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Flyers hope to recapture road success at home

by Dan Rosen

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers know the only way to make the success they had on their recent road trip matter is if they find a way to recreate it on home ice. That starts Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Flyers won their most recent game at Wells Fargo Center 4-2 against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9, but they're 3-7-0 at home and have been outscored 29-15. They're 3-0-1 in their past four games, but that includes a 2-0-1 road stretch against the Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets.

"It's really important for teams to play good at home and obviously that hasn't been the case this year," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "It's going to be a pretty good crowd [Tuesday] and we'll need to get them going as soon as possible."

The Flyers have heard more boos than cheers during home games. Giroux said the players definitely have taken note of it.

"It's really hard when the fans are booing and obviously when they do that we're aware of why they're doing it," Giroux said. "We had a really good stretch on the road and that was really important for us."

They had the good stretch on the road because they started to play a more sound defensive game and avoided the late-game meltdowns that have cost them numerous points this season.

They won 5-0 at Ottawa and then beat the Penguins 2-1 despite getting outshot 16-8 in the first period. They lost 3-2 in a shootout at Winnipeg to close the trip.

Steve Mason, who will start in net Tuesday, made 24 saves in the shutout at Ottawa and 36 saves in the shootout loss at Winnipeg.

"We didn't change anything," Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "It's getting together, getting the system, skating and working. Sometimes you think at home things will happen easier but they don't. It's a matter of getting the same kind of games in our home games now."

The Senators will start Robin Lehner in goal against the Flyers. Craig Anderson had started the three previous games but gave up four goals on 22 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Senators coach Paul MacLean said he was considering tinkering with the lineup, maybe taking out defenseman Eric Gryba, but has opted to stick with the same group (save for the goalie) that he used against the Blue Jackets. He said he's keeping Gryba in the lineup because he feels they need his size and physicality against the Flyers.

"We want to really concentrate on the start of the game and have a good start," MacLean said. "That doesn't mean we want to come out running all over the place and giving them lots of opportunities just because we're showing energy. We want to have a good start to the game, work real hard for the first goal and see if we can build some momentum for ourselves on the road."

The Senators return home to play the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday but then hit the road for three straight, at the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals.

"For us, after losing last game [against the Flyers] at home 5-0 and the way we lost that game, our approach is we have to match their intensity early and make sure we're getting pucks deep," Senators forward Bobby Ryan said. "A lot of the last game they got goals in transition. We were getting away from our staple of putting the puck in deep and going to work. That has to be our mindset [Tuesday]."

Here are the expected lineups for each team:


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Steve Downie

Jay Rosehill - Adam Hall - Zac Rinaldo

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen

Erik Gustafsson - Luke Schenn

Mark Streit - Nicklas Grossmann

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Hal Gill, Andrej Meszaros, Michael Raffl


Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Cory Conacher

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Erik Condra - Derek Grant - Mika Zibanejad

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Mark Borowiecki - Chris Phillips

Jared Cowen - Eric Gryba

Robin Lehner

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch, Matt Kassian, Joe Corvo


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