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Gameday: Flyers vs. Thrashers; Is Tonight The Night?

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Atlanta Thrashers Philadelphia Flyers
Philips Arena
Radio: 680 the FAN
SBNation: Game page, Broad St. Hockey
TSN Coverage
Johan Hedberg
Brian Boucher
(4-2-0, .921 2.71) (2-2-0, .927 2.29)

Jump for game notes.

Flyers Game Notes

Last Game: The Flyers lost a lost a tough one to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday in Philadelphia. Former Thrashers Braydon Coburn gave the Flyers the lead late in the first, but Buffalo scored 3 unanswered goals and held off a late game Flyer attack to win 4-2. Ian Laperriere took a Jason Pominville shot to the face with two minutes to go in the second, lost four teeth, gained about 50 stitches, and was back on the ice four minutes into the third. How was your Friday night? The Flyers power play has been losing steam, going 0 for 5 last night and just 2 for 16 over their last five games.

Last Five: 1-4-0

Special Teams: PP - 25% (2nd), PK - 80.2% (16th)

Notes For Tonight: Daniel Briere returns to the Flyer fold tonight after serving a two game suspension for his hit on Colorado defenseman Scott Hannan Monday night. Flyers center Jared Ross was boarded by Sabre Patrick Kaleta (himself the victim of an Alex Ovechkin borderline hit earlier this week), and didn't return. He's made the trip to Atlanta, but the Flyers have called up Jon Kalinski from the Adirondack Phantoms just in case.

Who To Watch Out For: Well, I guess we could go with anyone wearing orange and black, couldn't we? The Flyers own a 14 game winning streak over the Thrashers (4-26-3-3 lifetime), and are looking for #15. On draft day, while the Thrashers were welcoming Evander Kane into the fold, the Flyers picked up Sasquatch Chris Pronger in a deal with Anaheim, strengthening an already tough defense. The only thing the Thrashers have going for them is that Antero Niittymaki (14-0 lifetime vs. Atlanta) is no longer a Flyer. He's now playing for the Tampa Bay Lighting. In the Southeast Division. And that's better, somehow.

Thrashers Game Notes

Last Game: The Thrashers stormed back from a 4-1 deficit to stun the Carolina Hurricanes with a 6-4 final score. After a couple of soft Carolina goals put them up 2-0, Evander Kane potted his 8th goal of the year. Carolina responded with two goals in 8 minutes to put the Canes up 4-1. The Thrashers came out in the third and scored four goals in a little over 5 minutes, finally sealing the deal with Marty Reasoner's first goal of the year. If I may point out a quick item: take a look at Ilya Kovalchuk's goal at 7:09 in the third.

No overblown celebration, no whooping it up, just focus. All business.

That is leadership.

Last Five: 2-1-2

Special Teams: PP - 23% (5th), PK - 84.3% (3rd)

Notes for Tonight: Jim Slater (11g, 0pts, -4) and Anssi Salmela (13g, 3pts, +1) are your scratches tonight in favor of Eric Boulton (20g, 2pts, -4) and Mark Popovic (14g, 2pts, -1). No doubt Boults will exchange pleasantries with Flyers tough guy Riley Cote. They tangled twice last year, with Cote proving to be little more than a clutch-and-grabber while Boulton got in some serious shots.

Who To Watch Out For: Toby Enstrom has quietly been racking up the points as of late; his 19 points put him 6th among NHL defensemen, while teammate Zach Bogosian is in the midst of a 5 game goal drought. Rich Peverley snapped a 6 game goal-less streak with his GWG last night. Last year, the Thrashers top line managed 13 points in 12 total games against Philadelphia while on different teams - this may change the dynamic of tonight's game slightly. Slava Kozlov is beginning to wake up a little bit; he's riding a 3 game goal scoring streak.

Hopefully the Thrashers can come out strong tonight - a first-period performance like last night's will not go unpunished by the Philadelphia Flyers. As long as Atlanta remembers the team they can be, expect to see a tough 5-3 win for the Thrashers.