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Stadium Series: The Difference Is…

Jay Greenberg talks to players who have played outdoor games and what elements to expect

by Jay Greenberg @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Just in case it doesn't stop raining by 8 pm Saturday night in Pittsburgh, Sean Couturier points to potential energy savings to make up for all the exhausting and futile efforts potentially expended by Penguins and Flyers in launching soggy pucks out of the surf.

"They won't need the Zamboni," smiled Couturier.

That would be a good night for the goalies for sure. But the weatherman says they need not strap on the goggles after all. If you can ever totally trust a forecast a Saturday issued on a Tuesday, the quarter-inch of rain that is expected to fall over Western Pennsylvania during the day is supposed to stop at night, after gusts of 40 mile-an-hour winds diminish, along with the temperatures down into the high thirties.

Last time the NHL played outdoors in Pittsburgh, the 2011 Winter Classic against the Capitals, there was some rain during the game, and the surface nevertheless didn't disintegrate into a total pile of goo. So, in the true spirit of every kid on any pond who ever forgot that he couldn't feel his feet anymore until Mom yelled out it was time for dinner, it will be Game On! for better or worse, through rain, cold and the gloom of night.  

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Flyers Alumni Hockey Tour in Russia

Alumni take Flyers hockey internationally in three-city tour.

by Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

1. Working as a Team

The Flyers Alumni tour of Russia was the brainchild of Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman Joe Watson. 

"I was wanting to do this for a long time, ever since [Russia-based natural gas export company] Gazprom sent a team to Philadelphia. But it was over the last year or so that I was really working on putting this together, and we pulled it off. Brad Marsh helped out as well," Watson explained.

Marsh, the longtime Flyers defenseman and now the Flyers director of community development as well as the president of the Flyers Alumni Association, saw the trip as an opportunity to represent the Flyers brand internationally and also an opportunity to get together with fellow hockey people.

"To me, this trip had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the hockey and the people. We saw some guys we knew from before, and met some new ones, as well. But the best part, quite honestly, was getting out there and being reminded of what hockey -- and the Flyers, because that crest was recognized everywhere -- means to people around the world," Marsh said.

The tour stops and rosters were coordinated by Scott MacPherson and Chuck Borge.

The Flyers took a nine-player contingent to Russia: Watson, Marsh, Jeff Chychrun, Terry Carkner, Shjon Podein, Al Secord, Lindsay Carson, Chase Watson (Joe's nephew and the son of Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman Jim) and AHL Hall of Fame goaltender Freddy Cassivi. Both Cassivi and Chase Watson are regulars in Flyers Alumni games around the Delaware Valley, although neither played for the Flyers.

During the tour, the Flyers Alumni were supplemented by a variety of players arranged primarily through MacPherson. These included many former NHL players such as Bobby Carpenter, Andrei Nikolishin and Flyers Alum forward Andrei Kovalenko. Ex-NHLer Alexander Semak played in the Kazan and St. Petersburg games, while Kovalenko was in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The Flyers team also had defenseman Sergey Gimayev, a longtime Red Army and Soviet national team player who today is a national hockey commentator on Russian TV.

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GREENBERG: For the love of the outdoors

With Stadium Series looming, players recall their early days of hockey playing outdoors

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Mondays were the best days.

"They would flood the outdoor rink for the week on Sunday nights," Bob Clarke remembers. "The only time it was really nice and smooth was the next morning, so I wanted to be there early, like before 6.

"When its 20 below, the ice chips, so it doesn't take much time for a bunch of kids to chew it up. By the end of the week it was pretty bad, not that it mattered because we would play anyway. If we got a heavy snow, the fathers would come down and scrape it off, the kids helping. It was just normal, what you had to do to play. 

"In Flin Flon, we were 800 miles from Winnipeg, too far for antennas to pick up a TV signal, so we didn't have it until I was about 12. Your entertainment was outdoor sports. When we finally got TV, it wasn't yet cable, something called Cam-TV. I don't know how they delivered it, but the shows were a week late, even the Hockey Night in Canada game.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't watch that many on TV. Mostly, I was out playing. I would put my skates on at home and skate down the hill to the rink about 300 yards away. Play until 8 or so, skate back up the hill, go in and have breakfast, and then go to school at nine."

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POSTGAME 5: Happy Endings

Flyers post three straight goals to earn 3-2 win over Vancouver to end Western road swing

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

1. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Shayne Gostisbehere posted a three-point night and the Flyers got goals from their top three scorers to walk out of Vancouver with a 3-2 win on Sunday night.

The Flyers got out to a first period lead by taking advantage on the power play as Wayne Simmonds rebounded a puck in that just squeaked by Ryan Miller off a shot from the point by Gostisbehere.

The Flyers kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second period, scoring twice. First from Jakub Voracek off a rebound gave him a wide open net off a shot from Sean Couturier, then on the next power-play, Brayden Schenn scored his 18th of the year with a nice move to the slot and shot past Miller. The Canucks fought back with the next two, one from Markus Granlund and then a lucky bounce into the slot fell on Jannik Hansen's stick, who fired it top shelf past Neuvirth.

Neuvirth stopped all six shots he faced in the third period, and 18 of 20 overall, to backstop the Flyers to their first win on the road trip. 

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OTF: Neuvirth Back In, MacDonald Out

News, Notes & Quotes to come out of the morning skate in Vancouver

by Philadelphia Flyers @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Some news & notes to come out of the morning skate at Rogers Arena prior to tonight's game:

CANUCKS REST & RESET
- The Canucks had just a handful of players participate in their morning skate due to it being the second of back-to-backs.

Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins did confirm that Ryan Miller will get the start against the Flyers. It will be the second straight start for Miller, who stopped 35 of 36 shots in last night's 2-1 overtime win over the Flames.

NEUVIRTH AGAIN
- For the fourth straight game, Michal Neuvirth will get the start in net for the Flyers. He hopes to rebound after allowing six goals in a loss to the Oilers in Edmonton, but prior to that had been on a roll, allowing just two goals or less in his last six games.

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5 THINGS: Flyers vs. Canucks

The Flyers and the Canucks face off tonight 10PM, at Rogers Arena.

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

GAME NOTES

QUICK STATS

Season Series: 1-0-0

All-Time Record: 118 gp (72-33-13-0)

Leading Scorers: 

PHI: 48pts, Voracek (14g-34a)

VAN: 39pts, Horvat (18g-21a)

Power Play: (PHI: 41-for-199, 20.6%, 11th) (VAN: 26-for-175, 14.8%, 28th)

Penalty Kill: (PHI: 140-of-173, 80.9%, 18th) (VAN: 125-for-158, 79.1%, 24th)

 

1. TWO IN A ROW(S)

The Flyers have won two straight against the Canucks dating back to last season, but have also dropped two straight playing at Vancouver… This is the second and final meeting of the year against the Canucks with the Flyers earning a 5-4 shootout win at home on Jan. 12 in a game that saw 73 shots and eight goals scored… Ten Flyers recorded at least a point in the game, led by Sean Couturier with (1g-1a), while forward Markus Granlund had two goals and a +3 rating for Vancouver.

 

2. YOU SAY HELLO, WE SAY GOODBYE

The Canucks recently finished off a season-high, 11-day, six-game road trip from Feb. 7-16 and play the second of a four-game homestand after they earned a 2-1 overtime win over Calgary last night… Tonight marks the fifth time this season the Flyers will be playing an opponent who is entering the second of games on back to back nights, while they are not… The Canucks are 5-7-0 in the second game, but have only played the second game on home ice twice this year, going 1-1-0… The Flyers are wrapping up their six-day, three-game road trip through Western Canada and are looking for their first win of the trip. 

 

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Practice Update: End on a good note

Flyers look to end road trip on good footing and climb back into playoff picture

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

After back to back games in Alberta didn't go the way the Flyers wanted them to, the task remains to forget and move on because an opportunity to salvage two points is crucial as the Flyers take on the Canucks on Sunday.

"It's huge. We didn't get the results in the last two games and we didn't play bad in any way, but we just didn't get any points so it's even more important that we have a really good game and get those two points," added Mark Streit.

Rarely have the Flyers dropped three straight games in regulation. It's happened just twice this year and on each occasion, it has spanned over a long break. The Flyers dropped two games before the Christmas holiday, then five days off, and dropped the first game afterwards. The same scenario occurred with the Flyers dropping the first two games heading into the five-day bye week break in January and dropping the first game back.

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POSTGAME 5: Downed in Oil Country

Flyers drop 6-3 contest in first game at Rogers Place

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

1. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

Brayden Schenn recorded a goal and an assist, but the Oilers used a three-goal second period to get out to a 5-1 lead, eventually earning a 6-3 victory over the Flyers.

Matt Hendricks got the Oilers out to an early 1-0 lead with a shot from the left circle, beating Michal Neuvirth. The Flyers challenged the goal, which seemed to have been off-sides, so the call was not overturned. The Oilers extended their leading heading into the second period with a tap-in goal from Leon Draisaitl.

The second frame saw five total goals scored with the Oilers recording three in between Flyers goals from Radko Gudas to start the period and Wayne Simmonds near the end of the frame.

Schenn pulled the Flyers within two with a power-play goal, but Connor McDavid scored the sixth goal to seal the win. Neuvirth stopped 19 shots in the loss, while Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the Oilers.

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Building Hope For Kids Home Revealed

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017 was the day we have been waiting and working for! This was the day that Syrianna and her family would see their new home for the first time.

The Flyers Wives, players, and staff, along with Michael's Way, Fastrack Construction, and the local community gathered together early Sunday afternoon outside the family's home in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia. Even with the steady rain, there was no shortage of energy or emotion as we all helped welcome Syrianna and her family HOME!

As Michael's Way and Fastrack Construction helped set-up tents and tables, the DJ started playing music, Chickie's & Pete's and ACME provided the food, neighbors started gathering from near and far, and kids and parents alike played street hockey as we waited for Syrianna and her family to arrive home. Paul Holmgren, Joe Mullen and Erin Read all jumped in for some street hockey with the kids! Flyers players, wives and staff joined the fun, signed autographs and took pictures with fans! Flyers giveaways, hats and goodie bags were provided to the community, as well, as we all waited for home reveal.

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5 THINGS: Flyers vs. Oilers

The Flyers and the Oilers face off tonight 9:00PM, at Rogers Place.

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

GAME NOTES

QUICK STATS

Season Series: 1-0-0

All-Time Record: 72 gp (33-30-8-1)

Leading Scorers

PHI: 47pts, Voracek (14g-33a)

EDM: 63pts, McDavid (18g-45a)

Power Play: (PHI: 40-for-196, 20.8%, T-11th) (EDM: 36-for-176, 20.4%, T-11th)

Penalty Kill: (PHI: 140-of-173, 80.9%, 18th) (EDM: 134-for-164, 81.7%, 14th)

 

1. NO REST FOR THE WEARY

The Flyers enter the second of games on back-to-back days after taking a 3-1 loss to the Flames at Calgary… This is the 14th of 18 sets of back-to-backs and they own an 8-3-2 record in second games, including two straight wins in that scenario… The Flyers are also 4-1-0 in the second of back-to-backs after losing the first game… This is also the 11th time that the Flyers have played the second game on the road and 10th time that the visiting team has not played the night before.

 

2. OIL COUNTRY

Edmonton has dropped four of their last six games but have rallied as of late, earning a 5-2 win in their last game, vs. Arizona, and winning two of their last three… The Oilers have a winning record against every other division, except the Metropolitan Division, going 5-7-0… Cam Talbot has started the Oilers last eight games in net, going 4-4-0… Former Flyer draft pick, Patrick Maroon, has goals in two straight games and ranks second on the team with 20 goals this season, which is a new career high.

 

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