Game Day: Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators

Sunday, January 8, 2012

5:00 pm

Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200

4th East (24-11-4) @ T-5th East (21-15-6)

 

It just goes to show how tight the Eastern Conference standings are.  Ottawa gives up one point, and all of a sudden they go from knocking on the door of 4th place to being only 4 points out of 10th.  Every point is important, and today the Ottawa Senators look to chase down two of them in the second half of their home and home series with the Philadelphia Flyers.  Daniel Briere‘s hat trick sunk the Senators 3-2 in OT yesterday afternoon, and this evening’s rare 5:00 start back in Ottawa will see Ottawa looking to do the same (hopefully in regulation for once).

Kyle Turris and Briere had an ongoing feud yesterday and even fought, but Briere had the last laugh as Philadelphia tied the game in the third period with Turris in the box, and Briere went on to score the winner with 4 seconds left in OT.  Turris needs to be better than Briere today in a key matchup of second line centres.

Two points are vital in this one as the pack has tightened with wins by Toronto, New Jersey and Winnipeg last night.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jaromir Jagr, RW (PHI) – Jagr has impressed in his NHL comeback at with his 40th birthday a month away.  Jagr has 31 points in 33 games while contributing to Claude Giroux‘ MVP type season.  Jagr has missed the last week with a groin strain suffered in the first period of the Winter Classic loss to the Rangers, but should play today.  He has been a Senators killer in his career, as his 77 points against Ottawa (in only 60 games) is more than any other player has against the Sens in franchise history.

Milan Michalek, LW (OTT) – Michalek scored his first goal since Dec 13th yesterday, and hopefully it got him some confidence back as he looked like a different player after returning from his injury.  The Senators need him flying if they want to compete with the high-flying Philadelphia squad.  He has 5 points (all goals) in 12 career games against Philly.

 

3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

1. Limit turnover in own end – The Flyers live off transition offense, and you can’t give them extra chances, no matter how well your goaltender is playing.

2.  Keep Focus/ Limit opposing power plays – The Senators lost it somewhat in the third period and couldn’t seem to remember how many players were supposed to be on the ice at a time.   The fact that they had to kill off 7 of the first 10 minutes of the third led to the downfall yesterday.

3. Disappoint the home-town boys – Both Giroux and Briere are from the Ottawa area, and will look to perform well in front of their friends and family.  They are also the keys to Philadelphia’s success and shutting them down will go a long way to shutting down the Flyers

 

Check back after the game for a full recap.

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Topics: Daniel Briere, Jaromir Jagr, Kyle Turris, Milan Michalek, Philadelphia Flyers

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