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Leafs look to get back in win column vs. Flyers

by Adam Kimelman
MAPLE LEAFS (4-1-1) at FLYERS (2-3-1)
Season series --
This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. The Flyers took three of four games last season, including both games in Philadelphia.

Big Story --
Both teams will be looking to right the ship after suffering tough, one-goal home losses Thursday. The Leafs lost their first game in regulation, falling 2-1 to the Rangers, while the Flyers gave up the game-changing goal to Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf with 1:46 left in a 3-2 loss to the Ducks.

Team Scope:
Maple Leafs -- The Leafs' offense has been missing in the last two games, which has seen them score just two goals in losing back-to-back 2-1 games, to the Islanders and Rangers.

Secondary scoring seems to be a problem. Of the Leafs' 18 goals, 10 have come from Clarke MacArthur and Phil Kessel.

Coach Ron Wilson believes some of the solution needs to be more players willing to go to the net.

"We never went to the front of the net and won a battle," he said after Thursday's game. "You're not going to score when the other team is going to pack five guys around their goaltender."

Flyers -- Thursday's loss to the Ducks marked the third straight game Philadelphia hosted a team that had played the night before and lost.

It's an odd occurrence, but one coach Peter Laviolette isn't trying to get too caught up in.

"It's alarming to me that we lost the game, it's disappointing we lost the game," Laviolette said. "I can't control people's schedules, and certainly you'd like to win all the games … whether they played the night before or they didn't play the night before, you want to win, and we didn't win and that's disappointing."

Who's Hot -- Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is off to a tremendous start, going 3-0-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average. It's his best start since the 2006-07 season, when he started 10-0-4 en route to backstopping the Anaheim Ducks to the Stanley Cup. … Danny Briere has a team-leading 4 goals in his first six games. It's his best start since 2006-07, his first season with the Flyers.

Injury Report --
Both teams are mostly healthy. The Leafs have no injuries, while the only players missing for the Flyers are the continued long-term absences of goaltender Michael Leighton, defenseman Matt Walker and forward Ian Laperriere.

Stat Pack -- The Flyers' power play perennially is among the best in the League -- it was third last season and hasn't been lower than sixth since the 2007-08 season. This season, however, it's 27th at 7.4 percent, with just two goals in 27 chances.

Puck Drop --
Despite getting benched for most of the third period of Thursday's game, Wilson said Tyler Bozak remains his team's top-line center. He had no shots and a minus-1 rating in just 13:05 of action against the Rangers.

"I'm confident he'll bounce right back," Wilson told reporters. "This stuff happens all the time, where you take ice time away from people. … You just don't keep throwing someone out there if they're either not feeling well, they're not playing well or their line's not clicking, you try to do different things.

"At the time, you're not going over (on the bench) and wrapping your arm around them and saying excuse me, do you mind going to your room for the rest of the night? The player understands. And probably the player understands better than I because he knows he's not playing well and struggling a little bit. It's the same thing when a goalie's not playing well. Anytime a player's not playing well, I'm not obligated to continue to play him if you're hurting the team."

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