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The Flyers week ahead: 3 wins possible as home stand begins

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Could the Flyers fix their home ice woes and get back into the Metropolitan Division race all in one fell swoop? Let's look at this week's action.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

God, the Flyers suck at home. But just like their South Philly neighbors, the Eagles -- who on Sunday won their first game at home in well over a year -- they have a great opportunity to break out on home ice with a trio of very winnable contests.

Philadelphia enters the week in the basement of the Metropolitan Division, but after earning seven of eight points last week, they have the opportunity to make big gains in the division. Hell, they're only four points out of the Metro's final playoff spot right now, and another strong week would go a long way towards escaping last place for good.

Let's look at the action the Flyers face this week.

Tuesday vs. Ottawa Senators

Exactly a week after beating them down in Ottawa, the Flyers will host Cherry Hill Native™ Bobby Ryan and the Senators on Tuesday night in South Philly. The Sens have had a pretty slow week, taking three days off after the loss to the Flyers last Tuesday.

They scored three goals in the third period, part of a four-goal comeback, en route to a 4-2 win over the Bruins, and then wasted it all away with "one of the most lifeless performances" our friends at Silver Seven have ever seen on Sunday afternoon against Columbus. So, it's safe to say the Sens are an up-and-down hockey team right now.

Thursday vs. Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres could very well be historically bad this season, and luckily for us, the Flyers still have three games against them! Buffalo and new head coach Ted Nolan come to town on Thursday night, and man, will it ever be depressing if the Flyers lose this one.

Sure, the Sabres are just 1-1 under Nolan, who clearly injected some energy into the team in his first game behind the bench on Saturday, a 3-1 win over Toronto. But they're still an extremely awful hockey team, perhaps the worst in the possession-tracking era. They have just 11 points in 22 games and are the only team in the NHL this season to have scored fewer goals per game than your Philadelphia Flyers.

Buffalo hosts St. Louis on Tuesday night before traveling to Philly for the game here on Thursday.

Saturday vs. New York Islanders

Saturday night's Isles win over the Red Wings was impressive yet hairy according to Lighthouse Hockey. It was also costly, as the Isles lost starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov early in the first period. The Isles will have to lean on Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson in net for the foreseeable future as a result, and they're not really sure what they're going to get out of that pair.

The Isles are a middle of the road power play team and the worst penalty killing team in the NHL. They're a middle of the pack possession team, and they've allowed more goals at even strength than they've scored. The Flyers beat up on them a few weeks back at Nassau Coliseum. Hopefully we'll see more of the same on home ice.

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