GAME: Ottawa Senators (35-17-9-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (34-16-12-6).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators continue to fight for the
Eastern Conference's top seed.
That's not the only reason their matchup should be a heated one as these
elite teams face off for the second time in nine days.
An ugly incident from the last meeting on Feb. 26 will be fresh on the minds
of both teams, particularly the Flyers.
Ottawa's Martin Havlat was ejected in the third period of the 1-1 tie for
swinging his stick and attempting to injure Philadelphia's Mark Recchi.
"Someday someone's going to make him eat his lunch," Flyers coach Ken
Hitchcock said after the game. "This is something in my opinion that the
players should take care of."
Havlat has not played since that contest because he received a two-game
suspension for his two-handed swing at Recchi's head in frustration at the
Flyers forward's dogged stick-checking.
"He two-handed me across the face," said Recchi, who received several
stitches on his upper left lip. "He's known for it. ... It might not come from
our team, but he better protect himself."
Havlat might want to remember that warning, even though he was regretful of
"I don't feel good about what I did," he said. "I was getting frustrated
with all the hooking going on before that. I wanted to hit him, but not in the
face. It was a bad decision."
Without Havlat in the lineup the last two games, the Senators split a
home-and-home series with Buffalo.
Recchi has recorded a point in each of Philadelphia's three games since the
tie in Ottawa.
While the Flyers are tied for the best record in the East, the Senators are
just two points back.
Ottawa has knocked Philadelphia out of the playoffs each of the last two
seasons, and has lost just four times in the last 23 regular-season meetings
The Senators have struggled a bit lately, however, going 1-2-1 in their last
four. They blew a one-goal second-period lead and gave up the winner with 7:45
left in regulation in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Sabres.
"We knew it was a big game," Senators forward Mike Fisher said. "We have
to start winning and create some space, but it's tough."
Ottawa leading scorer Marian Hossa had a goal Wednesday to extend his point
streak to six games. Daniel Alfredsson has three goals in the last two games
after going nine straight without one.
Alex Zhamnov has been among the hottest Flyers, with three goals and four
assists in six games since being acquired from Chicago.
Zhamnov had three points in Wednesday's 5-2 victory over Nashville, helping
Philadelphia end a three-game winless streak and notch just its third victory
in nine games.
STANDINGS (through March 3): Senators - 84 points, 1st place (tied),
Northeast Division. Flyers - 86 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Hossa, 29 goals, 41 assists and 70 points; Chris
Neil, 148 PIM. Flyers - Recchi, 24 goals, 40 assists and 64 points; Donald
Brashear, 135 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 3): Senators - Power play: 21.9 percent (69 for
315), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (237 for 283), 20th. Flyers -
Power play: 23.7 percent (60 for 253), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (243
for 289), 16th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Patrick Lalime (22-18-7, 3 SO, 2.26 GAA); Martin
Prusek (12-4-2, 3, 1.86). Flyers - Robert Esche (17-7-5, 2, 1.95); Sean Burke
(14-19-6, 1, 2.85).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 26; 1-1 tie. At Ottawa, Burke made six of his 39 saves in
overtime and Simon Gagne scored on the power play for the Flyers. Hossa had the
goal for the Senators, who had a 40-18 shots advantage.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 14-10-4-1 on the road; Flyers - 21-7-2-3 at