NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 12th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (19-38-11) at Phoenix Coyotes (27-38-3), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams playing for pride meet tonight in the
desert, as the Phoenix Coyotes host the Philadelphia Flyers at Jobing.com
The Flyers have an NHL-low 49 points, while Phoenix is third from the bottom
in the entire league with 57 points. Philly will have its streak of 10
straight postseason appearances ended, while the Coyotes will miss the
playoffs for the third straight campaign.
Philadelphia has picked up its play in March, going 3-1-1 so far this month.
The Flyers are coming off Saturday afternoon's home victory over the Boston
Bruins. Dimitry Afanasenkov scored a goal and added an assist to help lift the
Flyers to the 4-1 triumph at the Wachovia Center.
Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall also tallied goals for the
Flyers, while Martin Biron stopped 26-of-27 shots. Gagne suffered a groin
injury in Saturday's victory and is expected to be sidelined for at least the
Flyers' next two games.
Philadelphia opens a brief two-game road trip this evening and will close the
set Tuesday in Dallas. The Flyers are just 12-19-4 as the visiting team this
year, and have dropped four of their last five on the road.
While the Flyers have improved their play recently, Phoenix has dropped its
last five contests. The most recent setback came Saturday against visiting
Chicago, as Jeff Hamilton registered a five-point night and recorded a hat
trick to lead the Blackhawks to a 7-5 victory.
Mathias Tjarnqvist had a goal and an assist for Phoenix. Bill Thomas, Mike
Zigomanis, Jeff Taffe and Daniel Carcillo also tallied for the Coyotes, while
Niko Kapanen had two assists and Derek Morris added three helpers.
Mikael Tellqvist started in net, but allowed five goals on 17 shots before he
was replaced by Curtis Joseph, who stopped 12-of-14 shots the rest of the way.
Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick is suffering from a sore back and is
questionable for this evening's game. Roenick played with Philadelphia from
2001-02 through the 2003-04 campaign and has yet to face his former team since
being dealt to Los Angeles prior to last season.
This evening's test marks the third segment of a five-game homestand for the
Coyotes, who are 14-16-2 as the host this year and have dropped six of their
last seven at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes and Flyers are facing each other for the first time since a
December 5, 2004 meeting in Philadelphia. The Orange & Black have won two
straight and three of the last four meetings against Phoenix.
03/12 10:27:38 ET