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Gameday: Stumbling Flyers take on red hot Preds

Nashville Predators (33-28-4, 70 points) #4 Philadelphia Flyers (34-19-10, 78 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EST - Philadelphia, PA
Radio: 94.1 WYSP, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: On The Forecheck

The Flyers had possibly their worst game of their season on Thursday night against Calgary, and if they want to make us forget about that, it's going to have to be an impressive showing tonight against Nashville.

That might not be all that easy, though. The Predators come into tonight's game sitting in sixth in the Western Conference, winners of six straight. They are led by their top line of Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott, and J.P. Dumont, a unit that has 11 goals and 17 assists in their last five games.

The Flyers anemic power play won't help things. They've been atrocious lately and tonight they face one of the premier penalty killing teams in the NHL. The Preds are fourth on the PK, stopping opponents 84.4% of the time. They are also the third best faceoff team in the league, so that's something to look out for as well. (The Flyers, by the way, are 25th in the league at faceoffs.)

Danny Briere will miss tonight's game, forcing Arron Asham up to the third line with Claude Giroux an Dan Carcillo. Man, that sounds like it's got some scoring punch. Andreas Nodl will play with Riley Cote and Darroll Powe on the fourth line. Remember way back when the Flyers had offensive depth?

These two teams haven't played since 2006, but historically the Predators do very well against Philadelphia, winning six of their last seven.

Between the Pipes: Martin Biron will be in net for the Flyers tonight. In relief of Antero Niittymaki on Thursday night, he gave up one goal while making 22 saves.

Rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne is likely in net for the Predators, although that is not completely certain as he has felt a little sick lately. Despite that, he's been in net for every game of the Preds six-game win streak and will be a tough customer for the Flyers tonight. Rinne has a 22-10-1 record this season.

Nashville Predators Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Nichol concussion 12/10/2008
Alexander Sulzer shoulder 01/29/2009

Questions To Answer

  1. Shea Weber has fought in five straight games. Does he make it six? Maybe Carcillo's first Flyer fight?
  2. How long does it take before John Stevens mixes up those lines? You don't really think Giroux will be stuck with Carcillo and Asham all game do you?
  3. Biron...?
  4. Turnovers were a huge killer for the Flyers against Calgary. Cut down on them?

I won't be around for the game thread tonight. Don't blow the place up or anything. Go Flyers!