FLYERS (13-7-3) at DUCKS (7-13-4)
TV: TCN-PH, PRIME (HD)
Philadelphia 6-3-1; Anaheim 2-7-1
This is the only time the teams will play this season. In their only meeting last season, Ryan Getzlaf
scored with 1:46 left in regulation to lead the Ducks to a 3-2 victory in Philadelphia.
Bruce Boudreau makes his debut behind the bench with the Ducks, who sit 14th in the Western Conference and 29th in the overall NHL standings. Boudreau coached his final game for the Capitals last Saturday and was fired on Monday. The Ducks announced his hiring late Wednesday night.
Philadelphia will be without defenseman Chris Pronger
likely until the holiday break at the end of the month due to surgery to remove loose bodies in his left knee. However, the reason he missed four games before the surgery is a bit more mysterious.
The Flyers reported Pronger was suffering from a virus, but the Philadelphia captain said that might not be 100-percent accurate.
"We said it was a virus but I didn't know what it was," he told reporters Thursday. "I've never felt like that before -- headaches, nausea, all the rest of that."
The problem began affecting Pronger after the team's trip to Winnipeg on Nov. 19, and the mystery of what's really ailing him has continued since then.
"I had a concussion test, did the baseline test and passed that," Pronger said. "I've just never felt like this where you get light-headed, you have headaches, you're nauseous. It's been a bit of a mystery what exactly is going on. Did some blood work, and we're trying to get to the bottom of what's going on."
Anaheim general manager Bob Murray didn't need long to make a decision on the need for a coaching change. And when Boudreau suddenly became available, that was all Murray needed.
Murray told reporters he contacted Washington GM George McPhee not long after learning the Caps had dismissed Boudreau.
"Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership," Murray said in announcing the change.
The situation Boudreau inherits in Anaheim isn't much different than the one waiting for him when he arrived in Washington in November 2007. The Caps were 30th in the League the day of his first game.
Boudreau turned those Caps around fast, guiding them to the Southeast Division title that first season and winning the Jack Adams Award. Now he's hoping for the same kind of success in Anaheim.
Flyers forward Claude Giroux
has 4 goals and 6 assists in his last seven games. … Ducks forward Corey Perry
had a goal and 2 assists Wednesday against Montreal to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games.
The Flyers hope to have forward Jaromir Jagr
back in the lineup Friday. He's missed most of the last six games with a lower-body injury, but practiced with the team Friday. Forward James van Riemsdyk
(upper body) likely won't play Friday. Pronger (knee) and fellow defenseman Andreas Lilja
(ankle) are out for at least a month each. … Ducks goalie Dan Ellis
will miss at least 1-2 weeks with a groin injury. Forward George Parros
is out following eye surgery. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky
is out with a broken finger.
Boudreau became the fastest coach in NHL history to win 200 games, doing so Nov. 21. He also picked up more victories (184) in his first 300 NHL games than any coach.
Boudreau also will become just the seventh man to coach two NHL teams in one season. And the six-day span between games with the different teams sets a new NHL record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the previous shortest turnaround time between jobs was 15 days for Roger Neilson between coaching his final game for the Vancouver Canucks and his first game with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1983-84 season.
When Boudreau made his debut as coach of the Capitals on Nov. 23, 2007, it was against the Flyers.
When Boudreau makes his debut for the Ducks on Friday, it again will be against the Flyers.
In another odd note, Peter Laviolette's first game as Flyers coach was Dec. 5, 2009 -- against Boudreau's Washington Capitals.