Flyers-Senators: What you need to know

Flyers-Senators: What you need to know
April 11, 2013, 11:45 am
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Buy out Bryz?

Have you had enough for Ilya Bryzgalov? Should the Flyers amnesty him only two years into his nine-year, $51 million deal?

Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough and Mike Halford discussed that possibility on Wednesday. Watch it here.

Flyers vs. Senators – 7 p.m., CSN
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Flyers: 17-19-3 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 12th in Eastern Conference)

Senators: 19-14-6 (Fourth in Northeast Division, sixth in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs met, the Flyers came away with a scrappy but entertaining 2-1 win on March 2 at the Wells Fargo Center. Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek each scored in the second period for the Flyers and netminder Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 33 shots, including 14 in the opening frame.

After Thursday's contest, the Flyers, who have just nine games remaining this season, will face Ottawa one more time in 2013. The two teams will next play each other on April 27 – the final day of the NHL regular season.

Previous games
Steve Mason performed admirably in his first start as a member of the orange and black, but it wasn't enough as the New York Islanders handed the Flyers a crushing 4-1 defeat on Tuesday. Mason finished the game with 28 saves, including a remarkable stop on a breakaway by Isles forward Kyle Okposo. Voracek netted the Flyers' lone marker.

The Senators continued their slide after falling to Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, on Tuesday. The loss was Ottawa's fifth in a row. Daniel Alfredsson and Guillaume Latendresse scored for the slumping Sens, who hold a two-point lead over ninth-place Winnipeg.

Who's hot
Voracek is the only Flyer who is averaging at least one point per game this season. The 23-year-old forward is first on the team in scoring with 39 points and needs just one more goal to tie his career-high of 18 set last season.

Keep an eye on...
The Flyers are seven points out of a playoff position entering Thursday's NHL action. They need to take advantage of a reeling Ottawa team that has looked sluggish during its five-game skid. The Senators are 1-4 in their last five trips to South Philadelphia and are in the midst of a seven-game roadtrip in which they have not won a single game. With virtually every game remaining being a must-win, this is one the Flyers can't afford to let slip away.

Offense has been an issue for the Senators all season. They are averaging just 2.36 goals per game, which ranks them fifth-worst in the league. However, where the Sens have lacked in offense, Craig Anderson has more than helped make up for it in net. Ottawa is third-best in the NHL in goals against at 2.15.

The Flyers' power-play unit is ranked second in the league at 22.9 percent, but has struggled as of late. The Flyers have not been able to capitalize on the man advantage over the last four games and are 0-for-11 during that stretch. At the same time, the Flyers' penalty-kill unit has been a perfect 8 for 8 over the same period of time.

Did you know?
Over the last 28 meetings between the Flyers and Senators, the home team has gone 21-7.

Also, The Flyers have lost a total of 183 man-games to injury/illness so far this season.

Flyers: Braydon Coburn (separated left shoulder), Max Talbot (broken left leg), Zac Rinaldo (high left ankle sprain) and Jody Shelley (left hip surgery) are all out indefinitely.

Danny Briere and Nicklas Grossmann are both recovering from concussions. Briere will not play tonight, but could return for the weekend. Grossmann will be sidelined for another two to three weeks.

Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder surgery) is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Senators: Jason Spezza (back surgery), Erik Karlsson (left Achilles surgery), Jared Cowen (left hip surgery), Dave Dziurzynski (concussion) and Milan Michalek (knee surgery) are all on injured reserve and are out indefinitely.

Mike Hoffmann is questionable for Thursday's game with an upper-body injury.

Sound off
With the injuries to Spezza, Karlsson and Michalek, are you surprised the Senators are still holding onto a playoff position?

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