Game 78, Preview and Game Thread: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers

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#7 Montreal Canadiens (37-32-8, 82 pts) at #6 Philadelphia Flyers (38-33-6, 82 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, TSN HD, RDS HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
This is the open game thread.
Get the Montreal perspective at Habs Eyes On The Prize
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This is the biggest game of the year to date. Tied with Montreal at 82 points and teetering on the brink of missing the playoffs, the Flyers absolutely need a win tonight against Montreal.

The orange and black are struggling mightily, as evidenced by last night's outcome and the necessity of signing Sebastien Caron, but if there's one thing to take solace in right now, it's that the other teams in the playoff race are struggling just as much. Montreal is one of those teams.

The bleu, blanc et rouge haven't played much over the last week or so, but they've lost each of their last two games, including one to the lowly Hurricanes. They have injuries, they lack confidence, and they have a minor goaltending controversy. Sound familiar?

Peter Laviolette will start Brian Boucher tonight, and he's going to sit Riley Cote. Things are tough for Riles these days -- not playing, can't win a fight when he does play. Now, he's lost his forward position to a stay at home defenseman. Oskars Bartulis will play on the fourth-line wing tonight. Ryan Parent is back on defense.

Atlanta and Boston are idle tonight, but the Flyers can put a much needed four-point gap between themselves and the 9th-place Thrashers with a win tonight. A loss, and well, things get really dicey.

After the jump, lineups, questions to answer and our in-game thread.

Flyers Line Combinations

van Riemsdyk – Richards – Giroux
Gagne – Briere – Leino
Hartnell – Powe – Asham
Bartulis – Laperriere – Betts

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Krajicek
Parent - Coburn

Montreal Line Combinations

Cammalleri - Plekanec - A. Kostitsyn
Pouliot - Gomez - Gionta
Moen - Moore - S. Kostitsyn
Bergeron - Lapierre - Pyatt

Markov - O`Byrne
Hamrlik - Spacek
Gill - Gorges

Starting Goaltenders


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Michael Leighton 34 1799 17 9 85 2.83 899 814 .905 1


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Jaroslav Halak 40 2323 24 12 94 2.43 1220 1126 .923 3

 

Questions to Answer

  1. Are the Flyers in 6th place at the end of the night?
  2. Do we see Sebastien Caron in goal at all tonight?
  3. How does Bartulis look as a forward (lol)?
  4. Briere has been successful against Montreal all year, including a hat trick last time out. Does that continue tonight?
  5. There were some fireworks between these two teams back before the Olympics. Any remnants now that the stakes are higher?

Join us for the conversation here tonight. LET'S GO FLYERS!

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