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.

Flyers links:

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72