Flyers finish off back-to-back set by facing Blues
BLUES (5-6-2) at FLYERS (8-4-1)
St. Louis 3-5-2; Philadelphia 5-4-1
This is the teams' only meeting this season. In their only game last season, Chris Mason
made 36 saves and T.J. Oshie
and Brad Boyes
each had a pair of assists as the Blues won 4-0 in St. Louis. The Blues haven't played in Philadelphia since Feb. 10, 2007.
How will the flu-ridden Flyers hold up in the second game of a back-to-back set, following Friday's game in Buffalo?
St. Louis is struggling to find offense right now. They have lost three straight, which included two shutout losses and Thursday's 2-1 overtime defeat against Calgary. Part of the problem is their suddenly defective power play. The Blues were eighth in the League last season at 20.5 percent; they entered Friday's games 25th at 14.6 percent, and have just one power-play goal in their last seven games.
Philadelphia coach John Stevens went into Friday's game unsure who or what kind of lineup he'd have. Already without a pair of top-six forwards and key defensemen, five players missed practice earlier in the week with the flu, while others tried to skate through it. "We'll have to do much like we did in the last two games and try to use our whole bench," Stevens told reporters Friday. "We'll try to cut down on the minutes on some guys and utilize everybody that's playing in our lineup."
Who's Hot --
St. Louis goalie Chris Mason
has just two wins in his last four games, but he's allowed more than two goals just once in that span. He also hasn't allowed a power-play goal in two straight, which could come in handy against the Flyers and their top-rated extra-man unit. Flyers rookie forward James van Riemsdyk
has 7 points in his four-game scoring streak. Defenseman Chris Pronger
has a goal, 5 points and a plus-7 rating in his last three games.
Injury Report --
Philadelphia defenseman Ryan Parent
remains out with a groin injury, while forward Danny Briere
remains day-to-day with a pulled muscle in his leg. Defenseman Matt Carle
has been the Flyer most affected by the flu; he played 21 minutes Friday, and it's questionable how much stamina he'll have for Saturday's game. For St. Louis, defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo
is questionable due to the flu, as is Andy McDonald
, who is suffering from an upper-body injury. McDonald practiced Thursday but did not take contact.
Stat Pack --
This will be just the fourth meeting in the last five seasons between the teams. The Flyers have lost just once at home to the Blues in the last 12 years, going 5-1-0; the Blues' last win in Philadelphia was Dec. 7, 2002.
Puck Drop --
One of the reasons for the Flyers' recent success has been goals from their bottom-six forwards. Darroll Powe
(4 goals), Arron Asham
(3) and Daniel Carcillo
2 have combined for 9 goals through 13 games. Those three had just 14 goals all of last season.