Philadelphia's 43 points is tops in the NHL, but its Atlantic Division lead was cut to four points over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday with a 2-0 home loss to its longtime nemesis.
That defeat, which came one night after the teams skated to a 3-3 tie in New Jersey, ended the Flyers' six-game unbeaten streak and was their first loss in 15 games this season at the Wachovia Center. Philadelphia had been the only team without a home loss.
Despite falling to 1-5-1 against the Devils over the last two seasons, the Flyers did not seem completely dejected and some were able to put a positive spin on the loss.
"I definitely think we are better because of the last two games," Flyers center Jeremy Roenick said. "I think they have respect for us. We put a lot of pressure on them."
Coach Ken Hitchcock, known for often being very critical of his team despite its success, echoed Roenick's feelings.
"This series will do us more good than Jersey," Hitchcock said. "We are closer than we've ever been. We are so much better this year than at this time last year."
The same can be said for the Flames, who had just eight wins through 31 games at this point last season.
They've gone 9-1-1-2 in their last 13 games, however, 10 of those contests came at home. Calgary has struggled on the road, winning just twice in its last eight (2-4-2).
This is the opener of a three-game road trip for the Flames, who visit Boston on Thursday and Columbus on Friday.
"We have to improve on the road. I think we have had a favorable schedule here with playing more home games than road games," said defenseman Robyn Regehr, who scored Calgary's lone goal in Saturday's 1-1 tie with Colorado.
"We have done a good job at home and now we have to take that brand of play to other buildings."