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Sharks-Flyers Preview/Game Notes

Wednesday, 10.22.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Sharks-Flyers Preview/Game Notes
San Jose Sharks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Pregame Multimedia
Niittymaki/Richards - Oct. 21
 Nodl recalled - Oct. 21
Stevens - Oct. 21

Related
Another shot at the Sharks

Game Notes

Tonight is the sixth game of the year and third game at home for the Flyers, and first game since returning from their three-game road trip... It is also the back end of their home-and-home series against the Sharks after playing in San Jose last Saturday… Philly was edged by the Sharks, 5-4, as Dan Boyle scored the game winner 1:25 into overtime to give San Jose the win… Defenseman Kimmo Timonen has 22 points (5G,17A) in 32 career games against San Jose... Philadelphia has a record of 0-3-2 for two points through its first five games of the season (5th in the Atlantic Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference)... The Flyers have scored 10 of their 14 goals this season in the second period and have scored two goals in the second period in every game this season...Simon Gagne has a five-game point streak, while Danny Briere has recorded at least a point in four of his first five games... The Flyers earned their first point of the season after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 14.

Lifetime vs. San Jose
This is the second and final game of the regular season against San Jose... The Flyers are winless in their last eight games against San Jose, going 0-5-3 overall. The Flyers' last win against the Sharks was on Dec. 21, 2000, 4-3 at home, however Philly owns the all-time series against the Sharks with a record of 13-8-5.

Last Meeting
October 18: Sharks 5, FLYERS 4 in overtime at HP Pavilion: The Sharks overcame first and second period deficits to edge the Flyers by a score of 5-4 in overtime. Dan Boyle had three points on the night and scored the game winner 1:25 into the extra frame to keep the Flyers’ winless in their first five games of the season. Danny Briere recorded a pair of goals and Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist, while Antero Niittymaki made 40 saves in the loss for Philly. Stars of the Game: 1st – Dan Boyle; 2nd – Antero Niittymaki; 3rd – Jonathan Cheechoo.

Injuries
TOTAL MAN-GAMES LOST TO INJURY: 16 (TOTAL MAN-GAMES LOST TO INJURY IN 2007-08: 315)
Derian Hatcher (D): Out Indefinitely
Ryan Parent (D): Out Indefinitely
Randy Jones (D): Out Indefinitely

Transactions
October 13 - Flyers acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts from Boston in exchange for forward Ned Lukacevic and a conditional pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
October 20 - Flyers reassigned forwards Steve Downie and Jared Ross to the Philadelphia Phantoms.
October 21 - Flyers recalled forward Andreas Nodl from the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Flyers Record Against
The Flyers are 0-2-0 at the Wachovia Center and 0-1-2 on the road this season. Philadelphia has a 0-1-1 record in the Atlantic Division, a 0-2-1 record against the Eastern Conference and a 0-1-1 record against Western Conference opponents.

Goals For/Against
The Flyers have scored 14 goals this season, averaging 2.80 goals per game. They have allowed 22 goals against this season (4.31 GAA).

Special Teams
Power Play - Philadelphia has scored three goals on 28 power-play attempts (10.7%)... They have gone 2-for-13 (15.4%) at home and 1-for-15 (6.7%) in on the road thus far... Penalty Kill - The Flyers successfully killed 28 of 34 power plays against this season (82.4%) , including nine of 10 attempts at home (90%) and 19 of 24 attempts on the road (79.2%)... The Flyers are tied for the league lead (with San Jose) with three shorthanded goals this year, including a shorthanded penalty shot goal scored by Simon Gagne on Oct. 16 at Colorado.


The Philadelphia Flyers haven't won a game this season and they haven't beaten the San Jose Sharks in nearly eight years - both skids that were extended in their most recent defeat.

They didn't have to wait long for another chance to end both.

The NHL's last winless team will try to shed that label when the Flyers and Sharks complete a rare cross-country home-and-home series Wednesday night at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center.

The Flyers (0-3-2) finished 2007-08 in impressive fashion, advancing to the Eastern Conference Final before losing to Pittsburgh. But this season's team has started out looking more like Philadelphia's 2006-07 club, which had an NHL-low 56 points.

Defensive struggles have plagued this season's Flyers, as they've allowed 22 goals in five games for a league-worst 4.40 goals-against average. Starting goalie Martin Biron has a 5.74 GAA in three starts - all regulation losses - while backup Antero Niittymaki took the loss despite making 40 saves Saturday, when Philadelphia closed a three-game road trip with a 5-4 overtime defeat at San Jose.

"It's not the start we envisioned," Niittymaki said. "It is what it is right now. We just have to paddle through it and find a way to win. At least we played better this game."

The Flyers will try to regroup with Niittymaki again in net, as the goalie - 0-0-2 with a 2.84 GAA this season - will earn another start on Wednesday in place of the struggling Biron.

"I just felt that he really earned us a point there with his play," Flyers coach John Stevens told his team's official Web site. "Niitty made some goal-saving saves (Saturday) and made a lot of saves on effort and I just feel like you reward that kind of effort and give him a chance to win the game this time."

The loss extended the Flyers' winless streak against the Sharks to eight games, as they've scored just 13 goals and gone 0-5-1 with two ties over that span. They last beat San Jose on Dec. 21, 2000.

The Sharks (5-1-0) are off to a much better start to the season than Philadelphia. On Saturday, they outshot the Flyers 45-17, but still trailed for most of the game until Devin Setoguchi tied it late in the third period and defenseman Dan Boyle scored his first San Jose goal in overtime.

"It was a pretty resilient effort on our behalf, and I think our players can take something from that," first-year Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "They have the ability to come back, but we don't want to be in that spot very often."

They'll hope to avoid more deficits by tightening up their defense. After allowing just four total goals during their 4-0-0 start, they've given up four in each of their last two contests. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov has allowed all eight goals on just 37 shots over that span, though he remained unbeaten (4-0-0 with two ties) with a 1.98 GAA in seven career starts against the Flyers.

Wednesday's matchup concludes the season series, but opens a three-game East Coast swing for San Jose.

The Sharks were the NHL's best road team last season, going 27-10-4, but they struggled on their most recent trip, losing 4-0 at Anaheim Friday despite outshooting the Ducks 38-20.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Oct 22 '08SJS 7 at PHI 6 - SOJ. Pavelski
Oct 18 '08PHI 4 at SJS 5 - OTD. Boyle
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Marleau7448+4201
D. Setoguchi7437+2000
J. Cheechoo7426+2621
C. Ehrhoff7246+5810
D. Boyle7246-31601
M. Vlasic7156+3200
J. Thornton7066-1900
J. Pavelski7325+4010
R. Clowe7134-1210
M. Michalek5134+1010
M. Grier7033+2200
R. Blake7022+41400
M. Goc4022+1200
L. Kaspar6101-1401
T. Plihal3101+1001
J. Roenick7011+01200
A. Semenov4011+2400
J. Shelley7000+01400
B. Lukowich6000-1000
D. Murray4000+2000
B. Staubitz3000+0500
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
E. Nabokov65-1-0181412.95.872
B. Boucher11-0-00210.001.000
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Briere6347-3410
M. Richards6426-11320
J. Carter6415+0400
S. Gagne5415+1410
S. Upshall6134-1610
S. Hartnell6134-2600
K. Timonen6044+3600
M. Knuble6033+0400
J. Lupul6202-2700
B. Coburn6112+41400
O. Vaananen6011-3800
S. Eminger6011-5600
L. Sbisa6011-6800
G. Metropolit5011-1200
A. Nodl1011-2000
R. Cote6000-11500
A. Asham6000-2000
A. Alberts4000-2600
S. Downie4000-2900
L. Kukkonen3000-2000
J. Ross2000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niittymaki40-0-2121013.81.881
M. Biron40-3-115945.00.840
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