Game 20: Carolina Hurricanes at Flyers Pronger and Coburn OUT

Game 20: Carolina Hurricanes at Flyers Pronger and Coburn OUT

Add
two more names to the Flyers' list of skating wounded. Defensemen Chris
Pronger and Braydon Coburn won't face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight,
each sitting with as-yet undisclosed injuries (ie, it hasn't been
specified whether they are upper or lower body injuries). Marc-Andre
Bourdon and Kevin Marshall will dress in their places, having been
called up/down from the Adirondack Phantoms earlier today. Harry Z has
been sent to Trenton, presumably to keep him close by for a quick
recall.

Can't say we're pleased to hear any injury news for Chris Pronger,
who suffered lingering back issues after breaking a hand last year and
missed time due to a stick to his eye already this season. Hopefully
it's nothing major, perhaps just a flu bug or other illness. The decisions made in personnel—both the guys they called up and the presumed short-term loan of Harry Z) are at least good signs that the Flyers aren't immediately looking to replace Pronger and Coburn for a long time. [Injury Update from Paul Holmgren below]

On to the game.

In two contests so far this season, including one a week ago tonight, the Flyers have topped the Hurricanes 5-1 and 5-3.

The
Canes are 7-11-3, with their 17 points currently representing last
place in the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference. They're not
scoring a ton of goals nor doing a particularly good job keeping the
light off behind their own net, and neither their power play (woeful)
nor penalty killing are anything to write home about so far.

A 3-2 win over Toronto yesterday snapped a three-game losing skid,
including two shutouts; Carolina has turned in a terrible November to
date, losing seven of 10 games. Their other two wins this month came
over Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Cam Ward started last night, but it appears head coach Paul Maurice won't be giving Brian Boucher a go in front of a Flyers faithful that are still happy to call him our own, even if he may get a mock cheer here and there. Boosh took the 5-1 loss in the team's previous visit to Philly this season, while Ward took the 5-3 defeat in Carolina. Pucking Hockey lists Ward as tonight's Canes starter, and Ilya Bryzgalov is back between the pipes for the Flyers.

The Hurricanes have had trouble finding the net lately, scoring just
three goals in their last three games, all of which came in last
night's win. Will the Flyers' depleted blue line be able to keep them
muted? Will Matt Read stay blazing hot? Will Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, and Matt Carle be skated into the ground as they try to hide two guys making their NHL debuts?

There's more to this matchup than first place vs. last place...

[Update: Paul Holmgren informs the beats that Pronger has a virus, and Coburn an upper-body injury that is barring him from contact. Both are day-to-day. Erik Gustafsson was placed on LTIR]

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty had four goals, Brian Flynn scored twice during a six-goal first period and the Montreal Canadiens routed the Colorado Avalanche 10-1 on Saturday night.

Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen each scored against Calvin Pickard in the opening 7:12, and then Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn each had a goal among the first four shots on Semyon Varlamov.

Pacioretty completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give the captain seven goals in his last four games.

Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal, which has shown no drop-off without injured scoring leader and first-line center Alex Galchenyuk. Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16 (see full recap).

Malkin, Crosby lead Penguins past Lightning 4-3
TAMPA, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby had another eventful night.

The Penguins star returned after passing concussion protocol following a first-period hit to get his 20th goal, and that stoked Pittsburgh's rally for its latest victory.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored their second goals on third-period power plays, helping the Penguins come back to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday.

Crosby was shaken up by Luke Witkowski's check with eight minutes to go in the first but returned for the start of the second period (see full recap).

Late barrage helps Blue Jackets beat Islanders 6-2
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones each had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Josh Anderson, Brandon Saad and Lukas Sedlak also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves.

Josh Bailey and John Tavares scored for New York, which had earned a point in a season-high five straight games (4-0-1). Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves until he was pulled after the Blue Jackets scored four consecutive goals in the third period.

Anderson put Columbus ahead 3-2 at 2:19 when he picked off a defensive pass and banged it in from the slot seconds after coming onto the ice for his shift (see full recap).

Matthews, Hyman score in 2nd, Maple Leafs beat Bruins 4-1
BOSTON -- The Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to overcome a poor opening period.

Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

"The last three games the first period kind of did us in," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't start on time. We were able to hold on. It still wasn't the first period we wanted, but we didn't give up the goals and we were able to execute a little bit."

After managing only two shots on goal in the first, Toronto was happy to get to the dressing room with the game scoreless (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 19 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies rolled over the Golden State Warriors 110-89 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 30 points in the second half - the biggest advantage by any Warriors opponent this season. Seven Memphis players finished in double figures.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 21 points, while Stephen Curry added 17 points and Ian Clark finished with 10 points. Curry and backcourt starter Klay Thompson (eight points) were a combined 8 of 28 from the field, including 3 of 14 outside the arc.

Memphis built a double-digit lead early, led 61-38 at halftime and kept building in the third quarter (see full recap).

Butler, Wade lead Bulls to 105-100 win over Heat
CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 against his former team and the Chicago Bulls held off the struggling Miami Heat 105-100 on Saturday night.

Butler scored Chicago's final 10 points to help the Bulls come out on top after Miami pulled within one.

Wade keyed a big third-quarter run in his second game against the Heat, and the Bulls hung on after handing San Antonio its first road loss two nights earlier.

Goran Dragic led Miami with 21 points and 11 assists. An energetic Hassan Whiteside added 20 points after being benched for part of Friday's blowout loss in Cleveland. Tyler Johnson scored 15, but the Heat dropped their fifth straight (see full recap).

LeBron scores 44, reaches assist mark as Cavs down Hornets
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reached another career milestone as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth straight, 116-105 over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

James did it all, adding 10 assists and nine rebounds in 43 minutes. He took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 straight during one stretch to help the Cavs hold on.

As the final seconds ticked off, James stood at midcourt and spun the ball on his index finger as the crowd roared.

James, who moved into ninth place on the career scoring list Friday, recorded his 7,000th assist in the first half, becoming the first frontcourt player in NBA history to reach the plateau. James is the only player with 27,000 points and 7,000 assists (see full recap).

George has 37 points to lead Pacers over Blazers 118-111
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored a season-high 37 points to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Portland Trail Blazers 118-111 on Saturday night.

George made five 3-pointers, and Thaddeus Young hit six 3s while getting 24 points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner added 14 points for the Pacers, who had lost five straight regular season games to Portland.

C.J. McCollum made a career-high seven 3-pointers and had a season-best 34 points for the Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard had 33 points behind five 3s.

George scored 13 straight points in the fourth quarter for Indiana. He was fouled on the go-ahead basket with 4:36 remaining and completed the three-point play to give the Pacers a 108-105 lead (see full recap).