GAMEDAY PREVIEW: FLYERS VS. CANADIENS
Coming off back-to-back losses to start the 2014-15 regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-0) will take on the undefeated Montreal Canadiens (2-0-0) at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. Game time is 7 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised locally on CSN Philadelphia.
This is the first of three meetings this season between the teams, and the lone clash at the Wells Fargo Center.
The clubs will rematch in Montreal on Nov. 15 and Feb. 10.
Both the Flyers and Canadiens are in action for the third time in four nights. Philadelphia hosts the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night before embarking on a three-game road trip that will take them to Dallas, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Flyers Outlook
In their first two games of the seasons, the Flyers have lost a low-scoring (2-1) game in Boston and a high-scoring (6-4) home match against the Devils. Philly showed resiliency in battling back from deficits in both games but ultimately walked away empty. The Flyers have yet to play with a lead through their first 120 minutes of hockey.
A pair of goals by Wayne Simmonds and a Claude Giroux goal sparked a rapid comeback from a 3-0 deficit late in the second period of Thursday’s home opener. Vincent Lecavalier, who set up Simmonds’ buzzer-beating second goal, quickly retied the game at 4-4 after New Jersey regained the lead. The Flyers, who went 2-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, simply hemorrhaged too many even strength goals to New Jersey.
Steve Mason got the start in both the first and second games. He was outstanding in Boston (31 saves on 33 shots) and ordinary against New Jersey (20 saves on 25 shots). None of the first four goals he yielded in the Devils game were his fault — one was scored through a heavy screen, two were unstoppable deflections and one was scored by a wide-open Patrik Elias from point blank range. However, the game winning goal by ex-Flyer Dainius Zubrus was a stoppable shot.
Top pairing defenseman Braydon Coburn sustained a lower-body injury in the Boston game. Nick Schultz started in Coburn’s lineup spot on Thursday. Coburn was on crutches during the pregame introductions at the home opener. Initially feared to be lost for an extended period of time, Coburn received a better-than-expected diagnosis yesterday. He will be re-evaluated again early next week. If all goes well, Coburn’s absence from the lineup may be more of a day-to-day situation than a multi-week prognosis. Canadiens Outlook
The Canadiens opened their regular season schedule with a 4-3 win in Toronto on Wednesday and 2-1 victory via shootout in Washington the following evening. Tonight’s game is the third in a four-game road trip for the Habs.
On opening night in Toronto, the Canadiens got goals from Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and a pair of tallies by Tomas Plekanec to down the Maple Leafs in a seesaw affair of a game. Carey Price turned aside 24 of 27 shots to earn the win. The Canadiens went 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Canadiens got off to a very slow start in the Capitals game. The Habs relied heavily on goaltender Dustin Tokarski (30 saves on 31 shots) to keep the game close until they got their legs moving. Washington clung to an early 1-0 lead that they nursed until midway through the third period. Finally, Plekanec knotted the score with his third goal in two games. In the shootout, Brendan Gallagher notched the game-winning goal in the fifth round. First-round and second-round shooters Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais also converted their attempts.
Montreal went 0-for-5 on the power play in Washington. The Canadiens were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill against the Capitals. Projected Lineups (subject to change, will be updated as needed)
12 Michael Raffl – 28 Claude Giroux – 93 Jakub Voracek
10 Brayden Schenn – 40 Vincent Lecavalier – 17 Wayne Simmonds
24 Matt Read – 14 Sean Couturier – 18 R.J. Umberger
36 Zac Rinaldo – 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – 42 Jason Akeson
47 Andrew MacDonald – 55 Nick Schultz
8 Nicklas Grossmann – 32 Mark Streit
15 Michael Del Zotto – 22 Luke Schenn
29 Ray Emery
[35 Steve Mason]
Scratches: Blair Jones (healthy), Braydon Coburn (lower body).
27 Alex Galchenyuk – 14 Tomas Plekanec – 11 Brendan Gallagher
67 Max Pacioretty – 51 David Desharnais – 15 P.A. Parenteau
17 Rene Bourque – 81 Lars Eller – 26 Jiri Sekac
8 Brandon Prust – 20 Manny Malhotra – 32 Travis Moen
74 Alexei Emelin – 76 P.K. Subban
79 Andrei Markov – 77 Tom Gilbert
28 Nathan Beaulieu – 43 Mike Weaver
31 Carey Price
[35 Dustin Tokarski]
Scratches: Michael Bournival (healthy), Jarred Tinordi (healthy), Dale Weise (healthy).
************** QUICK HITS: OCTOBER 11
* QMJHL: Flyers 2013 first-round pick Samuel Morin was minus-two with no points as Rimouski prevailed 6-5 via shootout against Blainville-Boisbriand on Friday night. Morin registered five shots on goal, was credited with three hits and charged with a second period roughing minor. Rimouski plays Quebec on the road on Sunday.
* QMJHL: Flyers 2014 second-round pick Nicolas Aube-Kubel was credited with one assist, four shots on goal and two hits in Val-d’Or’s 5-2 win over Cape Breton on Friday night. The Foreurs are right back in action on Saturday, hosting Moncton.
* WHL: Flyers 2014 first-round pick Travis Sanheim was minus-one with no points in the Calgary Hitmen’s 3-2 win over Victoria on Friday night. Sanheim did not record a shot on goal. Flyers 2014 sixth-round pick Radel Fazleev was also held off the scoresheet. He was even with three shots on goal.
* Flyers Alumni Birthday: The late Miroslav “Cookie” Dvorak was born on this day in 1951. Checking forward Claude Lapointe turns 46 today.
* Today in Flyers History: On October 11, 1981, Flyers forward Ilkka Sinisalo scored the first goal of his NHL career on a penalty shot against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Paul Harrison in an 8-2 Philadelphia win. Sinisalo became the first Flyers player and the third in NHL history to accomplish that feat.
This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.