Flyers vs. Canadiens – 7:30 p.m., CSN
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Flyers: 15-17-3 (Last in Atlantic Division, 13th in Eastern Conference)
Canadiens: 23-7-5 (First in Northeast Division, second in Eastern Conference)
In the last matchup between these two clubs, the Canadiens handled the Flyers in a 4-1 win in Montreal on Feb. 16. Danny Briere potted the Flyers’ lone goal, while four different Canadiens found the back of the net. Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais and Tomas Plekanec each beat Ilya Bryzgalov before Rene Bourque sealed the victory for the Habs with an empty-net marker.
Wednesday will mark the second of three meetings between the Flyers and Canadiens this season. The two teams will play once more in 2013 on April 15 in Montreal.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored for the second time in as many games and the Flyers rallied for a furious 5-4 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. The Flyers went down 4-2 in the third period, but Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen each scored before Fedotenko ended the game in OT with his third tally of the season. The win did come at a cost, however, as Max Talbot, who scored the Flyers’ first goal, suffered a broken leg in the second period.
After scoring just one goal in 12 contests, Max Pacioretty tallied two markers to help the Canadiens upend the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, on Monday. Habs netminder Carey Price turned aside 18 saves in his 300th career NHL game. After beating Carolina, Montreal has won all 10 games its played against Southeast Division opponents this season.
Claude Giroux has been playing like a man possessed over the past six games. The Flyers’ captain has recorded three goals and six assists during that span and has vaulted himself into a tie with Jakub Voracek for the team-lead in points with 35.
For Montreal, P.K. Subban has posted six points in his past three games. The Canadiens’ defenseman has 10 goals and 18 assists for the Habs this season and is tied with Minnesota’s Ryan Suter and Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang for the league lead in points amongst defenseman with 28.
A year after scoring a career-high 37 goals, Scott Hartnell has struggled offensively in this lockout-shortened season. The winger has tallied just three points – all goals – in his last 10 contests and is on pace to record seven markers and 12 points in 2013.
Price hasn’t had much success against the Flyers as of late. In his last six starts versus the orange and black, he’s gone 1-5 with a 3.38 goals-against average.
Keep an eye on...
Time is running out for the Flyers. They have 13 games left to put together a run for a playoff position and enter Wednesday trailing the New York Islanders by six points – with two games in hand – for the eighth seed in the East.
Montreal, which is currently riding a three-game winning streak, holds a one-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Northeast Division. The Habs also enter this contest with one of the NHL’s best road marks at 12-3-2.
The Flyers, who have won two games in a row five times this season but have yet to put together a three-game winning streak, will complete a five-game homestand on Wednesday night. They have gone 2-1-1 in their last four contests at the Wells Fargo Center and have won two straight after a 0-2-2 skid.
The NHL’s top power-play unit will be facing off against one of hottest penalty-kill units on Wednesday. The Flyers have gone 6 for 9 on the man advantage in their last five games and are a league-best 24.8 percent on the PP. Montreal, however, has been lights out while a man down, successfully killing off 21 of their past 23 penalties.
Did you know?
The Flyers have outscored the Canadiens 15-6 while winning their last four matchups in South Philly against Montreal.
Flyers: Another game, another injury for the orange and black. Talbot will be out indefinitely after sustaining a broken left leg on Sunday.
Briere (concussion), Braydon Coburn (separated left shoulder), Jody Shelley (left hip surgery) are all on injured reserve and are also out indefinitely.
Nicklas Grossmann, who has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury, is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game.
Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Canadiens: Ryan White has missed Montreal’s last five games and is questionable to play against the Flyers on Wednesday.
Bourque (concussion), Colby Armstrong (lower-body), Yannick Weber (knee) and Raphael Diaz (concussion) are all on IR.
Will the Flyers win their season-best third straight game?