Philadelphia Flyers (17-19-3--37pts)
Ottawa Senators (19-14-6--44pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
1. RETURNING HOME
The Flyers briefly return home, where they are 12-5-2 and have won their last three games… The Flyers have also earned at least a point in their last four games and six of their last seven on home ice, posting a 5-1-1 record in that span… The Flyers also own the NHL's best power play at home, operating at 29.9 percent, going 20-for-67… The Flyers have also killed off 15 of their last 17 penalties at home.
2. THE MATCH-UP
This is the second of three meetings on the year against the Senators and second on home ice for the Flyers after they earned a 2-1 win on Mar. 2… The Flyers have won four consecutive meetings against the Sens at home, dating back to the 2010-11 season… They own an overall record of 36-28-8-4 against Ottawa, including a 23-11-2-2 mark on home-ice… After winning three straight at the end of March, the Senators have lost five in-a-row and have failed to score more than two goals in each of those contests.
3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
This is the fourth game against a Canadian team for the Flyers in their last five games… This is also the first of games on back-to-back nights for Ottawa, who face New Jersey tomorrow night, while the Flyers open up the first of four games in a six-day span… The Flyers own an even 5-5-0 record against teams from the Northeast, while the Senators own a 7-2-2 mark against Atlantic Division opponents… Ottawa has the NHL's second-best penalty killing unit at 87.9 percent and are one of four teams in the NHL that have not allowed a shorthanded goal… Kimmo Timonen has four goals and 21 assists for 25 points, which ranks fifth among all NHL defensemen in scoring.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Jakub Voracek - (RW) #93
Jakub Voracek has three goals and four points in his last four games… He posted the Flyers lone goal at Long Island and Voracek leads the Flyers with 17 goals, which is just one goal shy of his career-high (18), which came in 78 games played last season… He is one of four Flyers to have appeared in all 39 games so far this year… He continues to lead the Flyers in scoring, averaging a point-per-game pace with 39 points (17g-22a) in 39 games… His eight power play goals are tied for third in the NHL… Against the Senators, Voracek has seven points (3g-4a) in eight games.
5. Player to watch SENATORS: Jakob Silfverberg - (RW) #33
The 22-year-old rookie has three points, all assists in his last four games for the Sens… He is tied for sixth among all first-year players in the NHL in goals (8) and ninth in points (17)… He ranks second on Ottawa in plus-minus rating at +8 and is one of six Senators to appear in all 39 games so far this season.
"We have a job to do tonight against Ottawa and it's time to push forward."
- Peter Laviolette
The Ottawa Senators are in the midst of a freefall that has seen them lose their once-solid grip on a playoff spot. Now they'll continue their road trip in a place that has not been kind to them.
The Senators look to snap their five-game losing streak when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Following a home loss to Toronto, Ottawa has dropped the first four games of its seven-game trip, including a 3-2 defeat to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. The Senators are two points ahead of ninth-place Winnipeg in the Eastern Conference.
"We're not concerned about playoff spots," goalie Craig Anderson said. "We're concerned about doing things right and coming to the rink, getting better. At the end of the day, we control what we can control, and that's how we play and how we come to work. The standings, wins, they'll all take care of themselves."
Ottawa has won only three times in 11 trips to Philadelphia. The most recent was a 2-1 loss March 2 when the Senators failed to score on five power-play opportunities.
Offense has continued to be an issue for Ottawa (19-14-6). Guillaume Latendresse's power-play goal Tuesday was the team's first in 21 chances during the losing streak, and the Senators rank in the bottom five of the league with 96 goals overall.
"There's nothing real positive about it at all," coach Paul MacLean said. "We haven't won a game in it seems like forever. The league is hard, winning is hard to do. And we haven't played hard enough in the last five games to produce more than what we say is good opportunities.
"We need to do more. Not a whole lot more, but we need to do a little bit more."
The Senators might catch a break against a Flyers team that's struggling as well as they attempt to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Philadelphia (17-19-3) has lost 4-1 in back-to-back games, falling to the surging New York Islanders on Tuesday. The Flyers had won four in a row, but the two losses since have left them 12th in the East.
"We still have nine games to play," forward Simon Gagne said. "All we can do is to keep trying our best."
This is the only home game in a seven-game stretch for the Flyers, who are 12-5-2 at home and have won three straight there while scoring five goals in each of the last two.
Jakub Voracek has been one of the bright spots for Philadelphia with three goals and an assist in his last four games. He scored against the Islanders and leads the Flyers with 17 goals.
Voracek, who scored against the Senators last month, needs one goal to tie his career high of 18 set last season.
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