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Game 55, Preview and Game Thread: Philadelphia Flyers at Edmonton Oilers

#6 Philadelphia Flyers (28-23-3, 59 pts) at #15 Edmonton Oilers (17-31-6, 40 pts)
Rexall Place - 9:30 PM ET - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
TV: The Comcast Network HD, TSN HD, Yahoo! Online
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 207
This is the open game thread.
Get the Edmonton perspective at The Copper & Blue

The Oilers aren't a good hockey team. We know that, the Flyers know that, the Oilers know that.

That doesn't mean they can't beat the orange and black tonight, and if the Flyers display the bad side of their bi-polar ways tonight, they will probably lose. If they play a game like they did in Calgary on Monday night, it's hard to see them lose this one.

But aside from the seemingly simple decision the Flyers have tonight -- whether or not to show up and play a strong road game -- there are a few other interesting story lines surrounding tonight's game.

Chris Pronger returns to Edmonton for the first time as a Flyer. Obviously, it's his old stomping grounds, where they came one game away from winning the Cup in 2006. They aren't too fond of number 20 -- or 44, depending on your perspective -- up there following his trade demand following that season. Expect the boos to rain down from the Rexall Place stands each time he touches the puck.

Ryan Potulny will face off against his old team for the first time tonight. Don't remember Potulny? He only played about 45 games with the Flyers and most of those came in the season that shall not be named, so unless you were an avid follower of the Phantoms, you probably missed most of his Philly tenure. He was traded to Edmonton in June of 2008 for none other than Danny Syvret.

Also, Michael Leighton is in goal tonight, relieving Ray Emery who has started eight straight. There are reports tonight that Emery has a sore groin, which isn't a promising sign when you consider how well the organization usually handles those injuries. Either way, he's sitting in the press box tonight while Brian Boucher suits up as Leighton's back up.

After the jump, a statistical look at the starting goaltenders, the line combinations for both teams, questions to answer tonight, and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

Gagne - Richards - Hartnell
Powe - Carter - Briere
JVR - Giroux - Asham
Carcillo - Betts - Laperriere

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Krajicek
Bartulis - Coburn

Edmonton Line Combinations

Penner - Gagner - Cogliano
Moreau - Horcoff - Comrie
Potulny - Brule - O'Sullivan
Jacques - Pouliot - Stortini

Grebeshkov - Gilbert
Chorney - Visnovsky
Strudwick - Plante

Starting Goaltenders

Michael Leighton 19 1004 9 5 51 3.05 492 441 .896 1

Jeff Deslauriers 29 1667 10 16 87 3.13 852 765 .898 1

Questions To Answer

  1. Can Leighton step in after not playing in eight games and put together a solid performance?
  2. Will the Flyers show up for a game against a sub-par opponent?
  3. How does Mike Richards follow-up his two goal performance from Monday?
  4. Can the Flyers play an all-around solid road game as they did in Calgary?

Tonight's game is on The Comcast Network (thanks, Sixers) and 610 WIP in the Delaware Valley. In Canada, the game will be shown on TSN. Outside of the Philadelphia area and in the United States, you can catch a live stream on Yahoo! Sports. As always, join us here for the conversation and LET'S GO FLYERS!