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)
10 Brayden Schenn – 28 Claude Giroux – 93 Jakub Voracek
24 Matt Read – 14 Sean Couturier – 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl – 40 Vincent Lecavalier – 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
35 Steve Mason / 29 Ray Emery
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).
This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.