Game 41 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ Colorado Avalanche

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Image courtesy of Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America

After sweeping their three-game Western Canada road-trip, the Flyers head to Colorado to take on the Avalanche in their first meeting since December 19, 2011. They’ve now got some guy named Maxime Talbot; you might have heard of him.

 

Philadelphia Flyers (20-16-4) @ Colorado Avalanche (24-11-4), 9:00 PM EST
TV: CSN-PH, ALT

RECORDS:

Philadelphia Flyers: 20-16-4
Away: 9-9-4
vs. Western Conference: 7-6-1
vs. Central Division: 3-3-1

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5v5 score-close stats via @ExtraSkater

Colorado Avalanche (24-11-4)
Home: 13-5-2
vs. Eastern Conference: 9-3-0
vs. Metropolitan Division: 5-1-0

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5v5 score-close stats via @ExtraSkater

GAME 41 PREVIEW:

After a day-off for New Years, the Philadelphia Flyers (20-16-4) head to Denver for the first time in over two years to face the Colorado Avalanche (24-11-4).  The game will be locally televised on CSN-PH at 9:00 PM EST.

The team is in the midst of another grueling six-game road-trip.  After tonight’s game, they’ll head to Phoenix for a Saturday night match-up against the Coyotes.  That game is scheduled for 8:00 PM EST.  Philadelphia won’t return home to the Wells Fargo Center until Wednesday, January 7.

This is the first of two meetings between the teams this year.  The Flyers will welcome the Avalanche to Philadelphia on Thursday, February 6.  The teams last met on December 19, 2011 – a 3-2 OT Avalanche victory.  That seems like forever ago.

QUICK NOTES:

  • Per Anthony SanFilippo, Matt Read will be held out of tonight’s game with an upper-body injury he sustained in Calgary Tuesday night.  Jay Rosehill (let’s all cheer at once) will find himself back in the lineup.  Steve Downie will likely get pushed back up to the third line (9-14-40), and Rosehill will slot in as a fourth line winger, because, really, where else would he go?
  • Colorado is one of the rare teams that have a fen-close that’s lower than Philadelphia’s (47.7% vs. 48.3%).  Despite Colorado’s record at home (13-5-2), record against the East (9-3-0) and record against the Metropolitan (5-1-0), this is a very winnable game.  Most of the east and Metropolitan is trash anyway (sometimes we’re included in that conversation).
  • This will be the first time since the trade on Halloween that Maxime Talbot will face his former team.  Traded straight-up for Steve Downie, the former-Flyer has finally settled down in his new city and role; he’s got 4-7-11 in 39 games to date between both teams.  He’s been slotted as a third-line wing for quite some time now.
  • The Flyers are currently boasting the longest winning streak in the NHL at 4 games.  The team would leapfrog Washington for second place in the Metropolitan with a win tonight.  Since October 18, the Flyers are 19-9-4.  That’s almost a 108 point pace.  After a dreadful 1-7-0 start, one can’t ask for much more.  Oh, and that sweep of Western Canada was glorious.

PROJECTED LINEUPS:

Philadelphia Flyers:

Michael Raffl (12) : Claude Giroux (28) : Jakub Voracek (93)
Scott Hartnell (19) : Brayden Schenn (10) : Wayne Simmonds (17)
Steve Downie (9) : Sean Couturier (14) : Vincent Lecavalier (40)
Jay Rosehill (37) : Adam Hall (18) : Zac Rinaldo (36)

Kimmo Timonen (44) : Braydon Coburn (5)
Nicklas Grossmann (8) : Mark Streit (32)
Andrej Meszaros (41) : Luke Schenn (22)

Steve Mason (35)
Backup: Ray Emery (29)

Scratches:

Hal Gill
Erik Gustafsson
Chris Pronger
Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde

Colorado Avalanche:

Gabriel Landeskog (92) : Paul Stastny (26) : Nathan Mackinnon (29)
Ryan O’Reilly (90) : Matt Duchene (9) : Jamie McGinn (11)
Cody McLeod (55) : John Mitchell (7) : Maxime Talbot (25)
Patrick Bordeleau (58) : Marc-Andre Cliche (24) : Brad Malone (42)

Jan Hejda (8) : Erik Johnson (6)
Cory Sarich (16) : Andre Benoit (61)
Tyson Barrie (4) : Ryan Wilson (44)

Semyon Varlamov (1)
Backup: Jean-Sebastien Giguere (35)

Scratches:

Nate Guenin
Nick Holden
P.A. Parenteau
Alex Tanguay