TODAY'S GAME: Today's game is the Flyers' 42nd game of the season...The Flyers have a 22-15-4 record for 48 points through 41 games (third in the Atlantic Division, sixth in the Eastern Conference and tied for 13th overall in the NHL)...The Flyers have won their last three games and six of their last seven games (6-1-0)...The Flyers defeated the Rangers in New York on Thursday, 6-2, the Thrashers in Atlanta on Tuesday, 4-1 and the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Jan. 5, 3-2...The Flyers lost at New Jersey on Jan. 4, 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)...Today's game is the first game since the Flyers completed a six-game road trip (5-1-0 record)...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 22nd game of the season during the 2006-07 season until their 82nd game of the season (April 8)...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 19-1-0 record when leading after two periods)...The Flyers have an 8-5-4 record at home and a 14-10-0 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...The Flyers are tied for first in the NHL in penalty minutes with an 18.9 minutes per game average.
Scott Hartnell goes for the body check on Boston's Glen Metropolit during a game at the Wachovia Center on November 26. (Getty Images)
Shots: The Flyers have averaged 27.3 shots per game (23rd in the NHL) and have allowed 33.3 shots per game (30th in the NHL) this season...The Flyers have been outshot on average 6.0 shots per game (second largest deficit in the NHL this season)...The Flyers have been outshot in 29 of 41 games this season (6-3-2 record when outshooting opponent; 15-12-2 record when outshot by opponent; 1-0-0 record when shots are even).
REGULAR SEASON LIFETIME VS. BOSTON: This is the third of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Flyers and Bruins have split the first two meetings with each team winning a game on the road; 2-1 Flyers' win at Boston on Oct. 27 and 6-3 Bruins' win in Philadelphia on Nov. 26. The Flyers and Bruins split the 2006-07 season series, with each team winning two games. The Flyers trail in the all-time series with a 57-78-21-3 record, including a 34-33-10-1 record at home.
LAST MEETING: November 26: Boston 6, FLYERS 3 at Wachovia Center: The Flyers allowed the first four goals of the game en route to a 6-3 loss to the Bruins. Marc Savard led the Bruins with a goal and three assists. Mike Knuble, Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall each scored a power play goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki allowed two goals on 17 shots faced in 34:45 minutes played in relief of Martin Biron to record the loss. Stars of the Game: 1st - Glen Murray; 2nd - Marc Savard; 3rd - Peter Schaefer.
TOTAL MAN-GAMES LOST TO INJURY IN 2007-08: 123
Joffrey Lupul (RW) - Has missed the last two games due to a mild concussion and spinal cord contusion sustained at Toronto on Jan. 5...Will be out of action indefinitely.
Scottie Upshall (LW) - Has missed the last five games due to a sprained right ankle sustained at Tampa Bay on Dec. 29...Is on a day-to-day basis.
January 7 - Flyers recalled forward Ryan Potulny from the Philadelphia Phantoms.
January 9 - Flyers reassigned forward Ryan Potulny to the Philadelphia Phantoms.
January 11 - Flyers reassigned forward Stefan Ruzicka to the Philadelphia Phantoms.
FLYERS' RECORD AGAINST:
The Flyers have a 19-11-4 record against Eastern Conference opponents; including 4-4-1 against Northeast Division teams, 8-2-2 against Southeast Division teams and 7-5-1 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.
GOALS FOR/GOALS AGAINST:
The Flyers have scored 128 goals this season (3.12 goals per game average - third in the NHL)...The Flyers allowed 110 goals against this season (2.66 GAA - 13th in the NHL).
The Flyers have a 20-1-4 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 a 20-2-0 record when allowing two or fewer goals.
The Flyers have scored 47 goals on 200 power play attempts this season (23.5% - second in the NHL), including 23 goals on 89 attempts at home (25.8% - first in the NHL)...The Flyers have successfully killed 172 of 208 power play attempts against this season (82.7% - 14th in the NHL), including 66 of 78 attempts at home (84.6% - 10th in the NHL)...The Flyers scored seven 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%).
The Flyers have 17 pairs of back-to-back games this season. They have a 2-4-2 record in the first game and a 4-3-1 record in the second game this season.
MILESTONES: Braydon Coburn - Needs one game to reach 100 in the NHL. Mike Richards - Needs one point to set new team record for longest point-scoring streak at home (17 games).
January 10: FLYERS 6, NY Rangers 2 at Madison Square Garden: The Flyers allowed the first two goals of the game, but rebounded by scoring the final six goals in the game en route to a 6-2 win over the Rangers. Scott Hartnell led the Flyers by posting a natural hat trick. Mike Richards also posted three points in the contest (3A). Simon Gagne, Stefan Ruzicka and Mike Knuble each scored a goal for the Flyers. Gagne returned to the lineup after missing the previous 26 games due to injury. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped 39 of 41 shots faced to record his fourth consecutive win. Stars of the Game: 1st - Scott Hartnell; 2nd - Antero Niittymaki; 3rd - Steve Downie.
January 8: FLYERS 4, Atlanta 1 at Philips Arena: The Flyers scored four second-period goals to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta. The win increased the Flyers' winning streak against the Thrashers to eight games. Jeff Carter scored two goals, 13 seconds apart, to lead the Flyers. Steve Downie and Scott Hartnell each scored a goal for the Flyers. Hartnell posted three points (1G,2A) in the contest. Carter's two goals scored 13 seconds apart were the second quickest pair of goals scored by a Flyer since Ron Flockhart scored two goals in eight seconds vs. St. Louis on Dec. 6, 1981. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped 27 of 28 shots faced to record the win, his third consecutive win. Stars of the Game: 1st - Jeff Carter; 2nd - Scott Hartnell; 3rd - Ilya Kovalchuk.
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.
With Antero Niittymaki playing well, the Philadelphia Flyers seem to have a goaltender competition brewing. Meanwhile, whoever has been in net against the Boston Bruins in recent weeks has had a good chance of succeeding.
Coming home after a long road trip, the Flyers look to extend a three-game winning streak when they continue their season series with the struggling Bruins on Saturday.
Philadelphia (22-15-4) is 6-1-1 after a four-game losing streak, winning five of those games during a six-game road trip. The Flyers completed the trip with a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night, getting three consecutive goals from Scott Hartnell while Niittymaki won his fourth straight start.
Niittymaki will make his fourth straight start in place of goalie Martin Biron. Niittymaki made 39 saves against the Rangers, and has stopped 120 of 125 shots in his last three games.
"It's not a big deal or anything," Niittymaki said. "We're starting to win some games, and whoever is playing next game hopefully we will win."
In Philadelphia's last meeting with Boston (21-18-4), Biron allowed three goals on 14 shots before being relieved by Niittymaki in a 6-3 loss on Nov. 26.
Boston, though, has struggled to find the back of the net in its last 13 games, averaging 2.15 goals en route to a 4-8-1 record in that span.
"We still have some players that have to be better," Bruins coach Claude Juline said after a 5-2 loss to Montreal on Thursday night. "That's the reality of things. Sometimes you rely on players to give you a little more, especially when you need it, and somehow we need to find that."
Boston did get some good news Thursday, with Aaron Ward scoring a goal after missing eight games with a broken foot. The veteran defenseman has three goals on the season, three shy of his career high set in 2005-06 with Carolina.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, meanwhile, was named to the All-Star team Friday, along with forward Mike Richards. Timonen, in his first year with Philadelphia after being acquired in an offseason trade with Nashville, has five goals and 20 points while Richards has a team-high 19 goals and a career-best 47 points.
Richards had three assists Thursday for the Flyers, who have scored 10 goals in their last two games.
Against the Rangers, Simon Gagne returned to the ice for the first time in 26 games and scored his fifth goal of the season to complement Hartnell's hat trick. Gagne hadn't played since Nov. 7 against Pittsburgh, when he was forced out of the game with post-concussion symptoms. He led Philadelphia with 41 goals last season.
Hartnell, whose previous hat trick was for Nashville against Chicago on Feb. 4, 2006, has four goals and two assists in his last two games.
"When you get a goal, they seem to come in bunches," said Hartnell, who has not scored in his last eight games against the Bruins.
Richards and Joffrey Lupul scored to help Philadelphia beat Boston 2-1 on Oct. 27 in the only other matchup between these teams this season.