Game Day: Flyers / Senators
The Philadelphia Flyers (46-22-11) will play their last three games of the season this week starting tonight up north in Canada (where you tip strippers with coins) to face the Ottawa Senators (30-39-10).
The way the Flyers play in these three games should give some indication on how they will perform in this years playoffs. When it comes to finishing on top of the division and conference the Flyers control their own destiny.
Don't be fooled thinking that the Flyers would be happy with the one or two spot as Laviolette has mentioned all year long how he wants the top spot. The Flyers need to win out if they would like to accomplish this goal without depending on any other team.
The last time these two teams me the Senators handed the Flyers a 4-1 loss on February 26, some think this started the Flyers fall. This is the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs, the Flyers took the first two matchups.
The Flyers are 33-29-8 all-time versus the Senators and have a road record of 12-17-6. This season the Flyers have outstanding road record and will look to quiet the Senators fans during their fan appreciation night.
The Flyers are 3-3-4 in their last ten games,inconsistencies on offense a defense have contributed to this slide. The defense has played well of late with the offense struggling to score against average goaltenders.
The Flyers are 0-4-2 at home in their last six games but are 5-7 in their last seven road games.Tonight they will face Craig Anderson who stopped 30 of 31 shots in the 4-1 win the last time these teams faced each other.
The Ottawa Senators are 5-4-1 in their last ten games and are eliminated from playoff contention. The Senators have not been good in front of their home crowd this season going 14-20-5 and are tied with the Florida Panthers in points with the lowest in the Eastern Conference, 70. Ottawa is second to last in the league in goals per game averaging 2.29, only the Devils net less at 2.05.
Ottawa is surrendering 3.01 goals per game while the Flyers are averaging 3.09 goals per game. Ottawa has the edge in special teams as they are better in penalty kill and power play percentages.
The Ottawa Senators do not have a 20 goal scorer on their team this year, the closest player to 20 goals is Jason Spezza with 19, he leads the team in points with 50. Defenseman Erik Karlsson is next in points with 13 goals and 45 points, followed by Nick Foligno with 13 goals and 33 assists. Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson both have 31 points with 17 and 14 goals respectively.
The Flyers are already without the services of Chris Pronger (broken hand)and Jody Shelley (orbital bone) will have some company back home in Philly as Blair Betts (lower body)and Danny Briere (groin pull) did not make the trip up North.
This opens up some opportunities for others as Zherdev and recent AHL call up Ben Holmstrom will get some playing time. Zherdev has looked good in his last two games, he did have a bad shootout attempt but so did the whole team.
Danny Syvret will get another shot tonight playing in place of Boynton.
The Ottawa Senators also have some key people out for tonight's game and possibly for the rest of the season. Daniel Alfredsson (back), Sergei Gonchar (concussion), Erik Karlsson (thigh) and Marek Svatos (concussion).
During the third period of the Rangers game Ville Leino did not see action as he was demoted to bench duties. When asked about it Laviolette answered "shortened the bench for the third" repeatedly.
When questioned about the benching Leino was not happy but took the high road as he said "It's the coaches decision". Here is an interview with Ville.
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