Game Day: OTT @ PHI

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13th East (17-23-7)   VS.  1st East (30-11-5)

The Ottawa Senators travel south to the City of Brotherly Love for a Thursday night tilt with Mike Richards and the Philadelphia Flyers.  Ottawa is coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on home ice, while the Flyers defeated Washington 3-2 on Tuesday evening.

The Flyers humbled the Senators 5-1 in their only meeting of the season so far, also played in Philadelphia.  This will be a David and Goliath type battle as the Flyers sit atop the Eastern Conference and tied with the Vancouver Canucks for top spot overall.  On the other hand, the Senators trail the Flyers by 24 points and sit in 13th spot in the Eastern Conference.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

PHILADELPHIA

Chris Pronger – D – The veteran defenseman is expected to bring his hard nosed, on-the- edge style of play back into the Flyers lineup after missing the last 13 games with a broken bone in his foot.  Pronger has a sordid history with the Senators dating back his Anaheim days and the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, when he was a thorn in the side of Senators’ forwards, most notably Dean McAmmond.

OTTAWA

Milan Michalek – LW – The last few games have seen Michalek really use his speed to his advantage to create numerous scoring chances.  He needs to start finishing those plays on a more regular basis, otherwise the effort is wasted.  Milan seems to have found some chemistry with C Mike Fisher, and Senators fans hope that it continues to develop moving forward.  Michalek has recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games.

LOCAL OTTAWA FLAVOUR

Initially overlooked for the event, Gatineau native Danny Briere was named as a replacement for Jarome Iginla in next weekend’s All Star Game in Carolina.  He will be joining former Gatineau Olympiques’ F Claude Giroux as Flyers’ representatives in the mid-season classic.  C Darroll Powe and D Sean O’Donnell both have roots in the Ottawa area and played in the CJHL for the Kanata Stallion franchise.  Former Senators D Andrej Meszaros, who now patrols the blue line for the Orange and Black after a stop in Tampa, had the overtime winner for the Flyers against the Capitals on Tuesday.

LAST 5 GAMES

                                                               OTT                            PHI

RECORD                                             1-3-1                             4-1-0

GOALS FOR                                         10                                 21

GOALS AGAINST                               17                                 15

PP (%)                                                 0/15 (0.0%)                   1/10 (10.0%)

PK (%)                                              10/12 (83.3%)               11/13 (84.6%)

THREE KEYS TO A SENATORS’ VICTORY

Goaltending – Whether Brian Elliott, Robin Lehner or Mike Brodeur gets the start, they must be solid and not give up the weak goal that has plagued the Senators lately.

Power Play – The Ottawa PP, which hasn’t scored in eons, showed some signs of life on Tuesday.  The difference seemed to be renewed commitment to shoot the puck from anywhere and everywhere. They failed to score with the man advantage, but the effort and intent was there.  They need to be aware of the Flyers’ penalty killers, who have scored 7 short handed goals this season, led by Mike Richards and Claude Giroux with 3 apiece. 

Control the Flyers Forwards – The bounty of resources at the Flyers’ disposal is superior to most teams across the league.  If the 6 or 7 Ottawa defensemen that dress for this game aren’t committed totally, it could be a long night for the chosen netminder.  This also means that the forwards must be committed on the back-check and they cannot cheat offensively despite the desperate offensive times. Each of the Flyers’ top 6 scoring forwards have more points than the Senators’ leading scorer, Daniel Alfredsson.

Check back here at SenShot for a game report after the game. Enjoy the game and GO SENS GO!!!!!

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