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Ducks return home for date with Flyers

by John Kreiser /

FLYERS (23-9-5) at DUCKS (19-17-4)

TV -- TCN-Philadelphia (HD); PRIME (HD)

Last 10 -- Philadelphia 7-2-1; Anaheim 5-4-1

Season series -- It's the second of two meetings this season. Anaheim won 3-2 at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 21. Philadelphia is 3-0-1 in its last four visits to the Honda Center.

Big story -- Forgive the Ducks if they don't remember what it's like to wear their dark jerseys. Anaheim is home for the first time since Dec. 12, following a seven-game trip that took them through parts of all three divisions of the Eastern Conference before post-Christmas games at Los Angeles and Phoenix -- they finished 3-4-0 after beating the Coyotes on Tuesday. But the schedule-maker didn't give them an easy opponent for their first game back; the Flyers are among the NHL's best and are coming off a 7-4 win at Los Angeles on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Flyers -- After a 5-0 loss to Florida in their last game before Christmas and a 6-2 loss at Vancouver on Tuesday in the opener of a five-game trip, the Flyers needed a win. They got one at Los Angeles, though it wasn't pretty. The Flyers surrendered 36 shots and plenty of scoring chances, but took advantage of the Kings' defensive problems to win a track meet.

"I thought a lot of guys played real well tonight," said coach Peter Laviolette, who juggled his lines after the loss in Vancouver. "It really shows that we're a team that can handle a little bit of adversity."

Ducks -- The good news for the Ducks is that they're home. The bad news is that they'll be without center Ryan Getzlaf, who took a puck in the face in Phoenix and was diagnosed with multiple sinus fractures. He was placed on IR on Thursday and will see a specialist on Friday.

"We haven't had all the medical people that we think is necessary to look at Ryan at this point," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Yesterday, we told him to take the morning to settle down. In the afternoon, he felt better. He went through to see our local doctors. Now, he's waiting for a specialist."

Getzlaf, the team captain, is second on the team with 37 points.

Who's hot -- Philadelphia center Mike Richards is coming off a 2-goal, 2-assist night at Los Angeles. … Anaheim's Corey Perry had a goal on Tuesday and has scored four times in his last three games.

Injury report -- Philadelphia is still without star defenseman Chris Pronger, who's out with foot surgery. Forward Jody Shelley will sit out the second game of a suspension. … Getzlaf's absence will put a big hole in the Ducks' offense -- he centers their top line and plays in all situations.

Stat pack -- Despite the win, the Flyers have allowed 15 goals in their last three games. … Anaheim may be glad to be home, but the Honda Center hasn't been kind to the Ducks -- they are just 4-5-0 in their last nine games there.

Puck drop -- The Flyers now have a three-headed goaltender. Leighton played his first NHL game of the season on Thursday, and the Flyers are carrying him along with Brian Boucher and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Leighton had back surgery in October, and Thursday's game was his first since he allowed the Cup-winning goal in OT to Chicago last June. After a shaky 40 minutes, he was much sharper in the third period.

"I was excited about getting back out there, and it backfired a little bit," Leighton said. "That first goal was pretty weak ... but it was good to get back. I felt better in the third period, and hopefully we'll build off that."

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