Tonight's game is the Flyers' 68th game of the season...The Flyers have a 33-26-8 record for 74 points through 67 games (fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference)...The Flyers have earned at least a point in the standings in six of the last eight games (3-2-3)...The Flyers lost to Buffalo on Tuesday, 5-2...The Flyers lost at NY Rangers on Sunday, 5-4 in a shootout, ending the team's three-game winning streak...The Flyers won at Buffalo on Feb. 25, 4-3 in a shootout, ending their 10-game winless streak (0-8-2 - tied for the fourth longest winless streak in team history)...The Flyers' 3-2 shootout loss at Ottawa on Feb. 19, ended the team's seven-game losing streak (longest losing streak of the season and tied for the second-longest losing streak in team history)...The Flyers have surpassed their win and point totals from last season (finished the 2006-07 season with 22 wins and 56 points)...The Flyers have a 24-6-5 record when scoring the first goal of the game...The Flyers have only lost five times when leading after a period (13-2-1 record when leading after the first period and 24-1-1 record when leading after two periods)...The Flyers have a 14-13-6 record at home and a 19-13-2 record on the road...The Flyers are second in the NHL in penalty minutes per game at 18.6 minutes per game.
Shots: The Flyers have averaged 28.5 shots per game (18th in the NHL) and have allowed 32.1 shots per game (28th in the NHL) this season...The Flyers have been outshot on average 3.6 shots per game...The Flyers have been outshot in 40 of 67 games this season (13-8-3 record when outshooting opponent; 18-17-5 record when outshot by opponent; 2-1-0 record when shots are even).
Scott Hartnell battles along the boards with Tampa Bay defenseman Paul Ranger during a game earlier this season at the St. Pete Times Forum. (Getty Images)
REGULAR SEASON LIFETIME SERIES VS. TAMPA BAY:
This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Flyers have only won one of the first three meetings (The Lightning won at Philadelphia on Feb. 14, 5-3; the Flyers won in Tampa Bay on Dec., 29, 4-2; and the Lightning defeated the Flyers in Tampa Bay on Oct. 25, 5-2). The Flyers lead the all-time series with a 32-20-8-2 record, including a 14-7-72 record at home. The Flyers have an eight-game losing streak against the Lightning in Philadelphia. The Flyers' last win vs. Tampa Bay in Philadelphia was on Jan. 18, 2003, 3-2.
February 14: Tampa Bay 5, FLYERS 3 at Wachovia Center: Tampa Bay outscored the Flyers in the second period, 3-0, to turn a 2-1 first-period deficit into a 4-2 lead heading into the third period. Each team scored a goal in the third period to give the Lightning a 5-3 win. Martin St. Louis led the Lightning with three points (1G,2A). Joffrey Lupul, Jeff Carter and Steve Downie each scored a goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron allowed five goals on 28 shots faced to record the loss. Stars of the Game: 1st - Martin St. Louis; 2nd - Dan Boyle; 3rd - Joffrey Lupul.
TOTAL MAN-GAMES LOST TO INJURY IN 2007-08: 247 Danny Briere (C) - Missed game vs. Buffalo on Tuesday due to a slight shoulder sprain sustained at NY Rangers on Sunday...Is on a day-to-day basis.
Simon Gagne (LW) - Has missed the last 12 games due a mild concussion sustained at Pittsburgh on Feb. 10...Will be out of action indefinitely.
Derian Hatcher (D) - Has missed the last 11 games due to a sore right knee...Is on a day-to-day basis.
Joffrey Lupul (RW) - Has missed the last nine games due to a high ankle sprain sustained at Montreal on Feb. 16...Is on a day-to-day basis. Mike Richards (C) - Has missed the last five games after sustaining a torn left hamstring vs. Florida on Feb. 23...Will be out of action for another two weeks.
Denis Tolpeko (RW) - Has missed the last eight games after sustaining a concussion vs. Montreal on Feb. 17...Is on a day-to-day basis.
March 5 - Flyers recalled forward Stefan Ruzicka from the Philadelphia Phantoms.
FLYERS' RECORD AGAINST: The Flyers have a 28-21-8 record against Eastern Conference opponents; including 7-7-3 against Northeast Division teams, 11-4-3 against Southeast Division teams and 10-10-2 against Atlantic Division teams, and a 5-5-0 record against the Western Conference; including 3-2-0 against Northwest Division teams and 2-3-0 against Pacific Division teams.
GOALS FOR/GOALS AGAINST:
The Flyers have scored 204 goals this season (3.04 goals per game average - fourth in the NHL)...The Flyers allowed 189 goals against this season (2.79 GAA - 21st in the NHL).
The Flyers have a 31-9-6 record when scoring three or more goals and a 2-17-2 record when scoring two or fewer goals. The Flyers have a 7-22-6 record when allowing three or more goals and a 26-4-2 record when allowing two or fewer goals.
The Flyers' 4-0 loss vs. NY Rangers on Jan. 31, ended the team's streak of 11 straight games of scoring at least three goals (48 goals over span - 4.36 goals per game).
The Flyers have scored 72 goals on 323 power play attempts this season (22.3%, second in the NHL), including 37 goals on 162 at home (22.8%, third in the NHL)...The Flyers have successfully killed 264 of 321 power play attempts against this season (82.2%, 16th in the NHL), including 120 of 148 attempts at home (81.1%, 22nd in the NHL)...The Flyers scored 13 shorthanded goals this season (tied for second in the NHL), while allowing six shorthanded goals against.
The Flyers' 4-0 loss vs. NY Rangers on Jan. 31, ended the team's streak of 11 straight games of scoring a power play goal (19 goals in 57 power play attempts - 33.3%).
MILESTONES: Jeff Carter - Needs one goal to reach 24 for the season and set new career high.
Jaroslav Modry - Needs one assist to reach 200 in the NHL.
Martin Biron - 43 Mike Richards - 42
Joffrey Lupul - 28
Mike Knuble - 26 Complete standings
March 4: Buffalo 5, FLYERS 2 at Wachovia Center: Buffalo scored three third-period goals to turn a 2-2 tie into a 5-2 Sabres win. Maxim Afinogenov led the Sabres with three points (2G,1A). Scottie Upshall and Steve Downie each scored a goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron allowed five goals on 18 shots faced to record the loss. Stars of the Game: 1st - Maxim Afinogenov; 2nd - Jason Pominville; 3rd - Steve Bernier.
March 2: NY Rangers 5, FLYERS 4 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden: The Rangers outscored the Flyers, 2-0, in the shootout to defeat the Flyers. 5-4. Jeff Carter (2G), Scottie Upshall (2A) and Kimmo Timonen (2A) each posted two assists in the contest to lead the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped all 21 shots faced in 43:09 minutes played in relief of Antero Niitymaki, but allowed both Rangers shootout goals to record the loss. Braydon Coburn and Vaclav Prospal each scored a goal for the Flyers. Stars of the Game: 1st - Brendan Shanahan; 2nd - Stephen Valiquette; 3rd - Jeff Carter.
March 1: FLYERS 4, NY Islanders 1 at Nassau Coliseum: The Flyers scored the final three goals of the game to turn a 1-1 second-period tie into a 4-1 win over the Islanders. Mike Knuble led the Flyers with a goal and two assists. Jeff Carter and Scottie Upshall each posted a goal and an assist in the contest. Braydon Coburn's power play goal was the game-winning goal. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped 33 of 34 shots faced to record the win. Stars of the Game: 1st - Mike Knuble; 2nd - Martin Biron; 3rd - Jeff Carter.
February 28: FLYERS 3, Ottawa 1 at Wachovia Center: Mike Knuble scored two third-period goals to break a 1-1 tie and give the Flyers a 3-1 win over the Senators. Jim Dowd scored the first goal of the game for the Flyers. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen posted two assists in the contest. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped 32 of 33 shots faced to record the win. Stars of the Game: 1st - Kimmo Timonen; 2nd - Mike Knuble; 3rd - Jim Dowd.
February 25: FLYERS 4, Buffalo 3 in a shootout at HSBC Arena: Jeff Carter and Danny Briere each scored a goal on their shootout attempt to give the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Sabres. The Flyers trailed 3-0 in the first period, before scoring the final three goals of regulation play. Carter, Scott Hartnell and R.J. Umberger each scored a goal in regulation play for the Flyers. Goaltender Martin Biron stopped 26 of 29 shots faced in regulation and overtime and two of three shootout attempts to record the win. The win was the first time that the Flyers won a game when trailing by three goals since February 13, 2003 (4-3 overtime win at St. Louis). Stars of the Game: 1st - Jason Pominville; 2nd - Scott Hartnell; 3rd - Jaroslav Spacek.
Just when it looked like the Philadelphia Flyers were emerging from their swoon, yet another one of the team's key players is injured.
After losing while playing without star center Daniel Briere for the first time this season, the Flyers hope to bounce back as they host the Eastern Conference-worst Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Briere suffered a sprained right shoulder in a shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday, then sat out his first game of the season as Philadelphia (33-26-8) lost 5-2 against Buffalo on Tuesday night.
Briere, the team's second-leading scorer with 57 points in 66 games, isn't sure when he'll return. He said Tuesday that the injury wasn't too serious, and that he isn't scheduled for any tests on his shoulder.
"Right now, I don't know how long it's going to be," said Briere, who signed an eight-year, $52 million contract last summer. "I'm hoping it's short and I can get back in there and help the team again."
The injury is a major blow to a team that is also missing All-Star Mike Richards and two-time 40-goal scorer Simon Gagne. Richards, leading the team with 66 points, is expected to miss at least another week with a torn left hamstring, while Gagne appears to be done for the season because of lingering effects from the three concussions he's suffered this season.
The loss of Briere is also disappointing because of the way he had helped the Flyers rebound from a dismal stretch in February. Philadelphia went 0-8-2 from Feb. 6-23, but was 3-0-1 in Briere's last four games.
"I feel disappointed because the last four, five, six games, things were starting to turn around," said Briere, who helped snap the Flyers' 10-game losing streak by scoring the game-winning shootout goal in Philadelphia's 4-3 victory over the Sabres on Feb. 25.
"The last three games, I liked the way our line was playing. Chemistry was just starting to set in with (recent acquisition) Vinny Prospal. It's been a good complement to our line."
The Flyers and the Sabres were tied entering the third period Tuesday, but Buffalo took control of the game with two goals in an 18-second stretch early in the period.
"We know we can play a lot better," goaltender Martin Biron said.
Philadelphia will try to bounce back against Tampa Bay (26-33-7), which has gone 1-6-1 in its last eight games to fall further out of contention in the East.
On Tuesday night, the Lightning got a solid performance from goaltender Mike Smith, who stopped 21 shots and held Pittsburgh to one goal. Tampa Bay, however, fell 2-0 in getting shut out for the second time in six games.
Smith, who's 1-3-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average in four games since Tampa Bay acquired him from Dallas, won his only career start against Philadelphia last March 13.
Biron, meanwhile, is 7-5-0 with two ties and a 2.55 GAA in 14 career games against Tampa Bay.
The Lightning beat Biron and the Flyers 5-3 on Feb. 14 in Tampa Bay's last game before its 1-6-1 stretch. The Lightning are 13-2-0 against the Flyers since the beginning of 2003-04, including a 2-1-0 mark this season.
Prospal is facing the Lightning for the first time since they traded him to Philadelphia on Feb. 25. He had 29 goals and 28 assists in 62 games for Tampa Bay this season.