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Gameday: Flyers host Senators (the Canadian kind, not Arlen Specter)

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#13 Ottawa Senators (19-25-8, 46 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (28-14-9, 65 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EST - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN HD, RDS, Sportsnet East HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 209
This is the open game thread.
Live Internet Stream (wont work until game time)
Behind Enemy Lines: Sens Army Blog, SENShobo
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By the time the Flyers take the ice tonight in South Philly, it will be four whole days since they last played in a game. In that time, Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall came back from the flu which is now hopefully gone from the team for good, Claude Giroux solidified himself on the first line, Jared Ross was sent back to the Phantoms, Lasse Kukkonen cleared waivers and was sent to the Phantoms, and Antero Niittymaki essentially won the starting goaltender position.

Whew. Now that we're caught up...

The Senators come into the game a different team then when we last saw them on December 23rd. They're coming off a home and home sweep of the Sabres, most recently winning last night 3-1 in Buffalo behind a strong effort from rookie goalie Brian Elliott.

The penalty-killing unit for Ottawa did an unbelievable job, holding Buffalo's 10th-ranked power play to just one goal on twelve (!) attempts. Those 12 tries are the most one team has had in one game all season, and it was aided by the fact the former Flyer captain received a triple-minor (can't say I've ever seen that before) for hitting Patrick Kaleta into the boards.

Ottawa is now 2-1-1 under new head coach Cory Clouston, who was appointed as the coach when Craig Hartsburg was fired on the 3rd. They're riding a two game winning streak coming into the game against the Flyers, but they haven't strung three wins in a row together all season.

Between the Pipes: Antero Niittymaki goes for the Flyers. We know this.

For Ottawa, Elliott was already mentioned, but it's unknown if he'll go after playing last night. The Senators other goaltender, Alex Auld, hasn't started since February 1st and hasn't won since December 6th, including the 23rd against Philly. Wow. Auld is 1-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .878 save percentage in two career games against the Flyers. Elliott has never faced the Flyers.


Ottawa Senators Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Shean Donovan other-excused 02/11/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cody Bass shoulder 12/28/2008

Questions To Answer

  1. The new line of Mike Richards centering Darroll Powe and Scottie Upshall is different, yet intriguing. They seem like a line with a ton of energy. How's it work out?
  2. Claude Giroux earned his spot on the top line between Knuble and Gagne -- pretty much the reason for the Richards/Powe/Upshall line. Does he carry his strong performance from the weekend over?
  3. Four days off again between games. The Flyers have had these ridiculous lay offs between games seemingly all season. And the same questions remains: how's it affect them, especially in a game that could be considered harder to get up for against a weaker team?