NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 20th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (17-23-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (30-11-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will take aim at their eighth win
in nine games when they host the struggling Ottawa Senators tonight at the
Wells Fargo Center.
The red-hot Flyers also expect to welcome Chris Pronger back to the ice
tonight, as the club's top defenseman is set to return from a five-week
absence due to a broken right foot.
Pronger suffered the injury in Montreal on Dec. 15 and has missed 13 games
while recovering from surgery to repair the break. Philadelphia has posted a
9-4-0 record without the former Hart and Norris Trophy winner in the lineup.
"Things went really good today and I know he's felt good the last few days, so
I think there's a good chance he'll play tomorrow," Flyers general manager
Paul Holmgren said on Wednesday.
Pronger has four goals and 11 assists in 31 games this season and has recorded
14 points (1 goal, 13 assists) in 28 regular-season games against Ottawa.
The Flyers, who have 65 points and are tied for the NHL lead with Vancouver,
are 7-1-0 so far in January and are coming off a dramatic home victory over
the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Andrej Meszaros scored the game-winning
goal 67 seconds into overtime, as Philadelphia edged the Capitals, 3-2, for
its third straight victory.
After the Caps rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, the
contest went into the extra session. Just beyond the opening minute of OT,
Matt Carle carried the puck into the zone, kept control near the right circle
and sent a pass back to Meszaros, who fired home a wrister past Semyon
"I wanted to shoot -- I yelled at Carle to pass it," said Meszaros. "I was
just trying to hit the net and I shot it and it went in."
Jeff Carter scored in his fourth straight game and Claude Giroux also tallied
for Philadelphia. Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves for the Flyers, who are three
points ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division and
Tuesday's game was just the second home test for Philadelphia in its last 11
games. The Flyers, who are 14-6-2 as the host this year, will close a three-
game homestand Saturday against New Jersey.
In other news for the Flyers, forward Danny Briere was added to the 2011 NHL
All-Star Game roster on Wednesday after it was announced that Calgary Flames
forward Jarome Iginla was excused from the annual contest due to health
concerns for his grandmother.
Briere ranks sixth in the league with 24 goals and was considered one of the
biggest snubs when the initial All Star Game roster was announced. Briere will
join fellow Flyer Claude Giroux and head coach Peter Laviolette as
Philadelphia's representatives in the annual event.
The Senators enter tonight on a three-game slide and Ottawa, which is tied for
12th in the East, has just one win in its last 10 outings (1-6-3). Ottawa's
latest setback came after regulation as Bobby Ryan notched the winner in the
shootout to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win Tuesday night in Canada's
Ryan ended the second round by beating Brian Elliott with a quick fore-hander.
Erik Karlsson then fired a wrister on Jonas Hiller, but he stopped the chance
with his pad to end the game.
Mike Fisher provided the goal for the Senators, while Elliott made 26 stops.
"It seems to be the same tale. We did all of the things we wanted to do today
except score more than one goal," said Ottawa's Chris Kelly.
The Senators have scored a total of four goals during its current three-game
slide. Ottawa has also lost four of its last five road games and is just
8-10-4 as the visiting team this season.
The Flyers torched Ottawa, 5-1, when the clubs met in Philadelphia on Nov. 15.
Flyers captain Mike Richards led the way with two goals and an assist in that
victory, which ended a three-game series' losing streak for Philadelphia.
Ottawa has taken five of seven overall against the Flyers, but has lost two of
three and five of its last seven in Philly.
01/20 10:59:19 ET