Game: Ottawa Senators (12-6-3) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (10-11-1)
Location: Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, PA)
TV: NHL Network, Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Previous Game: On Wednesday, the Flyers defeated the struggling Washington Capitals in front of the hometown fans. Claude Giroux started the scoring early in the game, and Simon Gagne commenced his second stint with the Flyers with a goal as well. Ilya Bryzgalov saved 23 of 24.
After failing to do so in several previous opportunities, the Philadelphia Flyers will look to pull to .500 on Saturday afternoon in a meeting with the Ottawa Senators. The Senators, who are the incumbent of the 5th place spot in the East, are coming off of a 2-1 OT loss to the Bruins.
In net for the Flyers will be Ilya Bryzgalov, who is coming off of a very good performance. As opposed to last season, Bryzgalov has looked confident in the net, and has given the guys in front of him a chance to win just about every game this season.
Back-up goaltender Ben Bishop is expected to get the start for Ottawa. Bishop has been strong in relief of Craig Anderson, who is recovering from an ankle injury. Anderson’s save percentage of .952% (1st in NHL) and goals allowed average of 1.58 (2nd in NHL) have propelled his team to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.
As of late, the Flyers’ offense has been able to find the back of the net. Tied for seventh in the league in points with 22 is Jakub Voracek, who has been a perfect fit on the top line. He has an impressive 9 points in his last 5 games. On Monday, Voracek was named the NHL’s first star of the week (11 points in 4 games).
Claude Giroux, captain of the Flyers, has also stepped up his play, having 9 points in the last 5 games as well. His strong play has inspired younger players, such as Brayden Schenn, to pick up his game as well.
The addition of Simon Gagne on Tuesday has sparked the Flyers third line, which consisted of Sean Couturier, Max Talbot, and the “newest” Flyer. Max Talbot scored his first of the season, and Gagne added to the effort with a goal of his own. Couturier, who also played a strong game, will be greatly benefited by the veteran presence on his line.
On the defensive side of play, things have been looking good as well. Nicholas Grossmann has certainly made his goaltender’s job easier, leading the league in blocked shots (61). The physical play of Luke Schenn has also been a very nice addition to the Philadelphia Flyers’ blue line.
All of these components will need to be present in order for the Flyers to beat a very good Ottawa Senators team. Attention to detail will be key for the Flyers’ defensemen, as shutting down Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris should be made a priority.
Saturday’s matinee should be a thriller, as the Philadelphia Flyers look to begin their climb up the standings with a win over the Ottawa Senators.