NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 22nd
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (32-19-9) at Philadelphia Flyers (39-15-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Phoenix Coyotes will put their lengthy winning
streak on the line tonight against the top team in the Eastern Conference, as
they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Coyotes have won seven games in a row to match their longest winning
streak of the season. Phoenix last won eight straight during a nine-game tear
from March 4-21 of last season.
Phoenix won the first game of a five-game road trip on Saturday, edging the
Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
The Coyotes, who are 17-9-4 on the road this year, will visit a Flyers club
that is leading the East with 83 points. Phoenix will also play tomorrow
evening, when they battle the Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
Phoenix has 73 points on the year and is just one ahead of San Jose for first
place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks will be in action tonight in
Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 stops to help lead the Coyotes to a 3-2 win in
Nashville. Keith Yandle, Taylor Pyatt and Lauri Korpikoski all scored for the
Coyotes captain Shane Doan will set a club record for most games played when
he takes the ice tonight. Doan has spent his entire career with the
Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise and enters today tied with Teppo Numminen at 1,098
games. Doan ranks fourth all-time among active NHL players for the most games
played with one franchise.
Tonight's game will also mark Phoenix forward and former Flyer Scottie
Upshall's first trip back to Philadelphia since he was traded to the Coyotes
in March of 2009. Upshall, who has no points in two career games against the
Flyers, is leading the Coyotes with 16 goals this season.
"It's pretty exciting," Upshall told Phoenix's team site on Monday. "I got to
skate today at the rink, which was fun being back in a place where I have so
many hockey memories."
Meanwhile, Flyers forward Dan Carcillo, who was traded for Upshall, is playing
against his former team for the second time since the deal.
Philadelphia last played on Sunday afternoon and dealt the host New York
Rangers a 4-2 loss at Madison Square Garden. Brian Boucher made 37 saves, 14
of which came in the third period, to post the win.
Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux both registered a goal and an assist for the
Flyers, who wrapped up their four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 mark.
"It's one of those things where you don't want to get complacent," said
Boucher of the Flyers, who are six points ahead of Pittsburgh atop the
Atlantic Division. "We still need to win games and keep pushing ourselves. We
want to get home-ice for the playoffs and that's our goal."
Boucher suffered a stinger in the third period of Sunday's contest, but was
able to finish the game. Still, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky could get the start in
net for Philadelphia tonight.
The Flyers will be without forward Blair Betts and defenseman Sean O'Donnell
tonight. Betts is day-to-day with a lacerated ring finger suffered Friday
against Carolina. O'Donnell could miss two weeks with after sustaining a
lower-body injury Sunday against New York.
Philadelphia is playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight and will
also welcome the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Flyers are 19-8-2 as the
host this year.
The Coyotes posted a 3-1 home win over the Flyers in the only meeting between
the clubs last year. Phoenix has taken seven of the last 11 games in this
series, but has dropped three of four and five of its last seven in
02/22 11:00:21 ET