Flyers-Canadiens: What you need to know

Flyers-Canadiens: What you need to know

February 16, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Flyers at Canadiens – 7 p.m., CSN
Belle Centre, Montreal

The Flyers can put Friday’s 5-3 loss to New Jersey behind them rather quickly as they will continue their six-game road trip with a stop in Montreal on Saturday evening.

Both teams have struggled offensively. The Flyers rank near the bottom of the NHL with 2.46 goals per game and the Canadiens have posted just one goal or none in three of their past five games.

The Flyers could be without top defenseman Kimmo Timonen against Montreal, which is searching for a third straight victory. Timonen did not return to the ice for the third period of Friday’s loss. General manager Paul Holmgren said the veteran has a lower-body injury (see story).

Flyers: 6-8-1 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, 10th in Eastern Conference)
Canadiens: 8-4-1 (Second in Northeast Division, Fifth in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced off, Danny Briere tallied two power-play markers to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens on March 24, 2012. Kimmo Timonen and Matt Read also found the back of the net for the Flyers, who clinched a playoff berth with the win. Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 23 saves.

The Flyers won the 2011-12 season series, going 3-1-0 while outscoring the Habs, 12-10, in those four contests. Saturday will be the first of three matchups between the Flyers and Montreal this season.

Previous games
Despite scoring three first-period goals and outshooting the Devils, 28-19, the Flyers suffered a 5-3 loss in New Jersey on Friday night (see recap). Wayne Simmonds, Mike Knuble and Read all registered markers for the Flyers, who fell to 1-2 on their current six-game road trip. Bryzgalov fell to 6-7-1 on the season after making just 15 saves.

The Canadiens are coming off a 1-0 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers. Carey Price recorded his 17th career shutout after stopping all 26 of the Panthers' shots on net. Rene Bourque tallied the game-winner in OT to help Montreal win its second straight on the road.

Keep an eye on...
Saturday’s contest in the fifth set of back-to-back games for the Flyers so far this season. They have gone 1-4 in the first game and 2-2 in the second, having won the last two back ends in a row.

Brayden Schenn has earned at least one point in six of his last eight games. He has three goals and five assists during that span and is tied with Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Read for the team lead in points this season with 10.

Giroux, who played in his 300th career NHL game on Friday, had two helpers in the Flyers’ loss to the Devils. He had just two assists in his previous five games combined.

After winning a franchise-best 25 road games last season, the Flyers have struggled while away from the Wells Fargo Center so far this year. They have lost seven of nine games on the road and have been outscored 31-21 in those contests.

Montreal is entering the weekend first in the league in power-play opportunities with 69. The Canadiens have converted on 14 of those opportunities (20.3 percent), which is good for third-best in the NHL.

Pay the Price
Price hasn’t had much success against the Flyers lately. The Canadiens’ netminder has lost five of his last six starts with a 3.38 goals-against average versus the orange and black.

In 14 career appearances against the Flyers overall, Price has a 7-6-0 record with two shutouts, a 2.42 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

UPDATE: Price will not play Saturday night due to flu-like symptoms. Backup goalie Peter Budaj will get the start in net. Budaj has just two appearances in his career against the Flyers -- both of which were losses -- but hasn't faced them since December 2008.

Did you know?
After holding New Jersey scoreless on its only power play attempt on Friday, the Flyers have now successfully killed off 29 of their last 31 shorthanded situations (93.5 percent).

Flyers: The severity of Timonen’s lower-body injury is uncertain. For now, he is considered day-to-day.

Scott Hartnell (left foot) and Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) are back skating with the Flyers, but neither player is ready for a return just yet.

Jody Shelley (hip) and Michael Leighton (upper-body) are on injured reserve.

Canadiens: Petteri Nokelainen started the season on injured reserve with a back injury. His return date is still unknown.

Goaltender Carey Price is sidelined with flu-like symptoms.

Sound off
How concerned are you by the Flyers’ struggles on the road?