Coming off an impressive 6-1 performance against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon, the Flyers (6-4-1) face another struggling Southeast division team. The Tampa Bay Lightning (4-3-4) visit the Wachovia Center on Monday, in what is the first meeting of the season between the two squads. The game will be played at the odd game time of 5:00 P.M., due to the World Series.
The Flyers have just two multi-game winning streaks this season and are looking for some continuity with a second straight win on Monday. With Buffalo upcoming on Friday and St. Louis on Saturday, the Flyers have a golden opportunity to string together some wins to stay afloat in the Atlantic Division. The team’s big win against Carolina came without major input from Jeff Carter or Mike Richards, who each had a secondary assist but we kept off the scoreboard and have lacked consistent production for weeks. The Flyers still rank third in the league in goala per game output with 3.43 without their big guns firing, but will need more production from them if the team hopes to make November a better month than October.
The Lightning come to Philadelphia with an 1-0-2 record in their last three games, but only scoring seven goals during that time. Tampa’s top line of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone is carrying the team with 21 of the teams 30 total goals. Alex Tanguay and Vinnie Lecavalier continue to struggle with just two combined goals.
Flyers’ line up
Simon Gagne is on the LTIR with a groin injury and Danny Briere is doubtful with a muscle pull. The injuries force the Flyers into mix and matching the lines. Rookie David Laliberte remains in the lineup after scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game against Carolina. Riley Cote will likely remain off the active roster.
Giroux – Richards – Hartnell
JVR – Carter – Laliberte
Powe – Pyorala – Asham
Laperriere – Betts – Carcillo
Ryan Parent re-injured his groin and will miss at least a week. His absence allows Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to re-enter the lineup and will likely put Braydon Coburn back with Kimmo Timonen.
Carle – Pronger
Coburn – Timonen
Syvret – Tollefsen
Ray Emery will make the start for Philadelphia. He is 6-3-1 with a 2.46 GAA that ranks him 10th in the NHL.
Tampa’s line up
Former Flyers’ player and Lightning coach Rick Tocchet, has moved Lecavalier to the third line in hopes of jump starting his offensive play by putting less pressure on him to score. That, and the hope that being placed on a checking line improves his defensive responsibility that has deteriorated during his slump. Former Flyers’ forward Steve Downie has seen time all over the Tampa line up, but currently finds himself on the fourth line with another former Flyer Todd Fedoruk.
Malone – Stamkos – St. Louis
Wright – Halpern – Tanguay
Miller – Lecavalier – Veilleux
Fedoruk – Konopka – Downie
Second overall pick in the 2009 draft Victor Hedman, makes his Philly debut.
Ohlund – Hedman
Meszaros – Foster
Walker – Hale
Despite out playing starter Mike Smith for most of the season, former Flyers’ goalie Antero Niittymaki is not expected to start. Smith is 2-2-3 with a goals against average of 3.17, which ranks him 30th in the NHL.