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Flyers host Canadiens in homestand finale

Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 8:00 AM

Associated Press

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Flyers host Canadiens in homestand finale
Montréal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (15-17-3--31pts)
Montreal Canadiens (23-7-5--51pts)

TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic

The Flyers have 13 games remaining in the regular season, only three of those games are against Atlantic Division opponents, while five of their next seven games are all against Northeast Division opponents, including the next three games against all Canadian teams (Montreal, Toronto & Winnipeg)… The Flyers have an 3-5-0 record against that Division… The Canadiens have just four games remaining against the Atlantic Division with two of them against the Flyers - they own a 7-2-2 record against Atlantic opponents.

Tonight is the second of three games against Montreal and first and only meeting at the Wells Fargo Center… In the first meeting, Montreal earned a 4-1 win with four of their forwards each posting two point nights… The Flyers have won four straight games on home ice against the Canadiens, keeping them under two goals or less in all four games and outscoring them 15-6 in that span… The Flyers come into tonight having won their last two games, earning points in their last three games and in five of their last seven contests… Montreal has won three straight games and six of their last seven road games.

The Flyers continue to hold the NHL's best power play overall (24.8 percent) and at home (31.3 percent)… Canadiens have eight players who have scored 20 points or more so far this season - tied for the most of any NHL club (Pittsburgh)… Should Ilya Bryzgalov get the start, it would be his 20th consecutive start - he has appeared in 33 of 35 games on the year… The Canadiens have scored the first goal of the game in 24 of their 35 games so far, going 18-3-3… The Flyers have scored first in 17 of 35 games, going 11-4-2.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux - (C) #28
The Flyers captain has been on a tear lately and is now tied for the team lead in points (35 - with Jakub Voracek)… Giroux has points in five of his last six games, posting multiple points in three of his last four games, and recording nine points in his last six (3g-6a), including a goal and two assists to lead the Flyers to a 5-4 OT win over Washington… Giroux is tied for 2nd in the NHL in points on the power play (19), trailing Monreal defenseman Andrei Markov by one point (20).

5. Player to watch CANADIENS: Michael Ryder - (RW) #73
Ryder is tied for the Canadiens lead in goals (13) and points (28)… He was acquired midseason by the Canadiens and since joining Montreal, has 14 points (7g-7a) in 15 games… He also has posted a goal in four of his last six games, recording five goals in that span… Against the Flyers, Ryder has 10 goals and 18 points in 25 career meetings, including a +6 rating.

"I've played against this team and organization for a long time, and I know their style and I've always like their style of play. It's good to be in their jersey now."
- Jay Rosehill

The Philadelphia Flyers know they have plenty of work left in order to get into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but their performances the last two games seem to indicate they're heading in the right direction.

Philadelphia seeks a fifth consecutive home victory over the Montreal Canadiens as it completes a five-game homestand Wednesday night.

The Flyers (15-17-3) aren't far behind the East's final playoff spot, though they're running out of time to secure their sixth straight postseason appearance with only 13 regular-season games remaining.

They've won two straight after a 0-2-2 stretch, though, beating Boston 3-1 on Saturday before Sunday's 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win over Washington.

Kimmo Timonen scored with 9.5 seconds remaining in regulation before Ruslan Fedotenko netted the OT goal.

"Every win, every point right now is crucial," Fedotenko said. "We need to focus on the next game and make sure we get the next two points."

Philadelphia definitely possesses the intensity necessary to make a run. After captain Claude Giroux, who scored a power play goal in the third, was checked hard Monday, Jakub Voracek came to his defense and picked up 19 penalty minutes as a result of his first NHL fight.

While his teammates lauded that effort, Voracek simply is focused on helping his team make the playoffs.

"Thirteen games left is a lot of games," Voracek said. "We haven't been on a hot streak yet. Maybe we'll start one now."

Philadelphia has outscored Montreal 15-6 while winning the last four matchups at the Wells Fargo Center, but the Canadiens enter this matchup with one of the NHL's best road marks at 12-3-2.

Montreal (23-7-5) holds a slim advantage over Boston for the Northeast Division lead and has won three straight following Monday's 4-1 win over Carolina.

Max Pacioretty netted two goals after scoring just once over his previous 12 games.

"It takes a bounce and that's how it goes," Pacioretty said. "Different people step up every night for this team and I guess (it) was my chance."

Montreal also killed all five penalties and has held opponents to 2 for 19 with the man advantage over its last six games.

"That was an aspect of our game that we were not pleased with," coach Michel Therrien said. "Guys know their responsibilities and right now they're doing a good job."

Both teams went 0 for 4 on the power play, but Pacioretty and Brian Gionta had two assists each in Montreal's 4-1 home win over Philadelphia on Feb. 16.

The Flyers, 2-1-1 on this homestand, had won six of the previous seven meetings, though, and hope to carry over their new-found confidence.

"(Confidence is) something I think we've been lacking all year," winger Matt Read said. "You come in the locker room and you're just having a little bit more fun. Hopefully we can keep having fun in this locker room, find ways to win hockey games, and make a run for a top eight position."

Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves Monday and could be in net for the Flyers for this contest despite being 1-3-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average in five career starts versus the Canadiens.

Montreal might counter with Carey Price, who has stopped 52 of 53 shots while winning his last two starts. However, he's 1-5-0 with a 3.38 GAA in his last six starts versus Philadelphia.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 15 '13 PHI 7 at MTL 3 S. Hartnell
Apr 03 '13 MTL 3 at PHI 5 E. Gustafsson
Feb 16 '13 PHI 1 at MTL 4 D. Desharnais
M. Pacioretty32111930+62020
M. Ryder35131528+31463
P. Subban30101828+102660
T. Plekanec36131427+61842
A. Markov3671724-31073
D. Desharnais3691322+02012
B. Gallagher32111021+102123
B. Gionta36101020+5432
L. Eller3441317+12611
A. Galchenyuk3631316+81601
R. Diaz1911213+5400
A. Emelin363912+22800
B. Prust285510+128601
R. Bourque175510+02421
F. Bouillon36178+61000
J. Gorges36257+61300
E. Cole19336+11002
C. Armstrong35235+21200
T. Moen35224-23200
D. Drewiske21134+21410
J. Halpern35123-4801
T. Kaberle10033+4000
G. Dumont8022+01300
R. White22101+25200
J. Tinordi6011+2200
N. Beaulieu2011+2000
M. Blunden4000-1400
G. Pateryn3000+0000
Y. Weber2000-1200
C. Price3018-7-4698032.30.914
P. Budaj75-1-1161702.47.906
J. Voracek36152237-72782
C. Giroux36112536-71862
W. Simmonds33121325-96863
K. Timonen3642024+43220
B. Schenn3561521-81520
M. Read309918-2212
D. Briere265813-13621
R. Fedotenko363811+91201
M. Talbot355510+22300
S. Couturier343710-12400
S. Gagne263710+0620
M. Knuble22448-22011
L. Schenn35268+13000
S. Hartnell20437-25420
B. Gervais33156-101000
Z. Rinaldo32325-78500
T. McGinn18325+01901
B. Coburn33145-104100
K. Foster17145-2610
N. Grossmann30134-12100
E. Gustafsson15123-7201
T. Sestito7202+11201
A. Meszaros11022-9200
H. Zolnierczyk7011+03600
O. Lauridsen3011+1600
K. Huskins13000-5400
S. Laughton5000+0000
E. Wellwood4000+0000
J. Shelley1000+0000
A. Lilja1000-1000
I. Bryzgalov3416-14-3929092.82.899
B. Boucher40-2-06552.50.891
M. Leighton10-1-05265.08.808
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