Skip to main content


Coyotes face old friend as Flyers come to desert

by John Kreiser /

FLYERS (14-7-3) at COYOTES (13-8-3)

TV: CSN-Philadelphia; FS-Arizona Plus

LAST 10: Philadelphia 6-3-1; Phoenix 6-4-1

Season Series: It's the second and final meeting between the teams. Philadelphia got a goal by rookie Matt Read with 18.6 seconds left to beat the Coyotes 2-1 at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 17.

Big Story: Ilya Bryzgalov makes his return to Arena, where he led the Coyotes to back-to-back playoff berths before joining the Flyers last summer -- though he may spend the night watching Sergei Bobrovsky tend goal after playing in Friday's 4-3 overtime win at Anaheim. The Coyotes have done just fine without him, even though they return home after a 1-0 loss at Winnipeg on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Spotting the other team a 3-0 lead isn't the easiest way to win, but that's exactly what the Flyers did on Friday. Anaheim scored the game's first three goals, but the relentless Flyers kept firing away and rallied to win on Claude Giroux's power-play goal with 91 seconds left in overtime. The Flyers outshot the Ducks 47-22 and drew nine power plays, scoring on three.

"They came out pretty strong and obviously they've got pretty good players that can put the puck in the net," Giroux said. "They made a couple of mistakes at the end, and we kind of re-grouped as a team.

"To be able to come back on the road like that is pretty fun. Guys don't quit, we had a lot of energy and guys can skate. Anytime you play a game like that, it's pretty fun."

Coyotes: The Coyotes won't be booed any louder than they were on Thursday night, when the former Winnipeg Jets paid their first visit to the city they left 15 years ago. Aside from an ovation for Phoenix captain Shane Doan -- the lone survivor of the original Jets -- the Coyotes heard it from the crowd of 15,004 throughout the 1-0 loss. Doan's turnover led to a first-period goal by Bryan Little, and the Coyotes weren't able to beat Ondrej Pavelec -- getting a bad break in the final minutes when a puck that appeared to be on its way into the net inexplicably veered to the right and missed the post.

"We're a lot better team than we played in the first 10 (minutes)," Doan said. "We played a lot better after that. But the first 10 minutes we let them get their speed and that was our fault."

Who's Hot: Jaromir Jagr returned from a groin injury Friday and had a pair of goals and an assist. Giroux has three goals in the Flyers' last three games. … Mike Smith has more than replaced Bryzgalov in goal for the Coyotes -- he has allowed just two goals in his last three games and is 12-5-3 with a 2.08 goals-against average in 20 appearances.

Injury Report: The Flyers are thin on D due to the absence of Chris Pronger (knee surgery), Andres Lilja (high ankle sprain) and Eric Gustafsson (wrist) -- they've recalled veteran Matt Walker from AHL Adirondack to help out -- and are also without top-six forward James van Riemsdyk (upper body). … Phoenix is healthy except for defenseman Michal Rozsival (concussion).

Stat Pack:
Philadelphia's three power-play goals in Anaheim matched its season high. … Smith's 12 victories are two shy of his career-best.

Puck Drop: Thursday marked the return of center Kyle Turris to the Coyotes' lineup after he missed most of the first two months of the season in a contract dispute. Turris played 11:58, had four shots on goal and was 6-for-6 in the faceoff circle while centering a fourth line with Raffi Torres and Patrick O'Sullivan. He figures to get more ice time as his conditioning improves.

More important is the fact that he gives coach Dave Tippett more options up front.

"Chemistry is very important to our group," Tippett said. "We can tweak things here and there with a player here and there, but the big thing for me is to have players fit in the right spots in the right roles doing the right jobs."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.