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Flyers return home to host Canadiens

by Sean McCullen

CANADIENS (25-14-5) at FLYERS (22-17-4)


Last 10: Montreal 5-3-2; Philadelphia 8-2-0

Season series: This is the final game this season between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. The teams split the first two, with each team winning on home ice.

Big story: The Flyers return to Wells Fargo Center for the first time since before the Christmas break. They went 5-1-0 on a six-game, 11-day road trip that concluded with a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils.

Philadelphia climbed past the Washington Capitals and into second place in the Metropolitan Division during the road trip. The Flyers were third in the division, six points behind Washington, when the trip started Dec. 28 against the Edmonton Oilers.


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The Canadiens are 2-0-1 since blowing a 3-0 third-period lead in an eventual 5-4 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on New Year's Eve. They are in third place in the Atlantic Division.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: Montreal learned Tuesday it will be without Alex Galchenyuk four to six weeks. The 19-year-old center sustained a broken hand Monday night in a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers.

Galchenyuk is tied for fourth on the team with 10 goals in 44 games. His 23 points are fourth on the team.

"He's an important player on our hockey club," goalie Carey Price said of Galchenyuk. "He's very talented offensively. He contributes a lot to our team. Whenever you lose a guy on your team, it hurts, and I hope he can recover quickly and I'm sure he'll be highly motivated when he gets back."

Flyers: Center Claude Giroux scored to tie the game against the Devils at 1-1 at 5:18 of the third period after learning Tuesday morning that he had not been selected to Canada's 25-man Olympic roster.

"Anytime somebody kind of takes something away from you, you want to prove them wrong," Giroux said. "I put that behind me though. I have to go on and keep playing. It's a fun game out there."

Steve Mason will likely be back in goal for the Flyers against Montreal after backup Ray Emery got the start against New Jersey. Mason was less than a minute from earning a shutout when the Flyers played Montreal at Wells Fargo Center on Dec. 12. Galchenyuk scored for Montreal with 55.1 seconds left, setting up a tense finish for the Flyers, who had controlled the game to that point.

Who's hot: Montreal forward Brian Gionta has scored a goal in each of the past two games. He had scored five in his first 41 games. … Giroux has six goals in the Flyers' the past nine games.

Injury report: In addition to Galchenyuk, the Canadiens will be without defenseman Davis Drewiske (shoulder), who is on injured reserve. Forward George Parros (concussion) said he has been cleared to return and is a game-time decision. Center Ryan White (upper body), also on IR, is considered day-to-day. … Flyers right wing Matt Read (upper body) did not play against New Jersey, and is considered day-to-day. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (knee), who has been on IR since he was injured Dec. 21, practiced Monday.

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