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Jets start two-week trip in Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman /

JETS (2-5-1) at FLYERS (5-3-1)


Season Series: This is the first of four games between the teams this season. The former Atlanta Thrashers took three of four games last season -- winning the final three, all by one goal. In their most recent meeting, Nik Antropov scored the game's only goal midway through the third period and Chris Mason stopped all 43 shots -- including 19 in the third period -- in a 1-0 victory.

Big Story: Can the Flyers regroup after a disappointing 5-1 loss Wednesday in Montreal? It's their first set of back-to-back games this season, and they'll face a rested Jets team that hasn't played since Monday.

Team Scope:

Jets: The Jets spent one final day on the ice before embarking on a 14-day, seven-game road trip that starts Thursday in Philadelphia. Coach Claude Noel pushed the tempo at practice in hopes of correcting some things he hadn't been happy about.

"We wanted to be better in practice," he told the team's website. "I haven't liked the way we've practiced for a while. We've been trying to get the work ethic going and I thought today was good, we had a good pace today, the players were attentive. It was good."

Captain Andrew Ladd said getting in a strong practice before leaving home was just what the team needed.

"I thought we did a good job today," Ladd told the team's website. "We had some great pace and got up and down the ice. It was one of our best practices all year I thought, so hopefully that carries over into (Thursday's) game."

Flyers: In their first game without captain Chris Pronger, it was obvious just how much the team missed their All-Star defenseman.

The Flyers were credited with just seven turnovers -- four by defenseman, led by three by Matt Carle -- but poor defensive-zone play and miscues with the puck were major reasons for their loss.

The Flyers got the game's first goal, but gave up five straight, starting with a penalty on Andreas Lilja with 1:20 left in the first period that led to a Canadiens' power-play goal seconds before the horn sounded to end the period.

Things got worst in the second, as the Canadiens scored twice in a 2:12 span to put the Flyers in a hole they couldn't climb out of.

"We went out in the second period and got away from everything we were doing as far as skating and putting pucks in the right areas," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Basically, we just turned it over too much. I think four of the five goals were direct results of turnovers."

Who's Hot: Jets second-year forward Alexander Burmistrov has points in five straight games and has seven points in eight games. Last season it took him 19 games to get that many. … In two games together, the Flyers' top line of Jaromir Jagr, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell have combined for five goals and five assists.

Injury Report: Jets center Jim Slater (concussion) skated with the team Wednesday and traveled with the team on this trip, but won't play Thursday. Eric Fehr also will be with the team on the road, but he's not fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. … The Flyers will be without Pronger for at least 2-3 weeks following the eye injury he suffered in Monday's win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Stat Pack : After going 0-for-17 on the power play in the first four games, the Jets are 4-for-15 (26.7 percent) with the man-advantage in their last four games.

Puck Drop: Ilya Bryzgalov still is getting used to the new defenseman playing in front of him. Earlier this week, he went out early for practice with goalie coach Jeff Reese, assistant coach Kevin McCarthy, who coaches the blueliners, and defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja to work on communication and transfer situations.

"We want to be on the same page because it's one of those things that happens so quick on the ice, we want to make sure to tell Bryz whether to play or leave it or over or whatever it is," Timonen told

Part of the reason for their extra work was a lack of communication between Bryzgalov and defenseman Braydon Coburn that led to a goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"Bryz played the same defense a long time (in Phoenix)," Reese told, "and now he's got some new guys. We're just going to simplify things."

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