The Philadelphia Flyers begin a twelve-day, six-game road trip Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
The last time these two teams met was on Nov. 9. Claude Giroux scored his first goal of the season, and the Flyers won 4-2.
When the orange and black embarked on an extended road trip that lasted from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, the result was less than stellar. The team went 2-3-1. A small silver lining did break through from the Flyers’ first trip. The team started out 2-1 through the first three games, including a win against the Nashville Predators, where they came back to win a shootout, and a win against the Detroit Red Wings, where the Flyers scored four third-period goals.
The Flyers have momentum going into Edmonton. The team has gone 3-1-1 and have acquired points in seven of their last ten games. They have also made up ground in the Metropolitan Division standings. The orange and black hold the third spot in the division with 38 points.
While the team has been great on home ice, the road has been less than welcoming. With a record of 6-9-4, the Flyers will have to improve if they want to legitimize themselves as a playoff contender.
The Oilers (13-24-3) are one of the worst teams in the league. Only the Buffalo Sabres have a worse record than them. The Oilers have gone 3-6-1 in their last ten games. Although the team has played poorly overall, they have put together two consecutive wins. They are 6-11-1 at home, and the hometown fans are none too happy.
Steve Downie will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last two games with an injury. He will skate on the fourth line tonight with Zac Rinaldo and Adam Hall. Vincent Lecavalier has been playing the right wing on the third line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read. Lecavalier may not be 100 percent healed. If that is the case, it makes sense for head coach Craig Berube to keep Lecavalier on the wing until he feels comfortable enough to return to the center position to take faceoffs.
The projected forward lines for the Flyers:
“It shouldn’t matter if you’re playing at home or away. You need to play with the same intensity and play the same way. I think we just need to get focused when we play on the road.”
- Claude Giroux
Quote via Flyers.NHL.com