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Flyers look for third straight win vs. Sharks

by Mike G. Morreale /
SHARKS (13-9-4) at FLYERS (17-7-4)


Last 10 -- San Jose 4-4-2; Philadelphia 5-3-2

Season series -- This is the only meeting of the season between the teams. The Sharks won both meetings in 2009-10. On Oct. 25, Patrick Marleau had a pair of assists in a 4-1 victory in Philadelphia. On Nov. 20, Dany Heatley scored three times and Joe Thornton recorded his 600th NHL assist in a 6-3 triumph in San Jose.

Big story -- After Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced that goalie Michael Leighton would stay on long-term IR, the NHL granted the Flyers a two-game extension to Leighton's conditioning assignment with their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Leighton will see action in Adirondack's upcoming games against Syracuse on Friday and Portland on Saturday.

"In my opinion he still needs more work," Holmgren told the media Monday. "Rather than sticking him in with the Flyers, it's a better option for us right now. He's a big guy and he hasn't really played a full game since September. I think to get him a couple more games it's going to be better for him and better for us."

Team Scope:

Sharks --
San Jose moved out of last place in the Pacific Division on Monday following a 5-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Logan Couture scored twice, Heatley had a goal and an assist and Thornton also scored in the victory. Antti Niemi made 25 saves to notch his fifth win of the season.

The Sharks certainly would like to exhibit a little more consistency -- the club has alternated wins and losses for eight games.

"The motivation can't be external, it has to be internal in our locker room," coach Todd McLellan said. "Until we get that, until we make that decision -- and I've said that over and over and over again -- we'll continue to play the way we're playing. I don't know when the light is going to go on. They prove to each other on alternating game nights that they can do it."

Flyers -- After successive victories against New Jersey on Saturday and the New York Islanders on Sunday, Wednesday's game against the Sharks marks the first of three games in four days, including road games in Toronto on Thursday and Boston on Saturday. The Flyers then are home to Pittsburgh on Tuesday and travel to Montreal on Dec. 15.

Philadelphia won its second straight Sunday afternoon when Danny Briere scored the tie-breaking goal with 5:44 left to propel the Flyers to a 3-2 defeat of the Islanders. The Flyers have won 21 of their past 23 games against the Isles.

Who's hot -- Flyers right wing Andreas Nodl is sixth on the team with 7 goals while averaging 12:21 of ice time on a line with center Mike Richards and left wing James van Riemsdyk. He's also produced a career-high 12 points, a plus-10 rating and has taken just two minor penalties all season.

"He's pretty hot right now," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. "He's playing terrific hockey for us. He's strong defensively and offensively."

Injury report -- The Flyers are without defenseman Matt Walker (right hip surgery). … Sharks defensemen Jason Demers (upper body), Niclas Wallin (left ankle) and Kent Huskins (upper body) are day-to-day. Forward Devin Setoguchi (upper body) is out.

Stat pack -- Heatley has 18 goals and 30 points in 26 games against the Flyers.

Puck drop -- The Flyers will hold the second of four "Banner Nights" at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, when Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent is honored during a pregame ceremony in which they will present to him his No. 1 banner that hung in the rafters of the old Spectrum.
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