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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 foot.

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 Atlanta.

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


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