Game 71, Preview and Game Thread: Philadelphia Flyers at Atlanta Thrashers

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#5 Philadelphia Flyers (37-28-5, 79 pts) at #9 Atlanta Thrashers (30-29-11, 71 pts)
Phillips Arena - 7:00 PM ET - Atlanta, GA
TV: The Comcast Network HD, SportSouth
Radio: 610 WIP
This is the open game thread.
Get the Atlanta perspective at Bird Watchers Anonymous
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Brief preview tonight because... well, it's nice outside and all that stuff.

In the fourth and final game of this road trip, the Flyers wrap up against a Thrashers team clinging on for dear life. Just three points out of the playoff picture, today's game and tomorrow's game with the Flyers in Philadelphia are potentially season defining for Atlanta. How can that be with more than 10 games left on the schedule?

Consider that the Thrashers are in ninth place, behind eighth place Boston, who they play on Tuesday night. If the Thrashers can take four points from the Flyers, they put themselves in prime position to leap over Boston on Tuesday night. A loss or two could seriously damage their postseason chances.

For the Flyers, it's essentially all for seeding now... believe it or not. Eight points in with about 10 games to play is a nice spot to hold, but the jockeying for positioning is clearly on. More important, however, is the need to enter the postseason on a strong note. The puck needs to keep going in the net from here on out and Brian Boucher has to be excellent in goal.

No lineup changes for the Flyers. After the jump, questions to answer and our in-game thread.

Questions to Answer

  1. Can Brian Boucher build upon his strong performance against Dallas?
  2. After losing six straight, the Thrashers are climbing the standings and have themselves in a position where hope is an option. The Flyers can ruin that this weekend, but can they match the intensity that Atlanta will obviously show up with?
  3. Danny Briere averages more than a point per game with the Thrashers. Can he keep up that pace tonight?

The Comcast Network (damn), WIP. LET'S GO FLYERS!

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