FLYERS (28-23-3) at OILERS (17-31-6)
Last 10 -- Philadelphia 6-4-0; Edmonton 1-8-1
Season series -- This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs. They last played at Philadelphia on Nov. 2, 2008, a 5-4 win by the Oilers. Edmonton has won the last four games between the teams.
Big story -- Can the Oilers make it two wins in a row? Can the Flyers make it three wins in a row? Edmonton's 4-2 win over Carolina on Monday night was the Oilers' first in 2010, and their first win in 13 games, ending an 0-11-2 drought. The Flyers are trying to right all the wrongs from the early part of their season, and are doing a fine job of it. They have won back-to-back games, five of their last seven and are 13-5-1 since Dec. 23.
Flyers -- Mike Richards scored two goals and Ray Emery needed to make only 18 saves to lead the Flyers to a 3-0 win over reeling Calgary on Monday night. It was the first of three straight road games for Philadelphia after it went 4-2 on a homestand to close January. Richards had scored only one goal in his previous 10 games. In search of help on the back end, the Flyers recently signed Lukas Krajicek, who left the AHL's Norfolk Admirals. Krajicek debuted for the Flyers in Calgary and played 25 shifts totaling 18:25 in ice time. They're going to need him with Ryan Parent and Danny Syvret sidelined with injuries. Philadelphia is getting solid goaltending from Emery, which is why they have been able to climb back into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Emery is 5-2-0 with a 1.73 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last seven starts.
Oilers -- It's time to break 'em up. Well, that might be what GM Steve Tambellini is thinking, but we're just joking around really because the Oilers finally, finally won a game Monday night. It was a long time coming for this team that has just been decimated by injuries and illnesses all season long. The latest is defenseman Sheldon Souray's broken hand, which will sideline him indefinitely. Souray reportedly had just given Tambellini a list of teams he would agree to be traded to. The Oilers have lost more than 300 man-games to injury this season. However, there was reason to celebrate, or at least enjoy the game of hockey late Monday night. J-F Jacques, Marc Pouliot, Gilbert Brule and Sam Gagner all scored and Jeff Deslauriers made 33 saves for the Oilers first win since Dec. 30.
Who's hot -- Emery is probably the Flyer most worthy of being in this category right now, but Richards did score two goals in Calgary on Monday and Claude Giroux has two goals and an assist in the last three games, but his numbers don't actually tell how well he's been playing. For the Oilers, Gagner has goals in back-to-back games and points in three straight and five of his last six.
Injury report -- The Flyers are still without defensemen Danny Syvret (shoulder) and Ryan Parent (back). The Oilers' long injury list includes Souray (hand), Ryan Stone (knee), Nikolai Khabibulin (back), Ales Hemsky (shoulder), Steve Staios (concussion) and Ladislav Smid (concussion).
Stat pack -- The Oilers haven't won back-to-back games since they went on a five-game winning streak from Dec. 3-11. … The Flyers haven't won in Edmonton since a 4-2 victory on March 19, 2001. … Pouliot's goal Monday night was his first of the season. … Edmonton is 5-0 with a tie against the Flyers since Philadelphia won 4-2 atRexall Place on March 19, 2001.
Puck drop -- "It's obviously a great feeling," Gagner said of finally winning a game. "You never want to be in that situation. But it was great to have fun again. It's only one win. Hopefully it gives us some confidence."
|J. van Riemsdyk||52||12||19||31||+7||12||3||6|