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Streaking Philadelphia flying south

by Adam Schwartz
There are 7 games Tuesday in the NHL, highlighted by the streaking Philadelphia Flyers, who have won 2 straight, visiting the Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS), who have lost their last 3 games.

Three other early games see the Nashville Predators visiting the Washington Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN) and the Montreal Canadiens hosting the Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 p.m., RDS).

Later, the Colorado Avalanche battle the Calgary Flames in a Northwest Division battle, the Vancouver Canucks, who have won both of their home games this season, host the Boston Bruins (10 p.m. ET, TSN), and the San Jose Sharks look to jump ahead of the Detroit Red Wings and into first place in the Western Conference when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* Nashville's Dan Ellis, who is expected to be the starting goalie for the Predators this season, has the third-worst save percentage in the League at .867. Ellis, who grabbed the starting role from Chris Mason last season, has allowed at least 4 goals in 3 of his last 5 games.

* Capitals left wing Alexander Semin, who is tied for the League lead with 14 points, has 6 more points than any other Washington player. Semin, who has a pair 3-point games this season, has played more than 20 minutes in 3 of 8 games this season.

* Flyers center Jeff Carter, who had a career-high 29 goals last season, has 6 goals in 8 games this season, and currently has a 4-game goal-scoring streak. Carter, selected 13 spots ahead of Philadelphia captain Mike Richards in the first round of the 2003 Entry Draft, has played at least 20 minutes in every game this season.

* Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who was acquired from the Panthers for Bryan McCabe in September, leads Toronto defensemen with 5 points in 7 games this season. Van Ryn, who has 16 assists and 18 points in 27 career games against the Lightning, is tied for second on the team with 14 blocked shots.

* Montreal, which has allowed 17 goals, the fewest in the Eastern Conference, is 1 of just 6 teams to have scored multiple shorthanded goals (2) this season. The Habs also are averaging the most goals per game in the League with 3.7 per game.

* Flames right wing Todd Bertuzzi, who had 14 goals in 68 games with the Anaheim Ducks last season, leads the League with 5 goals scored against divisional opponents this season. Bertuzzi, whose contract was bought out by Anaheim this summer, is tied for the team lead with 6 goals.

* Colorado right wing Milan Hejduk, who leads the team with 6 goals, is on pace for 92 points this season after recording just 54 in 77 games last season. Hejduk, whose boyhood idol was former Bruin Vladimir Ruzicka, has played at least 20 minutes in 3 of his last 4 games.

* Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who scored 31 goals in 81 games in the 2005-06 season, has just 1 goal in 9 games this season. Bergeron, who played just 10 games last season because of a concussion, has 5 assists this season.

* Vancouver left wing Mason Raymond, who had no points and a minus-3 rating in his first 3 games this season, has a 5-game point streak in which he has 3 goals and 6 points. Raymond, who is playing the point on the power play, had just 21 points in 49 games with the Canucks last season.

* The Penguins, who are in the midst of a 4-game road trip, are 1 of 4 Eastern Conference teams that hasn't lost in regulation on the road yet this season. Pittsburgh, which has a 3-2-1 home record, lost its first road game this season when they blew a 2-0 lead in the third period Saturday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.

* San Jose center Joe Thornton, who leads the team with 7 assists, has 29 assists and 43 points in 31 career games against the Penguins.

* The Hurricanes, who don't have a player averaging a point per game, have the fourth-worst power play in the League with just a 13.3-percent success rate. Carolina, which won the Stanley Cup in 2006, has not made the playoffs in the last 2 seasons.    

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