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Flyers vs. Avalanche preview: Let's get back into the playoffs, mmkay?

The Flyers have been surprisingly decent lately. Hopefully that continues tonight.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers face another tough test tonight in Philadelphia, taking on the young guns that are the Colorado Avalanche.

It feels like the Flyers haven’t played in weeks, which is unfortunate, because soon they actually won’t be playing for a couple of weeks. Just to bring you back up to speed, the Flyers had a pretty successful road trip, grabbing four of a possible six points in California of all places. I’m told their game against San Jose on Monday night was perhaps the best effort they put out all season, which is awesome because I missed it. Oh well.

Perhaps lost in all the celebration is the fact that the Flyers currently sit at ninth in the conference, i.e. out of the playoffs. Sometimes we forget that a solid win against a superior team still only gets you two points, and that win against San Jose doesn’t mean the boys are out of the woods. And they certainly won’t be able to coast through tonight’s game.

Philadelphia Flyers (28-23-6, 62 pts) at Colorado Avalanche (36-15-5, 77 pts)
7 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly, ALT | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Colorado perspective at Mile High Hockey

Much like San Jose, Colorado is going to be a tough matchup for the Flyers. They’re roughly equal in the possession department, but the Avalanche score more goals and let fewer in. The one clear advantage the Flyers have over them is the penalty kill, but hell, when your team takes a ton of stupid penalties, you better be good at killing them off.

Colorado has some pretty balanced offensive talent, with five players notching 40 points or more so far this season. A lot of the contributions are coming from younger guys, such as youngest-captain-ever Gabriel Landeskog and first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon. It’s nice to see that the whole "build around the young guys" thing works sometimes, especially when Edmonton has failed so badly at it.

It’s looking like Steve Mason will get the start for the Flyers, and I’m willing to bet Semyon Varlamov is in for the Avs. Varly has been pretty darn good this season, so the Flyers probably want to ramp up the shots tonight.

All signs point to Timonen being back in the lineup, which is awesome. Kimmo rarely misses games and is trying to make it to the Olympics, so it’s nice to see that his injury probably isn’t all that serious. Oh and bonus: today at practice he was paired with Braydon Coburn, which likely means we won’t be seeing the dreaded Grossman-Coburn duo tonight.

The last time these teams met, the Avalanche won 2-1. Let’s not let that happen again.

Game starts at 7 p.m. Colorado sucks. Go Flyers.