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Resurgent Flyers start home stretch vs. Senators

by Adam Kimelman

SENATORS (8-8-4) at FLYERS (7-10-2)


Last 10: Ottawa 4-4-2; Philadelphia 5-3-2

Season series: It's the second meeting in a week between the teams. On Nov. 12 Jakub Voracek scored twice and Steve Mason stopped all 24 Ottawa Senators shots he faced in the Philadelphia Flyers' 5-0 win at Canadian Tire Centre.

Big story: Have the Flyers finally found their footing? They're 3-0-1 in their past four games, with 13 goals; that 3.25 goals-per-game average is more than double the 1.47 goals per game they were averaging in their first 15 games.

The Senators, meanwhile, are looking to start a busy week on a winning note. They have two sets of back-to-back games -- Tuesday at Philadelphia and Wednesday at home against the Minnesota Wild, then Saturday at the Detroit Red Wings and Sunday at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Team scope:

Senators: Ottawa coach Paul MacLean told reporters Monday prior to his team leaving for Philadelphia that he didn't know who he would start in goal Tuesday against the Flyers.

Craig Anderson is their No. 1, but he's allowed 11 goals in three games since returning from a neck injury, including five goals on 31 shots Nov. 12 against the Flyers in his first game back.

Backup goalie Robin Lehner, who won all three games in Anderson's absence and was named the NHL First Star of the Week last week, is 3-2-2 in eight games and his .945 save percentage is third in the League. Lehner also won his only game against the Flyers, stopping 24 of 25 shots in a 3-1 win in Philadelphia on April 11.

Indications from the morning skate Tuesday were that Lehner would get the start.

Flyers: The Flyers have won three of their first 10 home games this season and have been outscored at Wells Fargo Center 29-15. But with a 3-0-1 record put together with three of the games on the road, they enter a week with three straight at Wells Fargo with the hope their road success can carry over to their home arena.

In addition, a sweep of three games against the Senators, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders would move them to the .500 mark for the season.

"It would be huge, obviously," Voracek told "We're right there. We're like four or five points out of the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs. We've just got to play the same way we played on the road. It would mean a lot if we wound up at .500 at the end of the week. We've got to go game by game and be focused."

Who's hot: Mason is 2-0-2 in his past four starts and has allowed two goals or fewer in all of them. … Senators forward Bobby Ryan has four goals and 11 points in his past nine games.

Injury report: Senators forward Erik Condra is out with a pulled muscle in his right leg. … The Flyers have no reported injuries.


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