Preview: Galchenyuk Returns for Canadiens to Face Flyers
The mighty Montreal Canadiens head south tonight to take on the up-and-down Philadelphia Flyers. Tonight’s matchup marks the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. The Canadiens have won the first two games so the Flyers look for a little redemption against their counterparts to the north.
The Canadiens will look to continue their strong efforts after the All-Star break, coming off a 5-2 win at home against the Buffalo Sabres a few nights ago. As for the Flyers, they will look to bounce back after being manhandled from start to finish in their first game back from the break, 5-1, at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canadiens have a fairly strong hold on the Atlantic Division, leading by a commanding nine points, with 67 overall, over the next best team, the Ottawa Senators, with 58 points overall. They have also played well on the road this year going 12-9-4 away from the Bell Centre, whereas the Flyers, in an extremely tough Metropolitan Division, are currently holding onto the second wildcard spot in the east and fighting for their playoff lives.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Wells Fargo Center – 7:00 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – CSN Philadelphia, Sportsnet East; 97.5 The Fanatic
2016-17 Season Series: Canadiens 2-0
October 24, 2016: Canadiens defeat Flyers 3-1
November 5, 2016: Canadiens defeat Flyers 5-4
Montreal Canadiens: 30-14-7 – 67 Points
Road Record: 12-9-4
Hot Players: Carey Price, Max Pacioretty
Scratches: Brendan Gallagher (IR, hand), Greg Pateryn (healthy), Sven Andrighetto (healthy)
Max Pacioretty – Phillip Danault – Alexander Radulov
David Desharnais – Alex Galchenyuk – Andrew Shaw
Artturi Lehkonen – Tomas Plekanec – Paul Byron
Jacob De La Rose – Torrey Mitchell – Brian Flynn
Alexei Emelin – Shea Weber
Nathan Beaulieu – Jeff Petry
Andrei Markov – Nikita Nesterov
Philadelphia Flyers: 25-20-6 – 56 Points
Home Record: 15-7-3
Hot Players: Brayden Schenn, Ivan Provorov
Scratches: Nick Schultz (healthy), Michael Del Zotto (questionable, lower body), Dale Weise (healthy)
Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Travis Konecny – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
Nick Cousins – Sean Couturier – Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde – P-E Bellemare – Roman Lyubimov
Ivan Provorov – Andrew MacDonald
Mark Streit – Radko Gudas
Brandon Manning – Shayne Gostisbehere
1) One of the reasons why the Canadiens have such a strong hold over the Atlantic Division is because their counterparts in the Metropolitan are making it easier on them in a down year for the Atlantic overall. For example, if Montreal were in the Metro they would find themselves as the top-seeded wildcard team in the eastern conference. Furthermore, the Metropolitan sports four teams in the top 10 overall in the entire league, and the Canadiens, with the help of Carey Price, are certainly taking full advantage of their divisional play.
2) The Flyers have been an extremely tough team to gauge this season. They constantly bounce around from winning impressively for stretches then losing horribly in games. It has certainly been a Jekyll and Hyde-type year for them. Before the All-Star break, they were able to reel off three in a row and feel good about themselves heading into the break. However, if their first game back was any indication of where they’re heading now, thing’s are not looking good. They were routed by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night 5-1 and were outplayed in every single facet of the game.
3) Another reason as to why the Canadiens have such a convincing hold on the Atlantic Division is because of the way they started their season — 13-1-1 — leaving the rest of the division in catch-up mode all year long. However, they have been playing just okay as of late before their 5-2 routing of the Sabres on Tuesday night. Coming into tonight, over their last 10 games played, they are just 5-4-1.
4) Brayden Schenn did not practice for the Flyers yesterday due to an illness, but according to reports he’ll be able to go in tonight’s game. Also, Micheal Del Zotto has been out for the Flyers with a lower-body injury heading into the All-Star break and has practiced all week. He might be a go for tonight which could lead to struggling Calder Trophy runner-up Shayne Gostisbehere’s third healthy scratch of the season.
5) On the Canadiens injury front things are looking much better, as they will have the services of star center Alex Galchenyuk tonight who has missed 16 of the last 21 games due to a knee injury. Carey Price also looks to make his fifth consecutive start going 2-1-1 in the past four game with a stellar .940 save percentage during that stretch.
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