NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 23rd (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (12-14-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (18-8-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will play their final home game before heading out on a lengthy road trip, as they welcome the Ottawa Senators for tonight's matchup at the Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia has won five straight tests on home ice and is 11-4-3 in the City of Brotherly Love this season. The Flyers will begin a six-game trip after the Christmas break and they'll kick off that swing Friday evening in Chicago.
Ottawa, meanwhile, is beginning its longest road trip of the season tonight, as it's playing the first of eight straight away from Canada's capital city. The Senators have lost their last three road tilts and are just 3-8-2 as the visiting team this season.
The Flyers have lost two of their last three games, but are still second in the Atlantic Division standings with 43 points.
Philadelphia played back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. The Flyers routed visiting Washington, 7-1, on Saturday before dropping a shootout loss in New Jersey the following day. Travis Zajac scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout, giving New Jersey a 3-2 decision at the Prudential Center.
Jeff Carter and Joffrey Lupul each notched a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who fell to 6-1-1 in their last eight. Antero Niittymaki stopped 24 shots in defeat.
Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones made his season debut after missing the first 32 games recovering from hip surgery performed in October. Meanwhile, forward Scottie Upshall will be out for at least 10 days after spraining his knee in Sunday's loss.
The Senators are coming off a victory their last time out, but that was just the club's second win in seven games. Ottawa's recent victory came Saturday against visiting Dallas and Jason Smith provided the game-winning goal at 3:30 of overtime. Smith's tally represented his first point of the season and gave Ottawa the 5-4 decision.
Antoine Vermette, Jason Spezza and Alexandre Picard each scored a power-play goal for Ottawa.
Martin Gerber made 25 saves in the win for the Senators, who were playing their last home game of the calendar year. Ottawa's next game as host will be on January 10 against the New York Rangers.
Daniel Alfredsson also scored, but left the contest in the second period with an unspecified injury. The Sens captain is making the trip to Philadelphia, but his status is questionable for tonight's game.
Ottawa beat the Flyers, 4-1, at Scotiabank Place on November 6 and has won two of the last three encounters between the clubs. However, the Sens have dropped four of six and five of their last eight stops in Philly.
12/23 10:34:50 ET