This evening the Philadelphia Flyers will welcome the Los Angeles Kings to the Wells Fargo Center. The game will start at 7:00pm and will be televised on CSN Philadelphia.
This game marks the return of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to the franchise that drafted them. They have not played in Philadelphia as teammates since they were reunited in Los Angeles. The duo was an integral part of the Flyers 2010 Stanley Cup Finals run and have since won the Stanley Cup with the Kings. The players that the Flyers received in return for Carter and Richards, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, and Sean Couturier, have outperformed their Los Angeles counterparts this season.
The Flyers have won five straight games and have created a small amount of breathing room in the standings. However, if they let up now they will be caught quickly. The New York Rangers are only one point behind the Flyers, although the Flyers hold two games in hand. The two teams will face off on Wednesday night, so if the Flyers do not pick up points tonight, they could see themselves fall back in the division on Wednesday night.
The starting goaltenders tonight will be Ray Emery and Jonathan Quick. Ray Emery has not played a lot lately, but he came out victorious in his most recent start. On Tuesday night he faced his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks. After allowing two early goals, he settled in quite nicely and shut the door for the remainder of the game. On the season, Emery is 8-9-1 with a .899 SV% and a 2.65 GAA.
Jonathan Quick is 23-15-2 on the season with a .917 SV% and a 2.01 GAA. Although he had a few shaky moments earlier in the season, he has rebounded quite well. Quick is coming off of a shut out against the Florida Panthers and looks to be gearing up for another lengthy playoff run.
If the Flyers are going to be successful tonight, they will need their top line will need to show up once again. Through the Flyers five game winning streak Claude Giroux has 9 points (1G, 8A), Scott Hartnell has 6 points (4G, 2A), and Jakub Voracek has 4 points (1G, 3A). Wayne Simmonds has 8 points (5G, 3A) during the streak and will look to have a big game against his former team. Sean Couturier and Matt Read have also been incredibly important to the teams success with their ability to shut down the opponents best players and be a tremendous penalty killing duo.
On the injury front, Steve Downie is out with an upper body injury. Tye McGinn has been called up from Adirondack. McGinn skated on the Couturier-Read line this morning and will most likely slot with them for most of the game. Michael Raffl may see a few shifts on the third line, but the coaches clearly like what he brings to the fourth line.
Tonights match-up should be a good, tough game. If the Flyers wish to stay on their hot streak, they will need to play much like they did against Chicago and for segments against St. Louis. They need to play fast and physical, while Emery needs to close the door.
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