Tonight the Flyers play their 43rd game of the year and 22nd game at home this season where they are 14-4-3. It is the third and final game in their three game homestand, where they are 2-0-0 after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, on Saturday and the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, on Thursday...The Flyers extended their home winning streak to eight games.
The Flyers have outscored their opponent 40 to 20 and averaged five goals per game in that span...The last time that the Flyers won at least eight straight home games was when they won nine straight home games during the 2005-06 season (Oct. 7 through Nov. 12, 2005).
The Flyers are also 12-0-2 in their last 14 games on home ice and have not lost in regulation play since a 2-1 loss vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 8. The Flyers take on the Penguins for the fourth of six times this year. They are currently 1-0-2, earning four out of six points against Pittsburgh this season.
They dropped the first two games of the year, but rebounded for a 6-3 win at home on Dec. 13. Kimmo Timonen leads the Flyers with six points, all assists, through the first three games, while Jeff Carter has three goals and five points in three meetings with Pittsburgh this season. The Flyers have also scored nine of their 12 goals against the Penguins in the second period.
Scott Hartnell has recorded at least a point in seven of his last eight games at home, posting 13 points (8G,5A) during that stretch. Mike Richards has recorded at least a point in nine of his last 10 games at home, posting 15 points (6G,9A).
Jeff Carter has also recorded at least a point in seven of his last eight home games, posting eight goals and 14 points in that span. Martin Biron stopped a season-high 41 shots in the victory and is 7-1-2 in his last 10 starts, recording a 2.56 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.
Carter was also named the NHL's 'Second Star' for the month of December after being tied for the lead in scoring with 21 points (11G,10A) in 14 games, including five multiple-point games and recording at least a point in 11 of the 14 contests.
I reported yesterday that Daniel Briere said he would be ready for Thursday. Late in the afternoon GM Paul Holmgren said that Briere will play two games with the Phantoms before making a decision to return to the lineup. Briere will play this Wed and Fri.
"We are doing this just to make sure everything is okay with Danny," said Holmgren. "This will give him the opportunity to play in some games prior to re-joining the Flyers. He will play two games with the Phantoms on Wednesday and Friday. He was absolutely receptive to this.”
"I'm just excited to get back and playing some games," said Briere, after skating with the Flyers on Tuesday morning at the Wachovia Center. "I’ll test it out and see where I stand."
Goaltenders: PHI: Biron PIT: Fleury
First Period: Puck Drop-7:08
Penalty: PHI-Cote(5:00)-Fighting, PIT-Goddard(5:00)-Fighting, 9:44. PIT-Satan(2:00)-Hooking, 11:48. PHI-Asham(5:00)-Fighting, PIT-Bissonnette(5:00)-Fighting, 16:52.
Goals: PHI-Knuble(16), Assists-Gagne(24), Timonen(25), 7:36. PIT-Kennedy(7), Assists- Talbot(4), Bissonnette(1), 16:47.
PP: PHI-0/1 PIT-0/0
PK: PHI-0/0 PIT 1/1
Shots: PHI-7 PIT-11
Notes: After an active first period, the Flyers and Penguins are tied at 1-1. Knuble netted his 16th of the season by tapping the puck in after took a bad bounce behind the net. Of course, we couldn’t get through the first period without some fisticuffs. Riley Cote got the worst end of his fight with Eric Godard. Arron Asham also lost his fight to Paul Bissonnette. Flyers need to try and put at least one or two in the second.
Penalty: PHI-Alberts(2:00)-Holding, 6:41. PIT-Malkin(2:00)-Hooking, PHI-Hartnell(2:00)-Diving, 8:21.
Goals: Malkin(17), Assists-Crosby(39), 1:42. PIT-Staal(14), Assists-Satan(15), Latang(13), 12:25. PIT-Cooke(5), Assists-Crosby(40), Orpik(10), 19:34.
PP: PHI-0/1 PIT-0/1
PK: PHI-1/1 PIT-1/1
Shots: PHI-8 PIT-11
Notes: Flyers came out the opposite of what I hoped. The Penguins controlled the entire period scoring three goals to take a commanding 4-1 heading into the third. Malkin scored his 17th of the season, followed by Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke. The Flyers will have to score quickly to even make this a game again. If the Flyers lose tonight it will their first home loss in regulation in 15 games.
Penalty: PHI-Bench Minor(too many men)(2:00), 13:30. PHI-Vaananen(2:00)-Cross Checking, 16:42. PHI-Hartnell(2:00)-Slashing, 18:30.
Goals: PHI-Lupul(14), Assists-Hartnell(15), Carter(18), 8:07.
PP: PHI-0/1 PIT-0/2
PK: PHI-4/4 PIT-1/1
Total Shots: PHI-29 PIT-26
Notes: Flyers lose 4-2 to the Penguins ended their 12-0-2 run at home. The Flyers were simply out played tonight. Penalties in the third and turnover were the keys to the Flyers loss tonight. They will look to rebound Thursday night when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the lowly Lightning.
Goodnight from the Wachovia Center everybody.