NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 26th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (40-15-6) at Ottawa Senators (20-32-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Overtime heroics last time out helped the Flyers avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since late December. Philadelphia hopes to turn that momentum into its first victory at Ottawa in over three years as it visits the Senators tonight at Scotiabank Place.
The Flyers have not been defeated in back-to-back games since Dec. 20 and 28, but were in danger of doing so on Thursday versus the Islanders. Coming off an overtime setback to Phoenix, Philadelphia allowed New York to force overtime on a goal with just 27.1 seconds left, but defenseman Andrej Meszaros notched his second overtime winner of the season at the 4:42 mark in a 4-3 triumph.
Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist, Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk also tallied and Claude Giroux had a pair of assists for the Flyers, who are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and became the first team to 40 wins this season. Philadelphia leads the Eastern Conference with 86 points, one less than Vancouver.
Giroux has been a big part of Philadelphia's recent run, notching five goals and 16 assists in his last 18 games.
"I thought he was terrific -- he is playing with a lot of confidence right now and he is competing shift after shift at a very high level," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette about Giroux. "He looks strong on the puck, strong on his skates, and it is very noticeable."
Philadelphia did get a scare in the third period when Chris Pronger suffered a forearm injury blocking a shot. Though he did not return to the game, general manager Paul Holmgren said he expects his star defenseman to play today. The Flyers did recall blueliner Erik Gustafsson from Adirondack of the American Hockey League as a precautionary measure.
Forward Blair Betts, meanwhile, is likely to miss his fourth straight game with a lacerated left finger.
Though the Flyers haven't won in Ottawa since Nov. 24, 2007, losing five straight and eight of the past nine there, they have outscored the Senators 11-3 in a pair of home victories this season. Richards has four goals and three assists in the two meetings, while Bobrovsky has been in net for both wins and has posted 53 saves.
The Senators, who are last in the Eastern Conference with 49 points, carried a two-game win streak into last night's meeting with the Sabres, but dropped a 4-2 decision.
Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which played one day after trading forward Alex Kovalev to Pittsburgh. Winger Chris Neil also missed the game with a lower-body injury, but forward Marek Svatos made his Sens debut after being claimed off waivers on Thursday.
Craig Anderson made 35 saves, but still suffered his first loss in three games since being acquired from Colorado last Saturday.
"We were pushing there at the end but we couldn't get the equalizer," said Anderson. "We'll get things together here and turn things around. If you play with effort you stand a good chance of winning."
Ottawa will play its next two games at home and has dropped 10 of its last 11 as the host.
02/26 10:33:27 ET