FLYERS (0-1-0) at CANADIENS (0-1-0)
TV: CBC, RDS, CSN-PH
Season series: The Philadelphia Flyers won two of the three meetings with the Montreal Canadiens last season, scoring 12 goals in their two victories. Philadelphia and Montreal split the two games played at Bell Centre in 2012-13.
Big story: It will be an emotional night for Canadiens forward Daniel Brière as he faces his former team for the first time. And just as Montreal fans used to boo Brière for choosing the Flyers over the Canadiens as a free agent, the same reception may be awaiting Philadelphia forward Vincent Lecavalier as he plays his first game in his hometown since making the same choice Brière made in 2007. Both teams are coming off season-opening losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Flyers: The Flyers appeared to do everything they needed to win their season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, except the most important thing of all – score. Philadelphia had 73 shot attempts at home against Toronto compared to just 42 for the Maple Leafs, suggesting the Flyers controlled the play and spent most of the night in the offensive zone.
The problem was that just 32 of those attempts reached the net, and only one beat Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier in what became a 3-1 loss. The Flyers missed the net 21 times, something coach Peter Laviolette would like to see corrected against Montreal.
"I'd like to see us shooting the puck a little bit more. Even more to the point, I'd like to see us hit the net a little more," Laviolette told reporters after practice Friday. "Even in practice here, we're firing scud missiles from the slot or coming off the rush. They're smashing off the glass."
The Flyers play their first set of back-to-back games of the season as they travel to Carolina to face the Hurricanes late Sunday afternoon.
Canadiens: The Canadiens are Brière's fourth team of his career, so he's he's faced his former team for the first time on two previous occasions.
But even though he has some experience in this situation, Brière says it won't make it much easier Saturday when he faces the Flyers.
"I remember when I first arrived with the Flyers after several seasons in Buffalo, the first few games against the Sabres were difficult," he admitted after practice Friday. "Usually after the first period you manage to forget you're playing against friends because the intensity gets higher. I'm looking forward to the first period being over. After that, I'll be able to concentrate more."
There will be some lineup intrigue for the Canadiens as coach Michel Therrien looks to replace enforcer George Parros on his fourth line. At practice Friday, Brandon Prust moved over from his spot at center and took Parros' spot at right wing, while Ryan White and rookie Michael Bournival rotated in at center. Therrien refused to say whether White or Bournival would dress Saturday. Both were scratched in Montreal's 4-3 opening-night loss to the Maple Leafs.
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