Flyers-Canadiens: 5 things you need to know

Flyers-Canadiens: 5 things you need to know

Briere's message to fans: It was a great ride

December 12, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Twenty-four hours after suffering a 7-2 thrashing at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Flyers (13-15-3) return home to take on the Montreal Canadiens (19-10-3).

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (CSN) at Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the game:

1. No place like home
After earning just five points on their six-game, 13-day road trip, the Flyers will be happy to return to Wells Fargo Center Thursday evening. They’ve won five in a row on home ice and have outscored the opposition 20-8 during that stretch.

A matchup with the Canadiens could be just what the Flyers need to get back on track after dropping four of the final five games on their trip. The Flyers have won five straight against Montreal on home ice dating back to the 2009-10 season.

If the Flyers can make it six straight against the Canadiens, it would be the team’s longest winning streak at Wells Fargo Center since they won seven in a row from Oct. 23-Nov. 15, 2010.

However, beating the Habs will be no easy task as they enter Thursday having earned at least one point in the standings in 10 of their last 11 games (9-1-1). The Canadiens’ lone loss came Tuesday, when the Los Angeles Kings shut them out 6-0.

The Flyers have won eight of the last 11 meetings against Montreal, but lost the only game between the two clubs this season. The Canadiens handed the orange and black a 4-1 loss on Oct. 5 in Montreal.

2. Briere’s return
Flyers fans will get to see the familiar No. 48 take the ice Thursday, only this time he’ll be wearing red, white and blue.

Danny Briere will play his first game in Philadelphia as a member of the Canadiens and his second game against his former team since being bought out by the Flyers this past offseason (see story).

In six seasons with the Flyers, Briere tallied 124 goals and 159 assists in 364 games. What many will remember him for was his play in the postseason. The veteran forward recorded 37 goals -- nine game-winners -- and 35 assists in 68 career playoff games with the Flyers.

Briere was held pointless in his first meeting with the Flyers this season, but he has torched his former club in the past. In 17 career games against the Flyers, he has nine goals and nine assists.

3. Bad trend
The Flyers have received great goaltending for most of the season, but their netminders have struggled of late.

Steve Mason and Ray Emery have given up a combined 16 goals in three consecutive losses.

Emery was pulled in the third period Wednesday after allowing six markers on 18 shots. Mason will get the nod against Montreal.

4. Injuries
Vinny Lecavalier is on injured reserve with a back injury. He’ll be sidelined for three to four weeks.

For the Habs, forward Rene Bourque, who had a goal and an assist earlier this season against the Flyers, skated before practice Wednesday, but will not be with the team on its two-game road trip because of an upper-body injury.

In addition, Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said defenseman Davis Drewiske (shoulder) will not play Thursday.

5. This and that
• Jakub Voracek has scored a goal in back-to-back games. Six of his nine assists this year have come at Wells Fargo Center.

• Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, who did not play against the Flyers earlier this season, has nine goals in his past 11 games.

• The Flyers are 3-2-0 in the second half of games on back-to-back nights and all three victories have been one-goal games.

• The Canadiens will play eight of their next 10 games on the road.

• Briere holds the Flyers’ record for most points in a playoff year after leading all players in the 2010 playoffs with 30 points.