The Flyers will take home ice for the first time in 2014 tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens, and they'll do it coming off of a 5-1 road trip that saw them leap to second place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
Montreal Canadiens (25-14-5, 55 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (22-17-4, 48 pts)
7:30 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
Local TV: CSN Philly, TSN, RDS | Radio: 97.5 FM
Get the Montreal perspective at Eyes On The Prize
The Flyers haven't been home in a while, but remember: they still have that home winning streak going. They've won nine straight at the Wells Fargo Center, dating back two months, when they lost to New Jersey, 3-0, on Nov. 7. All nine wins have come in regulation, too. The Flyers haven't won 10 straight at home in regulation in nearly 30 years, according to Elias Sports Bureau. So that'd be kind of cool.
Steve Mason will be back in goal tonight after a blah game against Phoenix over the weekend in which he allowed three goals on 29 shots. He's been up and down over the road trip, so here's hoping he bounces back a bit tonight against a tough Habs team.
Montreal will send backup Peter Budaj into the cage this evening, so the Flyers get a break from the Olympic-caliber play of Carey Price. The Habs ill also be without offensive threat Alex Galchenyuk, who broke his hand on Monday vs. Florida. Galchenyuk is third amongst Canadiens forwards in points, so that's a tough loss for them.
The Habs are a stingy team in terms of goals allowed per game, but that might be largely in part to Price, who currently carries a .928 save percentage, and a 4th-ranked penalty kill. They can be out-possessed, and they have been in recent games. Montreal fans saw Monday's win against Florida as one that righted the ship in some ways, but they're still a team searching for consistency this season.
Just as is the case with a nasty losing spell, bounces and luck often are just as important as skill when putting together a stretch of winning. The Flyers have been playing much better, especially offensively, as of late. They'll need that to continue, and they'll need to keep getting the bounces now that they're back on home ice as well.
The game begins at 7:30 tonight on CSN locally. Go Flyers.