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Flyers looking for first three-game win streak

by Adam Kimelman /

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers have a chance to do something Wednesday when they face the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN) that they have yet to do this season: win their third straight game.

However, entering the game 13th in the Eastern Conference and six points out of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 13 games to go, the Flyers know they need a lot more than three wins.

"All games are huge for us and we have to put ourselves in a situation to play a good hockey game and put ourselves in position to try to get the two points at the end of the night," forward Simon Gagne said. "Sure we won the last two games and it would be nice to get three in a row [but] it doesn't matter what happened in the past. We have to focus on the game [Wednesday] and win this one. All points are going to be key for us right to the end of the season."

With games Wednesday against the Canadiens and Thursday at the Toronto Maple Leafs -- both with solid standings in the postseason race -- the Flyers have a chance to climb in a hurry. But don't think the players are scoreboard watching, because every day things look different.

"We just have to worry about ourselves, what we can control, and that's winning hockey games," forward Brayden Schenn said. "That's all there is to it. We can't think we're three or four or five points back or this team won and that team won. We just have to go ready to the rink focused and prepared to win games."

Helping in that role could be the return of defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, who has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury. Grossmann shifted from a non-contact jersey Tuesday to the same-colored jersey as the rest of the defensemen, went through the entire morning skate, and stayed for extra skating after.

Grossmann leads the team with 82 blocked shots, and deflected any questions about his playing status, saying only, "That would be the most [on-ice work] in a few days here. … Sorry guys, strict orders."

"I thought [Grossmann] looked good," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's a big body back there for us. Thought he looked good out there."

Here is how the Flyers' lineup could look when they face the Canadiens:

Matt Read - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Scott Hartnell - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Tye McGinn - Sean Couturier - Zac Rinaldo

Simon Gagne - Ruslan Fedotenko - Mike Knuble

Luke Schenn - Oliver Lauridsen

Kimmo Timonen - Bruno Gervais

Erik Gustafsson - Kent Huskins

Ilya Bryzgalov

Michael Leighton

Scratched: Kurtis Foster, Jay Rosehill, Adam Hall

Injured: Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Nicklas Grossmann (upper body), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Jody Shelley (hip), Maxime Talbot (leg), Danny Briere (concussion)


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