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At the Rink blog

Flyers after 10th straight win on home ice

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 6:55 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Flyers after 10th straight win on home ice

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time the Montreal Canadiens were in Philadelphia was Dec. 12. The Flyers were in their first game at home after a six-game road trip and it was the back end of a back-to-back.

When the teams play Wednesday it's the same situation for the Flyers, who are in their first game back after a six-game road trip that concluded with a win Tuesday at the New Jersey Devils.

“The last time we played Montreal was the exact same situation,” Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. “We kept our game simple, we got pucks deep, we grinded their [defense] down and we played a strong 60 minutes. I think we’re going to try to the exact same thing [Wednesday].”

Doing the exact same thing would give the Flyers 10 straight wins at home. Helping that effort would be another strong game from forward Scott Hartnell, who is riding a career-best eight-game point-scoring streak.

“It seems like things are happening when I’m on the ice instead of absolutely nothing happening like at the beginning of the year,” Hartnell said.

Hartnell’s recent strong play coincided with his move to a line centered by Brayden Schenn with Simmonds at right wing. Schenn set up Hartnell for a third-period goal in the win Tuesday against the Devils, and Simmonds had an assist on Schenn’s overtime goal in the 3-2 victory.

“The mentality of that line is forecheck hard,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “They’re getting pucks and hanging onto them down low and doing the right things. I think that on the attack, like the goal [Tuesday by Hartnell], they got the attack down and they’re getting pucks to the net.”

Hartnell and Simmonds play almost the same style of game; rather than have two guys fighting to get to the same spots on the ice, Simmonds said it’s been a benefit for both.

“I think it helps,” Simmonds said. “We know what we’re going to do each and every time we’re out there so it makes it easier to read. Kind of know where the other guys are going to be if you’re not in that position, so it’s pretty easy.”

Hartnell had played with Claude Giroux most of the past three seasons, but said he’s enjoying his time with Schenn and Simmonds now.

“[Simmonds and Schenn] are great linemates,” Hartnell said. “And we’ve had a little bit of chemistry and connected so it's a good feeling.”

Berube confirmed forward Matt Read will miss his fourth straight game due to an upper-body injury, and that Steve Mason would start in goal.

Here is the lineup the Flyers likely will go with Wednesday:

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Scott Hartnell - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Steve Downie - Sean Couturier - Vincent Lecavalier

Zac Rinaldo - Chris VandeVelde - Adam Hall

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Luke Schenn - Andrej Meszaros

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Jay Rosehill, Hal Gill

Injured: Erik Gustafsson (knee), Matt Read (upper body)

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp