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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.

Flyers links:

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81