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Tracking the Storm

Pitkanen in vs. Rolling Flyers Tonight

Wednesday, 11.26.2008 / 11:34 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Pitkanen in vs. Rolling Flyers Tonight

With Joni Pitkanen healthy and with the exception of Cam Ward in goal, coach Peter Laviolette says the Canes will have the same lineup tonight as they did on Monday against Florida.

Paul Branecky
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That means Tim Gleason (leg), Patrick Eaves (shoulder) and Frank Kaberle (leg) all remain sidelined for now.

It’s the first of four meetings in 15 days between the Canes and Philadelphia, so get used to tonight’s match-up.  The Flyers are on a great run (6-0-1 in their last seven), but as Monday’s game showed, that doesn’t always matter.

”I thought Florida came out in the first period with probably the best period I’ve seen them play,” said Laviolette of Monday’s loss to a team with only three wins in their last 12 games.  “Desperation definitely counts in hockey.”

Coaches will always say that games are won and lost with special teams, and the Flyers are clearly one of the best in the league in that regard.  Their power play ranks third in the league, while their penalty kill is fourth.  I actually give the penalty kill more credit than that, as the Flyers have managed a whopping eight shorthanded goals so far.

“It certainly makes you a little bit concerned when you use a forward on the back end sometimes,” said Laviolette of the Flyers when shorthanded.  “They’re quick to attack on the PK, so you’ve got to be sharp.”

Simon Gagne, who missed most of last year with concussion issues, has four of the Flyers’ shorthanded tallies and is currently tied for second in the NHL with 27 points.  Captain Mike Richards is tied for 15th place with 22 points, while Jeff Carter is tied for the league-lead in goals with 15.

To give you an idea why the Flyers are so dangerous when shorthanded, all three of those players are used extensively on the penalty kill.

For a more in-depth discussion of tonight's game and the Canes in general, check the latest podcast.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 69 21 28 -11 49
J. Faulk 74 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 73 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 69 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 72 11 20 -11 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 70 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 74 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 46 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 38 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62