Considering how well they've done against the Philadelphia Flyers during the regular season lately, the Montreal Canadiens should be happy to see them coming to town.
Their fans surely won't provide a warm welcome.
The Flyers will play in Montreal on Saturday for the first time since dealing the Canadiens a stunning exit from last season's playoffs.
A 5-3 victory at Philadelphia on Oct. 13 in the only meeting this season ran Montreal's regular-season winning streak in this series to seven. But after losing all four matchups during the 2007-08 season, the Flyers ousted the top-seeded Canadiens from the second round of the playoffs in five games, capped by a 6-4 win in Montreal (9-3-2).
"It's in the back of your mind that it's still the team that put us out last year and you're going to have a little bit of a grudge, but it's a new year," Montreal goalie Carey Price said after making 29 saves in last month's victory in Philadelphia (5-6-4).
Price has won all four regular-season starts he's made versus the Flyers while posting a 1.75 goals-against average, but was 1-3 with a 4.13 GAA in the playoff series.
The second-year netminder might be pleased to be back home, where he's 4-1-0 with a 1.69 GAA this season. Price posted his only shutout of the season in his most recent outing at the Bell Centre, 4-0 over Ottawa on Tuesday.
He followed that performance by giving up six goals in a road start for the second straight time as Montreal fell 6-1 to Boston on Thursday.
"They had more of a fight and they put in the effort, and we didn't," said Price, who has a 3.45 GAA on the road compared to 1.69 at home.
Philadelphia put up a good fight Thursday on the road against defending Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh, but lost 5-4 in a shootout. The Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit by scoring four times in the second period, including two short-handed goals by Simon Gagne, but Martin Biron gave up the tying goal to Sidney Crosby with 2:33 left in regulation.
"The encouraging thing was we were able to come back against a good team," coach John Stevens said.
Stevens hopes his players are particularly motivated after a very tough loss, the Flyers' fourth in five games, after which their dressing room door stayed closed for an extended period.
"Late in the (third) period we were doing a lot of good things, and then one mistake against a team that's very opportunistic and it's 4-4," said center Mike Richards, who has a seven-game point streak. "It's a tough way to lose a game."
Gagne has five goals and seven assists in his last seven games. He tops the NHL with four short-handed goals - one more than the Canadiens have this season - and Philadelphia leads the league with eight.
The Flyers have yet to give up a short-handed goal and they've allowed only one goal in their opponents' last 20 power plays.
Montreal, which is 2-for-22 with the man advantage in its last four home games, has lost three of four overall since opening the season 8-1-1.