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Pair of Eastern matchups tonight

by Adam Schwartz

The Flyers travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tonight at 7p.m. ET.
Watch Flyers-Sabres highlights
After a busy weekend, Monday is a light night in the NHL with just two games scheduled.

At 7 p.m. the slumping Philadelphia Flyers play the Buffalo Sabres and a half-hour later the Toronto Maple Leafs face off against their rival Ottawa Senators in the most recent edition of the battle of Ontario.

Here’s what to watch:

* The Flyers have lost their last 10 games and have fallen from the top of the Atlantic Division to a last place tie with the New York Islanders. Both the Islanders and the Flyers have 67 points and are both just one point out of a playoff spot, but the Islanders have played one more game than the Flyers.

* Philadelphia center Mike Richards, who has four goals and five assists for nine points and a minus-3 rating in nine career games against the Sabres, leads the team with 23 goals, 43 assists, 66 points and a plus-14 rating.

* The Flyers, who have scored the most goals in the low-scoring Atlantic Division with 188, have the second-best power play in the League with a 22.8 percent success rate – the Montreal Canadiens are first with at 24.1 percent.


* Philadelphia right wing Mike Knuble, whose first job was in the bag room at a country club, leads the team and is fourth in the League with 14 power-play goals.

* Buffalo center Derek Roy, who leads the club with a plus-10 rating, has four goals and seven assists for 11 points in his last nine games. Roy, whose favorite athlete is Michael Jordan, averages the most ice time among Buffalo forwards with 20:24 per game.

* Sabres right wing Jason Pominville, who has five goals and six assists for 11 points in nine career games against the Flyers, leads the team with 38 assists and 58 points. Pominville, who was selected No. 55 overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Sabres, has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in his last 14 games.

* Buffalo defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman both have more than 100 blocked shots for a team that has allowed the second fewest goals in the Northeast Division.

* The Sabres, who are in the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 68 points, have a 17-10-5 record against non-divisional Eastern conference opponents. If Buffalo could improve its 10-9-3 divisional record it would move up the standings.


* Toronto captain Mats Sundin, who put to rest trade rumors by publicly stating he would not waive his no-trade clause Sunday, leads the club with 25 goals, 37 assists, 62 points and a plus-9 rating. Sundin, who is second in the League with 821 faceoff wins, has the most points in Leafs history with 971.

* Maple Leafs right wing Nik Antropov, whose favorite player growing up was Mario Lemieux, has four goals and three assists for seven points in his last seven games. Antropov, who was selected No. 10 overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, leads the team with 10 power-play goals.

* Toronto, which has more points than only the last-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference, figures to be a seller Tuesday at the League’s trading deadline.

* Maple Leafs left wing Jason Blake, who scored 40 goals last season, hasn’t scored in the last nine games. The 34-year-old, whose best friend in the NHL is Columbus Blue Jackets center Michael Peca, has scored just 11 goals this season.

* The Senators have a 3-2 record against the Maple Leafs this season, but lost Feb. 2 to Toronto 4-2 the last time the two teams faced off. The Senators have won 37 of the 63 all-time games they have played against the Maple Leafs.

* Ottawa, which is in first place in the Northeast Division with 78 points, has scored the most goals in the League with 210. Surprisingly, just four teams have scored less road power-play goals than the Senators.


* When most people think of the Senators offensive prowess they don’t think of center Mike Fisher, but he is tied with stars Brian Gionta, Peter Mueller, Jonathan Toews and Milan Michalek with 42 points.

* Ottawa left wing Antoine Vermette, who is just three points shy of setting a career-high for points this season, has one goal and four assists for five goals in his last four games. Vermette, who has won the second-most faceoffs for Ottawa with 507, has a plus-3 rating in five games against Toronto this season.

* Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who averages 21:17 of ice time per game, has the second most blocked shots in the League with 158, but Volchenkov missed 15 games with a broken finger.


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