Philadelphia Flyers (17-21-3--37pts)
Montreal Canadiens (26-10-5--57pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 93.3 WMMR
1. COMING INTO TODAY
Tonight's game is the first of games on back-to-back nights for the Flyers, who take on the NY Rangers on Tuesday night - the Flyers are 4-5-0 in the first of back-to-backs… It also kicks off the first of four games in a six-day span… The Flyers own a 5-7-0 record against the Northeast Division, while the Canadiens own a 7-3-2 mark against the Atlantic Division… Montreal comes into today having lost two of their last three games… The Canadiens also play four games in their next six days.
2. ABOUT THE MATCH UP
This is the third and final meeting of the season with each team winning on home ice, the most recent of which was a 5-3 win by the Flyers on April 3… Both teams have had seven power-play opportunities in the series and neither team has scored… Max Pacioretty leads the Habs in the season series with four points, all assists, in two games, while Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with a goal and two assists… The Flyers have not lost both games in regulation at Montreal in a season series since the 2007-08 season and just twice in the last 12 seasons (since 1998-99).
3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
The Flyers penalty killing unit has allowed just one goal in the last six games, going 14-for-15 in that span… The Canadiens have scored the first goal in 28 of their 41 games this season, while the Flyers have posted the first goal in 20 of their 41 games… 14 different Flyers have recorded at least a point in two games of the season series thus far… The Flyers own the NHL's third-best power play at 22.2 percent and sixth-best penalty-killing unit at 84.8 percent - no other NHL team is in BOTH the Top 6 of each category.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux - (C) #28
Giroux has recorded at least a point in five of his last seven games, averaging a point-per-game in that span with two goals and five assists… He was held scoreless in Saturday's loss at Buffalo and has not been held scoreless in two consecutive games in two months (Feb. 9 & Feb. 11)… He is tied for the team lead in scoring with 39 points and leads the team in assists (27)… Against Montreal, Giroux has five goals and eight points in 14 games.
5. Player to watch CANADIENS: P.K. Subban - (D) #76
The Montreal defenseman has five assists and six points in his last five games, posting multi-points in three of those contests… Subban leads all NHL defensemen with 11 goals and 34 points in 35 games… His 34 points are also tied for the team lead (with Michael Ryder)… He also leads the NHL in points on the power play with 23 and is tied for power-play assists (16)… Against the Flyers, Subban has six assists and seven points in 12 games.
"We can't scoreboard watch. We have to go out and play, score goals and win hockey games."
Last 10: Philadelphia 4-5-1; Montreal 6-4-0
Season series: This is the third and final meeting this season. Each team has won once at home, with the Flyers winning the last game 5-3.
Big story: The Flyers playoff hopes are hanging by the thinnest of threads, nine points out of eighth in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play. A loss to the Canadiens on the road, where the Flyers have won just five times in 21 tries this season, would all but ensure Philadelphia’s first exclusion from the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2007.
Flyers: The Flyers arrive in Montreal having lost four straight games in regulation, scoring just three goals in that span. The power play, which was the NHL’s best just a few weeks ago, has failed to score in six straight games, going 0-for-16.
“It’s frustrating for everybody,” forward Scott Hartnell told CSNPhilly.com following a 1-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. “We’re not scoring goals, and you need goals to win hockey games. It’s frustrating. I don’t know what to say. It’s not like we’re not trying. I don’t know what it is.”
The bright side to the 1-0 loss to Buffalo was the play of goaltender Steve Mason, who made 20 saves to run his totals since being acquired by the Flyers from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline to a 1.74 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
Canadiens: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, on the other hand, is coming off his toughest start of the season. He allowed three goals on four shots Saturday before being pulled just 10:25 into a 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
“Obviously, it's not a very pleasant feeling when you know you let your teammates down,” Price told reporters following the game. “That's the hardest thing. Those guys out there put in a full 60 minutes of work and I didn't come through for them. That's the hardest part, but you just have to put it behind you.”
The Canadiens have lost two of their last three games, and while a playoff spot has been clinched and they hold a six-point lead on the Maple Leafs for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, they will need to turn things around quickly if they want to maintain their slim one-point lead on the Boston Bruins atop the Northeast Division.
Who's hot: For the Flyers, Claude Giroux scored their last goal, giving him two goals and five assists in his last seven games, while Simon Gagne has two goals and three assists in his past six games. … For the Canadiens, rookie Alex Galchenyuk had a five-game point streak snapped against the Maple Leafs, but fellow rookie Brendan Gallagher has a goal and an assist in his past two games.
Injury report: The Flyers are missing defensemen Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) and forward Maxime Talbot (leg). … The Canadiens are missing defensemen Alexei Emelin (knee) and Raphael Diaz (concussion) and forward Colby Armstrong (knee).
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