. He will need to step it up tonight and be the difference maker in tonight's game.
Look for Jonas Hiller to get the nod for the Ducks tonight, he is 6-10-4 with a 3.10 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He is 2-1 with a 2.33 GAA lifetime versus the Flyers.
Step Up Players
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