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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 12th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (19-25-8) at Philadelphia Flyers (28-15-9), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will aim for their first three-game winning streak of the season when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for tonight's test at the Wachovia Center.

The Senators completed a home-and-home sweep of Buffalo on Wednesday night to record its sixth two-game winning streak of the season. Ottawa hasn't won three in a row since March 8-13 of last year.

After winning the home portion with a shootout decision, Ottawa notched a 3-1 victory in Buffalo on Wednesday. Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist, and rookie goaltender Brian Elliott made 31 saves to lead the Senators to the triumph at HSBC Arena.

Jason Spezza and Shean Donovan also tallied for the Senators, who had lost four in a row prior to the back-to-back wins.

Ottawa is still last in the Northeast Division and 13th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference with just 46 points on the year.

Tonight's test marks the second stop on a five-game road trip for the Sens, who are just 7-16-3 as the guest this year. The recent win in Buffalo marked the team's third win in its last nine road games.

Philadelphia will also get a shot at a third consecutive win when it takes the ice tonight. The Flyers enter tonight's action tied with the New York Rangers for second place in the Atlantic Division and the fourth seed in the East. The rival clubs each have 65 points and are eight behind New Jersey for the division lead.

The Flyers have won consecutive games after dropping their previous two outings and are coming off Sunday's close win in Atlanta. Jeff Carter scored twice and added an assist, as Philadelphia continued its mastery of Atlanta with a 3-2 win over the Thrashers at Philips Arena.

Joffrey Lupul also tallied and Scott Hartnell recorded two helpers for the Flyers, who extended their incredible winning streak over the Thrashers to 14 straight games. Antero Niittymaki made 29 saves to improve his record on the season to 13-4-4.

Niittymaki is now a perfect 13-0-0 in his career versus Atlanta. The Finnish backstop is one of only two active goalies in the NHL with an unblemished record in at least 10 decisions against one team. Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings is 17-0-0 against the Lightning.

Martin Biron began the year as the Flyers No.1 goaltender, but Niittymaki, who is expected to start again tonight, has slowly gained the upper hand in terms of playing time. Niittymaki is 5-1-0 in his last six games, while Biron is winless (0-4-0) over his last five starts. Biron has started in just two of the last nine games.

On the injury front, the Flyers are expected to have captain Mike Richards and fellow forward Scottie Upshall back in the lineup after the pair missed the last three games with flu-like symptoms.

The Flyers are 15-6-3 as the host this year and have won nine of their last 11 games in the City of Brotherly Love. Philly will also host the New York Islanders on Saturday.

The Sens and Flyers have split a pair of meetings this year with each team winning on home ice. Philly has taken two of three and four of the last six encounters overall and Ottawa has dropped three straight and five of seven at the Wachovia Center.

02/12 10:37:10 ET

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