After an 0-3 start, the Flyers are 3-3 over their last six games. It is not exactly the start Laviolette pictured for his team in a lockout-shortened season. They are facing an opponent that they have struggled with of late. Since November 2010, the Flyers are just 2-6-1 in their last nine games against Tampa Bay. The Flyers will be without Wayne Simmonds tonight, who misses his second straight game with a concussion. Luckily for the Flyers, Claude Giroux will be in the lineup as he has 13 career points in 15 career games against the Lightning. Giroux will lead the power play tonight which enters tonight’s game ranked 16th (18.6%) but their home power play has been phenomenal as they are 4-for-11 (36.4%). The Flyers 36.4% home power play ranks fourth in the league in the category. It was paced by a strong 3-for-3 performance on Saturday against Carolina.
Between the Pipes: Ilya Bryzgalov (3-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .920 SV%). Bryzgalov is coming off of one of his most impressive performances of the season and definitely his busiest. The Russian netminder made a season-high 39 saves on a season-high 42 shots on Saturday against the Hurricanes. It is just another game in which Bryzgalov has come up huge for the Flyers this season. In his seven career games against the Lightning, Bryzgalov is 3-3-1 with a 2.80 GAA and a .869 SV%.
The Lightning come into the Wells Fargo riding a wave of confidence. They are winners of five of their last six games. They lead the NHL in goals (39) and goals per game (4.87). Tampa Bay has scored four or more goals in six of their first eight games. The Lightning are coming off of a 3-2 defeat on Saturday against the New York Rangers. Their captain Vincent Lecavalier has been a thorn in the Flyers’ side. He fought defenseman in their last matchup and scored a goal. He has a six game scoring strak against the Flyers in which he has tallied four goals and two assists over that span. Along with Lecavalier, the sniper Stamkos enters tonight’s matchup having scored in his last three games against the Flyers.
Between the Pipes: Anders Lindback (5-1-0, 2.84 GAA, .911 SV%). Lindback was given a vote of confidence from head coach Guy Boucher as he was told that the Lightning would ride him as long as possible. Lindback is coming off of an 8-3 victory on Friday night in which he stopped 26 of 29 shots against the Winnipeg Jets. In three career games against the Flyers, Lindback is 1-2-0 with a 2.36 GAA and a .914 SV%.
Puck drop is slated for 7:30 pm. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and NBC Sportsnet. The game can be heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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