Philadelphia Flyers (22-22-3--45pts)
Ottawa Senators (24-16-6--54pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
1. THE FINALE
The Flyers play the final game of the 2012-13 season… The Flyers have won five of their last seven season ending games… Tonight is the second year in-a-row the Flyers have ended the season on the road, but just the third time in the last eight years they have done so… Tonight is also the first time in 31 seasons (since the 1981-82 season - TOR, 7-1 W) that the Flyers have ended the regular season against a Canadian team, and first time in 45 seasons of play that the Flyers have ended the regular season on the road against a Canadian team.
2. HEAD TO HEAD
This is the third meeting of the year between the Flyers and Senators with each team winning once, the most recent of which was a 3-1 Ottawa win on Apr. 11… This is also the first meeting at Ottawa, where the Flyers have won just once in the last four seasons, going 1-6-1 since the 2008-09 season… The Flyers come into tonight riding a three-game winning streak and having won five of their last six games, out-scoring their opponent 23-14 in that span… The Senators come into tonight having won five of their last seven games, but have dropped their last two home games… Ottawa owns a record of 15-5-3 through 23 home games this season, while the Flyers own a 7-15-3 record on the road.
3. SPECIAL TEAMS
The Senators own the NHL's second-best penalty killing unit, operating at 88.3 percent (144-for-163) and allowing just eight power-play goals on home ice… The Flyers own the NHL's fifth-best PK unit, operating at 85.5 percent, killing off 153-of-179 times shorthanded, and have not allowed a power-play goal in their last five games, going 15-for-15… The Flyers also own the NHL's third-best power-play unit at 21.9 percent, making them the only team in the NHL in the Top 5 in both power-play & penalty kill… The season series has seen 18 power plays but only one goal scored on the man-advantage so far with Ottawa going 1-for-11 and the Flyers going 0-for-7.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux - (C) #28
Giroux comes into tonight's game as the team's leading scorer with 47 points (13g-34a)… He is one of three Flyers who will have played all 48 games this season (Fedotenko & Voracek)… Giroux needs one point to average a point-per-game this season, which would be the second consecutive season he has done so… He has recorded at least a point in four of his last six games, posting a goal and six assists in that span, and although he went scoreless in his last outing, Giroux has not gone two games without recording a point in a 34-game span (since Feb. 9-11)… Ottawa is also the place where Giroux made his NHL debut at age 20 on an emergency recall from Gatineau on Feb. 19, 2008.
5. Player to watch SENATORS: Erik Karlsson - (D) #65
The reigning Norris Trophy winning defenseman returned to the line-up after missing 31 games due to an achilles injury in the Senators' 2-1 OT win at Washington on Thursday, where he recorded two assists… In just 15 games this season, he has recorded 12 points (6g-6a)… Last season, Karlsson led all NHL defensemen in scoring with 78 points (19g-59a) in 81 games on his way to capturing the Norris… Against the Flyers, Karlsson averages nearly a point-per-game with nine points (2g-7a) in 10 games.
"I think everybody thinks they're capable of better, and think we're capable of better as a team and we'll get to that point at some time."
- Peter Laviolette
Last 10: Philadelphia 5-5-0; Ottawa 5-5-0
Season series: This will be the third and final game between the teams. They split their first two meetings -- the Flyers won 2-1 in Philadelphia on March 2, while the Senators won 3-1 in Philadelphia on April 11.
Big story: With their spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs set, the Senators can focus on trying to win their final two games and climb as high in the Eastern Conference as possible.
Flyers: The six defensemen the Flyers dressed Thursday against the New York Islanders entered the game with a total of 89 games of NHL experience this season. Those same players had skated in 241 games in the American Hockey League.
That's what happens when six defensemen sustain season-ending injuries.
However, since losing Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros to season-ending shoulder injuries one game apart in late March, the Flyers are 9-5-0, despite also seeing veterans Kent Huskins, Bruno Gervais and Kimmo Timonen join them on the injured list. Replacing them have been second-year player Erik Gustafsson, and rookies Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning and Matthew Konan.
"I think the guys who have stepped in did a really nice job," coach Peter Laviolette said after his team's 2-1 win Thursday. "Tonight the shots and chances were low, but that always hasn't been the case. There have been games where we gave up too many shots and chances, but then our goaltenders have been really good. … I think it's more of a team commitment and our goaltenders have done a nice job, as well."
Senators: It was a win on two levels for the Senators on Thursday. They got their Norris Trophy-winning defenseman back in the lineup, and they clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Playing 10 weeks after surgery to repair a 70-percent cut to his Achilles tendon, Karlsson assisted on both goals in a 2-1 overtime win against the Washington Capitals. The victory put the Senators in the postseason for the second consecutive season.
Despite lengthy absences by Karlsson, top-line forwards Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek and No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson, the Senators were able to find their way back to the postseason.
"It's a tremendous credit to our players, first of all, and their perseverance through quite a bit of adversity this season," coach Paul MacLean said after the game Thursday. "For us to make the playoffs under the circumstances that we were put under early in the season, I think is a great accomplishment by the group, and the players deserve all of the credit because they came out and played real hard."
Who's hot: Karlsson returned from injury to log 27:11 of ice time, and beyond his two assists, he fired eight shots on goal, the most of any player who skated in one of the 11 games played Thursday.
Injury report: The Flyers are missing forwards Zac Rinaldo (ankle), Maxime Talbot (leg), and Jody Shelley (hip), and defensemen Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Kent Huskins (concussion), Bruno Gervais (torn stomach muscle) and Kimmo Timonen (foot). … Spezza (back) and Mike Hoffman (collarbone) remain out for the Senators.
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