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Flyers set to open season against Maple Leafs

by Brian Compton /

MAPLE LEAFS (1-0-0) at FLYERS (0-0-0)


Season Series: This is the first of three meetings. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers won’t face each other again until March 8 at Air Canada Centre.

Big Story: The Flyers open their season on home ice, which means Philadelphia debuts for the likes of defenseman Mark Streit and center Vincent Lecavalier. Toronto, meanwhile, plays its second game in as many nights after a win in Montreal on Tuesday.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Special teams played a huge role in Toronto’s season-opener Tuesday night. James van Riemsdyk scored 8:01 into the game on the power play and Tyler Bozak beat Carey Price on a breakaway for a shorthanded goal late in the second period in the Maple Leafs’ 4-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

“Early in the season special teams usually have a huge impact on the success or failure of your group,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. “Tonight, I thought our special teams were the difference in the game. The shorthanded goal kind of turned everything in our favor and the power play got us going.”

Flyers: No decision has been made in regards to which goaltender will get the starting nod for the season opener. Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette must choose between Steve Mason, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets late last season, or Ray Emery, who went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13 before signing with the Flyers as a free agent.

“I don’t think it’s a competition,” Laviolette told the Flyers’ website. “The goalies are working hard and have looked good in practice and played well in the preseason games and you are going to see a lot of both goaltenders.

“We plan on utilizing both of them and I think it will be advantageous to keep our goalies fresh and we have that luxury.”

Injury Report: The Maple Leafs will be without forwards Frazer McLaren (hand) and David Clarkson (suspension). … Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger (post-concussion syndrome) is on long-term injured reserve. Forward Jakub Voracek (back) is optimistic he will play.

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