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Flyers-Thrashers Preview/Game Notes

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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Flyers-Thrashers Preview/Game Notes
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Atlanta Thrashers


Tonight's game is the Flyers' 40th game of the season...The Flyers have a 20-15-4 record for 44 points through 39 games...The Flyers defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday, 3-2...The Flyers lost at New Jersey on Friday, 3-0, ending the team's three-game winning streak...The Flyers defeated the Panthers in Florida on Dec. 30, 1-0 (the Flyers' third straight win - first time that the team has won three consecutive games since winning five straight games from Oct. 10 through 20) and the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Dec. 29, 4-2 (the Flyers' second straight win - first time that the team has won consecutive games since Nov. 10 & 12)...Tonight's game is the fifth game of a six-game road trip (3-1-0 record through four games)...The Flyers defeated Toronto in Philadelphia on Dec. 27, 4-1, ending the team's six-game winless streak (0-4-2) and their four-game winless streak at home (0-2-2)...The Flyers did not win their 20th game of the season during the 2006-07 season until their 71st game of the season (March 15)...The Flyers have a 16-4-2 record when scoring the first goal of the game...The Flyers have only lost twice when leading after a period (8-1-0 record when leading after the first period and 17-1-0 record when leading after two periods)...The Flyers have an 8-5-4 record at home and a 12-10-0 record on the road...The Flyers' 6-0-0 home record was the team's best start at home since their 8-0-0 start at home during the 1986-87 season.
Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul and Braydon Coburn celebrate a goal in the Flyers' 4-0 win over Atlanta on October 16 at the Wachovia Center. (Getty Images)

Shots: The Flyers have averaged 27.2 shots per game and have allowed 33.3 shots per game this season...The Flyers have been outshot on average 6.1 shots per game...The Flyers have been outshot in 28 of 39 games this season (5-3-2 record when outshooting opponent; 14-12-2 record when outshot by opponent; 1-0-0 record when shots are even).


This is the second of four games between these two teams this season. The Flyers won the first meeting; 4-0 in Philadelphia on Oct. 16. The Flyers have a seven-game winning streak against the Thrashers. The Flyers' last loss against the Thrashers was on Nov. 18, 2005, 6-5 overtime in Philadelphia. The Flyers lead the all-time series with a 22-3-3-1 record, including a 11-2-1-0 record on the road.

October 16; FLYERS 4, Atlanta 0 at Wachovia Center: Goaltender Martin Biron stopped all 31 shots faced to post his first shutout as a Flyer and the Flyers defeated the Thrashers, 4-0. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Sami Kapanen and Randy Jones each scored a goal for the Flyers. Stars of the Game: 1st - Martin Biron; 2nd - Jeff Carter; 3rd - Joffrey Lupul.

Simon Gagne (LW) - Has missed the last 25 games due to concussion...Is out of action indefinitely.
Sami Kapanen (RW) - Recovering from injuries sustained when hit by a puck to the mouth at Toronto on Saturday...Is on a day-to-day basis.
Joffrey Lupul (RW) - Sustained a mild concussion and spinal cord contusion at Toronto on Saturday...Will be out of action indefinitely.
Mike Rathje (D) - Has missed the last 39 games due to Piriformis Syndrome...Is out of action indefinitely.
Jason Smith (D) - Has missed the last three games due to a leg injury...Is on a day-to-day basis.
Scottie Upshall (LW) - Has missed the last three games due to a sprained right ankle sustained at Tampa Bay on Dec. 29...Is on a day-to-day basis.

January 2 - Flyers recalled forward Steve Downie from the Philadelphia Phantoms.
January 3 - Flyers recalled forward Stefan Ruzicka from the Philadelphia Phantoms.
January 7 - Flyers recalled forward Ryan Potulny from the Philadelphia Phantoms.


The Flyers have a 17-11-4 record against Eastern Conference opponents; including 4-4-1 against Northeast Division teams, 7-2-2 against Southeast Division teams and 6-5-1 against Atlantic Division teams, and a 3-4-0 record against the Western Conference; including 3-2-0 against Northwest Division teams and 0-2-0 against Pacific Division teams.

The Flyers have scored 118 goals this season (3.03 goals per game average)...The Flyers allowed 107 goals against this season (2.72 GAA).

The Flyers have an 18-1-4 record when scoring three or more goals and a 2-14-0 record when scoring two or fewer goals. The Flyers have a 2-13-4 record when allowing three or more goals and an 18-2-0 record when allowing two or fewer goals.

The Flyers have scored 43 goals on 192 power play attempts this season (22.4%), including 20 goals on 103 attempts on the road (19.4%)...The Flyers have successfully killed 161 of 197 power play attempts against this season (81.7%), including 95 of 119 attempts on the road (79.8%)...The Flyers scored six shorthanded goals this season, while allowing four shorthanded goals against.

The Flyers were scoreless on four power play attempts at Florida on Dec. 30, ending a streak of 10 consecutive games that the Flyers had scored at least a power play goal (16 for 62, 25.8%).

Scott Hartnell - Needs one goal to reach 100 in the NHL.

January 5: FLYERS 3, Toronto 2 at Air Canada Centre: Mike Richards' third-period power play goal broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Steve Downie and Jeff Carter each also scored a goal for the Flyers. Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped 54 of 56 shots faced to record the win. The 56 shots faced set a new team record for most shots against (55 at Montreal on Jan. 3, 1977). Niittymaki's 54 saves set a new team record for saves in a game. Mats Sundin scored both Toronto goals. Stars of the Game: 1st - Antero Niittymaki; 2nd - Alexander Steen; 3rd - Mike Richards.

January 4: New Jersey 3, FLYERS 0 at Prudential Center: Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur stopped all 36 shots faced to record the 3-0 win over the Flyers. Patrik Elias led the Devils with a goal and an assist. The loss ended the Flyers' three-game winning streak and extended the Flyers' losing streak at New Jersey to 11 games. Stars of the Game: 1st - Martin Brodeur; 2nd - Paul Martin; 3rd - Patrik Elias.

December 30: FLYERS 1, Florida 0 at BankAtlantic Center: Derian Hatcher's third-period goal was the only goal of the game and gave the Flyers a 1-0 win over the Panthers. Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped all 38 shots faced to record the shutout. Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun allowed one goal on 20 Flyers shots to register the loss. Stars of the Game: 1st - Antero Niittymaki; 2nd - Derian Hatcher; 3rd - Tomas Vokoun.

December 29: FLYERS 4, Tampa Bay 2 at St. Pete Times Forum: Joffrey Lupul recorded a goal and two assists to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 win at Tampa Bay. Scott Hartnell, Mike Knuble and Kimmo Timonen each also scored a goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped 31 of 33 shots faced to record the win. The win allowed the Flyers to win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 10 and 12. Lupul scored his goal on a penalty shot, the Flyers' first successful penalty shot since Feb. 21, 2004 (Simon Gagne scored on Atlanta's Pasi Nurminen - unsuccessful on the previous eight attempts). Stars of the Game: 1st - Joffrey Lupul; 2nd - Martin Biron; 3rd - Martin St. Louis.

December 27: FLYERS 4, Toronto 1 at Wachovia Center: The Flyers scored the first two goals and the last two goals of the game to defeat the Maple Leafs, 4-1, ending the team's six-game winless streak. Joffrey Lupul (2G), Jeff Carter (1G) and Danny Briere (1G) each scored at least a goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped 34 of 35 shots faced to record the win. Stars of the Game: 1st - Joffrey Lupul; 2nd - Danny Briere; 3rd - Sami Kapanen.

A growing injury list hasn't prevented the Philadelphia Flyers from continuing to win. The goaltending of Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki deserves most of the credit for that.

The Flyers look to make it eight straight wins over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night when the teams meet for the second time this season.

Since losing a season-high six straight (0-4-2) last month, Philadelphia (20-15-4) has rebounded to win four of its last five games.

Biron was in net for the first two victories in that span, stopping 65 of 68 shots.

Niittymaki has been even better lately, allowing two goals on 94 shots in his last two starts - both wins. He recorded a 38-save shutout of Florida on Dec. 30 before facing a franchise-record 56 shots Saturday in a 3-2 victory at Toronto.

"Niitty stood on his head," Flyers center Jeff Carter said. "He played a hell of a game."

Although he is still Biron's backup, Niittymaki will start tonight's game. He has a 6-0-0 record and 1.68 goals-against average in six career games against the Thrashers (21-21-1).

Biron stopped 31 shots in a 4-0 victory over Atlanta on Oct. 16 in the first meeting this season between the teams.

The Flyers have won seven straight against the Thrashers since a 6-5 overtime loss on Nov. 18, 2005. Philadelphia is 22-3-1 with three ties all-time versus Atlanta.

Mike Richards snapped a tie late in the third period Saturday with his team-leading 19th goal.

The victory, however, came with a high price as forwards Joffrey Lupul and Sami Kapanen both left the game with injuries.

"It was a gutsy win," Carter said. "We lost a couple of guys early and were down, basically, to 2 1/2 lines. We pulled out the win. These points against conference teams are going to be huge because (the standings) are so tight."

Lupul suffered a spinal cord contusion and a mild concussion in a collision with teammate Derian Hatcher and is not expected back for at least two weeks. Lupul is third on the team with 35 points, scoring 16 goals in 39 games after he had that many in 81 games last season for Edmonton.

Kapanen left in the second period after sustaining a deep facial laceration as a result from being hit with the puck.

Lupul and Kapanen join forwards Simon Gagne (concussion) and Scottie Upshall (ankle) and defenseman Jason Smith (bruised calf) as Flyers who are not expected to play Tuesday. Gagne, sidelined since Nov. 7, could return Thursday against the New York Rangers.

Marian Hossa scored twice and Ilya Kovalchuk added his league-leading 34th goal in Atlanta's 5-2 victory over visiting Buffalo on Sunday.

The Thrashers, who have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, have pulled within three points of Southeast Division-leading Carolina.

"Definitely, it was a huge win," Hossa said. "Every win is huge right now. ... We have a good chance to be over .500 and be a playoff team again."

With Johan Hedberg starting Sunday, Kari Lehtonen figures to be back in net Tuesday. Lehtonen has never beaten the Flyers, going 0-4-1 with a 3.31 GAA in five appearances, including four starts.

Kovalchuk has five goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 18 '08 ATL 2 at PHI 3 V. Prospal
Feb 05 '08 PHI 3 at ATL 2 S. Downie
Jan 08 '08 PHI 4 at ATL 1 J. Carter
Oct 16 '07 ATL 0 at PHI 4 M. Richards
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