Flyers-Oilers: 5 things you need to know

Flyers-Oilers: 5 things you need to know

The Flyers talk about their struggles on the road

December 28, 2013, 1:00 pm
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The Flyers (17-16-4) will kick off their six-game road trip with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers (13-24-3) on Saturday night.

Puck drop is set for 10 p.m. (TCN) at Rexall Place.

Here are five things you need to know:

1. A date with Mr. Universe
A familiar face will be between the pipes for the Oilers on Saturday.

Ilya Bryzgalov, who had the remainder of his nine-year, $51 million contract bought out by the Flyers last summer, will face his former club for the first time since signing a one-year deal with Edmonton.

Since joining the Oilers, Bryzgalov has gone 2-4-0 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.

Flyers head coach Craig Berube wants his club focused on the game itself, not the distraction of taking on Bryzgalov.

“Our team needs not to worry about him and who’s in net,” Berube said Friday (see story). “They need to worry about their game and how they need to play … to get two points. That’s it. That’s it. If they don’t do that, we’re not going to be successful. You need to think properly, get your head on straight before the game.”

2. Road woes
The road has not been kind to the orange and black.

The Flyers have dropped five in a row away from Wells Fargo Center and are 2-6-3 over their past 11 road games.

Not working in the Flyers' favor is Rexall Place. The Flyers haven't earned a victory in Edmonton since March 19, 2001.

In fact, the home team was won each of the last four meetings between these two clubs.

Earlier this season, the Flyers had four different players -- Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Vinny Lecavalier and Jay Rosehill -- find the back of the net in a 4-2 win over the Oilers on Nov. 9 at Wells Fargo Center.

3. Still streaking
The Flyers have scored at least three goals in each of their last five games. That ties them with the Anaheim Ducks for the longest active streak in the NHL entering the weekend.

Jakub Voracek and Giroux are a big reason for the high offensive production.

After failing to find the scoresheet in seven straight, Voracek has registered at least a point in each of his last eight games and has six goals and seven assists during that span.

Giroux has been red-hot, as well. The Flyers' captain has scored five goals and assisted eight more during his current seven-game point-scoring streak.

For the Oilers, Taylor Hall has been virtually unstoppable at home as of late. The former first-overall pick has seven goals and 15 points over his past 10 games at Rexall Place.

4. Injuries
Steve Downie is expected to return to the Flyers' lineup against Edmonton (see story). The gritty forward, who missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, skated with Chris VandeVelde and Zac Rinaldo at Friday's early morning practice.

Adam Hall (illness) traveled with the team but is questionable for Saturday's game. Erik Gustafsson (sprained knee) remains sidelined.

The Oilers have no injuries to report.

5. This and that
• The Flyers have allowed 82 goals in the second and third periods combined this season, but just 18 in the first frame.

• Ryan Smyth ended a 13-game goalless drought by scoring both goals in Edmonton's 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday.

• Wayne Simmonds has recorded back-to-back multi-goal games for the first time in his NHL career.

• Taylor Hall, who has scored in each of his two career meetings against the Flyers, has five points in his last four games.

• The Flyers are 7-1-0 this season when Matt Read scores a goal.