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swflyers8* 04-01-2004 06:44 AM

GDT: Flyers @ Canadiens 7:30pm UPN/RDS
 
:flyers vs. :habs

GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (39-20-14-6) at Montreal Canadiens (40-29-7-4).

TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Getting a much-needed boost with the return of two veterans from the injured list, the Philadelphia Flyers can take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division when they visit the reeling Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

The Flyers are tied for first with defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey, but the Devils own the tiebreaker with three more wins. Philadelphia has three games remaining, while the Devils have only two.

Captain Keith Primeau and veteran defenseman Eric Desjardins are both expected to return to the ice against the Canadiens. Primeau has been out with a concussion since Feb. 12, while Desjardins missed 10 weeks with a broken right arm.

"They both looked great in practice, they both got knocked on their butt a few times and felt fine," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said Wednesday. "Right now, unless there's something unforeseen, they will be in the lineup. Getting those two guys back, two of our experienced leaders, is going to do nothing but help us."

The Flyers are coming off back-to-back losses, including Saturday's 3-1 setback to the New York Rangers. Tony Amonte scored the only goal for Philadelphia, while Robert Esche allowed three goals on only 11 shots.

"I am not happy with any goal I give up," Esche said. "I know the type of goalie I am capable of being. I have to get back to that."

The Canadiens have dropped four straight, including a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Jose Theodore made only 10 saves while surrendering five goals in 40 minutes before being replaced by Mathieu Garon for the third period.

Montreal, which has already clinched a playoff berth, sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. While the Canadiens can't move up in the standings with just two games left, they only have a three-point lead over the eighth-place Islanders.

Head-To-Head Stats

Win %: 0.62 PHI 0.569 MON

Avg Goals For: 2.823 PHI 2.544 MON

Avg Goals Against: 2.278 PHI 2.304 MON

Power Play %: 21.4 (2nd) PHI 17.3 (10th) MON

Penalty Kill %: 84 (16th) PHI 82.2 (22nd) MON

More Head-To-Head Statistics
Home Win % Road Win % W L T OTL Points
Philadelphia 0.675 0.564 39 20 14 6 98
Montreal 0.628 0.512 40 28 7 4 91

Top Scorers

Philadelphia

MARK RECCHI 26 48 74
MICHAL HANDZUS 18 38 56
JOHN LECLAIR 23 30 53

Montreal

MIKE RIBEIRO 20 43 63
MICHAEL RYDER 24 36 60
SAKU KOIVU 14 40 54



Well, not much to say about this game. We need to win this game. The Flyers squandered away the division lead and now they must take it back. Getting Desjardins & Primeau back will be a great boost for this hockey club tonight. They need to play the full 60 minutes and not decide to start putting on the pressure in the middle of the first, start of the second, right when the puck drops they need to play with fire. They have to view these games as playoff games. If we lose we could virtually give away home ice advantage to the Devils. Burke has to be big and the defense has to be tight and challenge guys at the blue line. Hopefully, the Canadien killer John Leclair, will go to work on the Canadiens tonight. No prediction of a score, I just want the win.

:flyers need to get their division back.

GKJ 04-01-2004 09:31 AM

This is the Flyers game in hand on the Devils. MUST WIN for the Flyers, just like it will be tomorrow vs. Ottawa. If the Flyers win both of these games, they will need to just get one point from the Islanders game, or the Devils tie or OTL one of the games vs. Boston. If the Flyers lose tonight, they lose control of where they finish in the division.

bennysflyers16 04-01-2004 09:33 AM

Flyers 5 - Leclair 2,Roenick 2, Pitkanen

Habs 2 - Souray, Ryder

3 for 6 on the PP

Flyers26 04-01-2004 09:54 AM

A MUST WIN!! nuff said!

Cuiff 04-01-2004 10:29 AM

3-3 Tie.....

Coburnfan05 04-01-2004 10:32 AM

Philly - 4 Gags, JR, Markov & Zus

Mtl - 2 Ribero & Ryder

Tis is a must win, I am anxious to see Prims play and see if there is any rust.

Tao Jones 04-01-2004 12:07 PM

With the Habs locked into 7th place and unable to move up or down in the standings, I wouldn't be surprised to see them rest some starters and play their back-up goalie. You guys should be able to take the two points with ease tonight.

swflyers8* 04-01-2004 12:42 PM

Just some milestones that can be accomplished tonight:

FLYERS - Need one win to reach 40 for the 21st time in 37 seasons.

Donald Brashear - Needs one assist to reach 100 in the NHL.

Sean Burke - Needs one win to reach 304 in the NHL and tie Chris Osgood for 18th place on the NHL's All-Time List.

Michal Handzus - Needs one goal to reach 100 in the NHL.

Ken Hitchcock - Needs one win to reach 40 for the seventh time in seven full seasons as a head coach; Needs two points to reach 100 for the seventh time in seven full seasons as a head coach.

Kim Johnsson - Needs two assists to tie his career high for assists in a season (30 in 2001-02); Needs one point to tie his career high for points in a season (41 in 2001-02).

Mark Recchi - Needs one game to reach 600 as a Flyer (17th player in team history to reach mark).


Good luck guys. :yo:

jplush76 04-01-2004 12:54 PM

Prims AND Desjardins back? sweeeeeet!
can't wait to watch this one

tytech 04-01-2004 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tao Jones
With the Habs locked into 7th place and unable to move up or down in the standings, I wouldn't be surprised to see them rest some starters and play their back-up goalie. You guys should be able to take the two points with ease tonight.


With the slight risk that Philly and Montreal play one another they won't want to throw in the cards and rest their guys. Infact, since Philly's little one week trip south they have gone south. I'm a little nervous with this recent week off as well as having two guys, even if they are good, come back. Philly struggles to find chemistry and flow at times. Rest can be just as much a negative thing as positive thing.

SaveByHexy 04-01-2004 02:03 PM

My guess is that Burke gets a shutout, and goaltending controversy runs amok (led by a smug Barry Melrose). :teach:

GoneFullHextall 04-01-2004 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tao Jones
With the Habs locked into 7th place and unable to move up or down in the standings, I wouldn't be surprised to see them rest some starters and play their back-up goalie. You guys should be able to take the two points with ease tonight.

Habs can actually fall into the 8th slot. they are 3 points ahead of the Isles with 2 games left for each club.

Nikkowar 04-01-2004 02:36 PM

Can't wait for this one :D

Flyers 4(Gagné,Handzus,Desjardins,Recchi)

btw,what's up Timander,the newspaper said that he has a brusied thigh? :(

FlyersHomer DM03 04-01-2004 03:20 PM

they're gonna have to fight for this one, I want them to give it all for a victory to break this spell.

Flyers 5 (LeClair 2, Primeau, Amonte, Handzus
Canadiens 3 (Koivu 2, Ryder,

Teezax 04-01-2004 04:08 PM

Habs have been very beatable as of late, no excuse why we should lose this one.
We're playing for everything with everything we've got tonight. History is in our favor in Montreal, let's keep it up.

Flyers 4 Leclair, Handzus, Desjardins, Gagné
Habs 2 Ryder, Quintal

CNote 04-01-2004 07:12 PM

0-0...15 minutes in....how does primeau look??

-dutch-

bennysflyers16 04-01-2004 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dutch
0-0...15 minutes in....how does primeau look??

-dutch-


Looks good, can notice that he has been away for awhile, overall pretty good. Burke was awesome !!

King Fish 04-01-2004 07:18 PM

Wow, Burke is keeping us in this one. I honestly think we'll be fine in net with either goalie (I like Esche), but can we score? This seems to be a reoccuring situation with us no matter who we bring in. Lets hope the level of play increases with the next couple games.

CNote 04-01-2004 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bennysflyers16
Burke was awesome !!

excellent! :handclap:

bennysflyers16 04-01-2004 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by King Fish
Wow, Burke is keeping us in this one. I honestly think we'll be fine in net with either goalie (I like Esche), but can we score? This seems to be a reoccuring situation with us no matter who we bring in. Lets hope the level of play increases with the next couple games.


No 5 on 5 that period, no flow We will pick it up this period !

RoDu 04-01-2004 07:26 PM

Kapanen's on the point for the powerplay still :banghead:

for the first one atleast...but still

Toonces 04-01-2004 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flyerfanofthepeg
Kapanen's on the point for the powerplay still :banghead:

Kapanen does a decent job back there, but I'd rather have Markov back there instead.

Burke is playing great. Nice save on on Kovalev.

Oh my, that Pitkanen shot came so close on the rebound.

bennysflyers16 04-01-2004 07:42 PM

PP goal finally !!!!!!!!

Nikkowar 04-01-2004 07:42 PM

gagne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toonces 04-01-2004 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PizzapieZeppelin18
gagne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:gman:


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