Reports surfaced earlier this morning that winger James van Riemsdyk could return to the Flyers lineup tonight. Harry Zolnierczyk was sent down to the Adirondack Phantoms which pointed to the possible return of van Riemsdyk. But van Riemsdyk did not skate at the optional morning skate after practicing the past three days so it appears that van Riemsdyk will not play tonight. The Flyers will look to jump on the Maple Leafs early tonight. They are third in the league with 54 first period goals and fifth in the NHL in second period goals with 59. Over their last four games, the Flyers have scored seven third period goals. Unfortunately, none of them came against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. Claude Giroux is two points behind Evgeni Malkin for the league lead (62). Giroux’s 60 points is second most in the NHL two points ahead of Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel.
There will be some familiar faces with the Maple Leafs tonight. Toronto assistant coach Rob Zettler played for the Flyers from 1993-1995. The Maples Leafs Vice President of Hockey Operations is none other than Flyers Hall of Famer Dave Poulin. Poulin played 467 games with the Flyers tallying 394 points and was captain of the Stanley Cup Finals teams in 1985 and 1987. Maple Leafs All Star forward Joffrey Lupul played with the Flyers from 2007-2009 where he scored 45 goals and had 96 points in 135 games. He is remembered on the ice mostly for his Game 7 overtime goal in the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals. He was traded in 2009 along with Lucas Sbisa and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks for Flyers captain Chris Pronger.
In net for the Flyers is Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky (11-5-1, 2.70 GAA, .911 SV%) was in net for all six goals in the 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Bobrovsky’s last win was January 24th against the Florida Panthers. However, Brobrovsky was in net for the October 24th 4-2 victory against the Leafs. Starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is out with the flu so the Flyers emergency goaltender is Phantoms goalie Jason Bacashihua.
For the Maple Leafs, they will counter with James Riemer. Riemer (10-5-4, 2.71 GAA, .911 SV%-- a stat line almost identical to Bobrovsky’s) was previously 1-4-1 with a 4.02 GAA before a 5-0 win against the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa on Saturday in which he recorded 49 saves.
The puck drops tonight at 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on the radio on 94.1 WIP.
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