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Sens, Flyers look to continue winning ways

by Eric Goodman
SENATORS (9-7-1) at FLYERS (11-4-2)

Last 10 -- Ottawa 7-3-0; Philadelphia 9-1-1

Season series -- This is the first of four meetings between the Senators and Flyers. Ottawa took the four-game series in 2009-10 with a 3-1-0 record.

Big Story -- Monday night's game at Wells Fargo Center will feature two of the Eastern Conference's hottest clubs over the last few weeks. The Flyers have managed 17 out of a possible 18 points over their last nine games and haven't lost in regulation since Oct. 25th. The Senators have won seven of their last nine games and are within striking distance of the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Northeast Division.

Team Scope:
Senators -- Ottawa has been rock solid in November, compiling a 5-1-0 record as it reaches the midway point of the month. A 2-0 win against early Vezina favorite Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins on Saturday was much needed as the Sens wanted to make a statement after a lopsided 6-2 loss against Vancouver this past Thursday.

"We just wanted to make sure we bounced back," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who tallied the insurance goal on Saturday. "We didn't want this to turn into a two- (or) three-game losing streak."

Flyers -- A combination of a stifling defense and a well-balanced offense has yielded an 8-0-1 record over the last nine games and puts the Flyers at the top of the Atlantic Division. But despite the even attack, Flyers' head coach Peter Laviolette knows that it's more about defense than anything else.

"Well, when you play good defense you create turnovers and that has to be a key for us down the road," Laviolette told on Saturday. "If you look at teams who have won the Stanley Cup the previous years, it's all about defense and it has to start from defense."

Who's Hot -- Senators' goalie Brian Elliott has won five in a row with a .953 save percentage over that span. For the Flyers, captain Mike Richards has scored five goals in his last five games and has earned at least a point in eight of his last nine games, including two tallies in a 5-2 win over Florida on Saturday.

Injury Report -- Philadelphia still has a trio of players on injured reserve: goaltender Michael Leighton (lower back surgery), defenseman Matt Walker (right hip surgery) and forward Ian Laperriere (post-concussion syndrome). Defenseman Brian Lee remains questionable for the Senators with a neck injury.

Stat Pack -- During the Flyers' nine-game points streak, they are averaging an impressive 4.33 goals-per-game.

Puck Drop -- Although Mike Richards started out slow for his Philadelphia Flyers, coach Laviolette is noticing that his captain is finally gaining momentum.

"I see his confidence building," Laviolette said after Saturday's game. "He was flying out there. He was a noticeable player. He had a lot of speed in his game, a lot of attack to his game. I think he's been getting stronger as we go."
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