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
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