NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 23rd
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (37-30-5) at Ottawa Senators (38-30-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - An encounter between struggling playoff hopefuls is on tap
tonight in Canada's capital city as the Ottawa Senators welcome the
Philadelphia Flyers to Scotiabank Place.
The Senators are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with 81 points and
Philadelphia is two points back in a tie with Montreal for the sixth seed. The
Flyers and Canadiens are just three points ahead of Boston for the East's
eighth and final playoff spot, while Atlanta is lurking just one point in back
of the Bruins.
Neither the Flyers nor the Senators have helped their postseason chances
recently, especially Ottawa, which had lost five straight and eight of nine
before Monday's win over the Canadiens.
Meanwhile, the Flyers have lost four of their last five and received a bad
piece of injury news on Monday when they learned forward Jeff Carter will miss
the remainder of the regular season with a non-displaced fracture in his left
Carter, who suffered the injury while blocking a shot in Sunday's loss to
Atlanta, is expected to miss the next three-to-four weeks. He is currently
leading Philadelphia in goals (33) and points (60).
The Carter injury leaves the Flyers without its top scoring threat and comes
less than a week after the team announced starting goaltender Michael Leighton
would miss two months with a high ankle sprain.
Speaking of goaltending, the Flyers were frustrated on Sunday by Atlanta
backstop Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 44-of-45 shots to lead the visiting
Thrashers to a 3-1 victory. The win complete a sweep of a home-and-home set
for Atlanta, which also won all four games against the Flyers this season.
Mike Richards tallied the only goal for the Flyers, while Brian Boucher made
28 saves in the loss, his sixth in seven starts.
The Flyers lost the opener of the home-and-home by a 5-2 count Saturday in
Ottawa ended its five-game slide with Monday's 2-0 victory in Montreal. Brian
Elliott posted 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to lead the
Senators to the important victory.
"I haven't played a playoff game yet, but this was definitely how we looked at
it coming in," said Elliott. "That's a huge game point-wise and in the
standings. We needed to get back on track and having a win tonight gets us
back to the way we should be playing."
Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist while Peter Regin also lit the lamp for
the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson had two assists in the game.
Ottawa played its second straight game without winger Milan Michalek and the
Czech sniper is expected to sit out again tonight with a knee injury. Michalek
is tied with Mike Fishers for the team lead in goals with 22.
Sens defenseman Filip Kuba has also sat out the last two games with a lower-
body injury and is questionable for this evening's test.
Philadelphia has lost two of three to the Senators this year and Ottawa
slammed the Flyers, 7-4, the last time the clubs met on January 3 at
Scotiabank Place. The Sens have taken five of seven overall in the series and
Philly has dropped four straight and seven of its last eight in Ottawa.
The Flyers are just 16-17-3 as the guest this year, while Ottawa has a strong
23-10-4 home record.
03/23 10:51:06 ET