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Gameday: Thrashers at Flyers

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v.
Atlanta Thrashers Philadelphia Flyers
Philips Arena
7:00PM
TV: SportSouth HD Radio: 680 the FAN
SBNation: Game Page, Broad St. Hockey
TSN Coverage
Johan Hedberg
Ray Emery
(11-8-4 .917% 2.46) (14-10-1, .902% 2.75)

Philly hosts Atlanta. Watch for flying elbows Flyers. Jump for game notes.

In his first 10 games with the Flyers, head coach Peter Laviolette went 2-7-1. Since then, however, Laviolette's Flyers have gone 11-4-1, including a 3-1-0 run over the four games. In that stretch, goalie Ray Emery has been stellar to the tune of a 1.75 GAA and a .936 save pct. January seems to be "special teams month" for Philly, as their power play has converted 15 of 50 times (30%), and the penalty kill has allowed 8 goals. Not bad for a team that has averaged 4.5 penalties per game over that span. No, not 4.5 penalty minutes per game, but 4.5 penalties per game. This is the Flyers we're talking about - their overall PK percentage is 79.4%, good for 23rd in the league.

Keys for the Thrashers:
- Don't let up on the gas, like they did against Anaheim. We saw effort in the front and back of the game, let's not forget about the middle.

- Keep your cool. Let the Flyers beat themselves with penalties. The Thrashers finally ended a power play drought - let that be a momentum builder.

- Ilya Kovalchuk, find the fire you left in Toronto. I'll let that speak for itself.

NHL.com Stat Breakdown

STATS
52 GP 51
23 W 26
21 L 22
8 OT 3
54 P 55
0.519 P% 0.539
2.96 G/G 2.98
3.14 GA/G 2.78
17.8 PP% 23.4
79.9 PK% 79.4
29.6 S/G 31.5
33.4 SA/G 28.4
50.8 FO% 50.2

Some other notes:

Ilya Kovalchuck is drawing some big name defense tonight, even though he's been a virtual non-factor on the scoresheet over the last three games.

Kari Lehtonen is improving his play with the Wolves - Ben Wright talks a little about the Thrashers' crowded crease.

Game on.

Some Game Notes from Tim

Okay, maybe not game notes as much as hate notes. I hate the Flyers. So much. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Thrashers continue their work toward evening up the All-Time series against the Flyers. Fact is: we're far, far behind. We beat them earlier this season 1-0, and the Flyers are a much better team now than they were then.

I'm concerned.

The lines tonight are going to be the same as the last couple games. If the Thrashers can continue to play solid defense, we've got a chance to win tonight and start to call ourselves a "playoff-bound team."

On a semi-personal note, the first Thrashers Fan Club road trip of the season is this Saturday to Nashville. I'll be heading up to Music City on the bus, so feel free to introduce yourself in person. I'll be the guy with the bourbon. :-)