***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Monday, December 9th
(All times Eastern)
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (13-14-2) AT OTTAWA SENATORS (11-14-5), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their third win of
the season against the Ottawa Senators, as the Eastern Conference combatants
complete their 2013-14 season series in Monday's clash at Canadian Tire
Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in
each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then
earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19.
The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters
with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past
four tests in Canada's capital city.
Ottawa enters Monday's season-series finale against the Flyers having lost two
straight and four of its last five games. The Senators were able to record a
point in their most recent outing, dropping Saturday's shootout decision
against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
James van Riemsdyk scored 97 seconds into the game and again in a shootout to
help the Maple Leafs notch the 4-3 win. It was Toronto's first road win since
Oct. 30, ending a seven-game slide as the guest.
Ottawa did well to earn a point on Saturday, as the Senators rallied from a
3-1 deficit with third-period goals by Erik Condra and Erik Karlsson. However,
Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer stopped Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek in
Van Riemsdyk beat Craig Anderson with a backhand and Mason Raymond slipped a
shot past the Ottawa goalie's glove to give the Maple Leafs the extra point.
Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Senators, who fell to 3-7-1 in their last
"We fell a little short tonight, but there was a lot of positive for us," said
MacArthur. "They found a way to score on some opportunities, but I think we
outplayed them here."
Ottawa suffered its fifth straight loss on home ice and fell to 4-8-3 this
season at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Flyers, meanwhile, lost for the second time in three games Saturday
afternoon in Dallas and are now 2-2-0 on a six-game road trip that is set to
end Wednesday at Chicago. All told, Philadelphia is 6-7-2 as the visiting team
Philly was slammed 5-1 by the Stars on Saturday, as Tyler Seguin recorded a
natural hat trick in the second period to lead the hosts to the easy win at
American Airlines Center.
Andrej Meszaros provided the sole offense for the Flyers, who played without
co-leading goal scorer Vincent Lecavalier for the third straight time.
On Sunday, the Flyers announced Lecavalier will miss the next 3-to-4 weeks
with a non-displaced fracture in his lower back.
Although Lecavalier has posted a solid 14 points on nine goals and five
assists in his first season as a Flyer, he's also been plagued by injuries.
The 33-year-old center has battled various ailments while playing in just 22
of Philadelphia's 29 games so far in 2013-14.
"I would say we're probably going to get by as is," Flyers general manager
Paul Holmgren said of the injury situation. "(Lecavalier) does play a big role
on our team. It's hard to go out and replace a guy like that. You just have to
hope other guys pick it up. There's opportunity for other guys to perform
Steve Mason allowed four goals on 26 shots in Saturday's loss and was pulled
after the second period. It was the first time the former Columbus goaltender
had surrendered more than three goals since arriving in Philly in a trade with
the Blue Jackets last season. Ray Emery finished with seven saves in the final
"There were some mistakes we did against their top players and they put it in
the back of the net," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said after the loss in
Dallas. "We can't be making those mistakes."
Mason could get the start again on Monday and is sporting a 5-2-0 record and a
1.71 goals against average in seven career games against the Senators. Emery,
a former Senator, is 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA in two lifetime tests against his old
In addition to Lecavalier, the Flyers also could be without defenseman Kimmo
Timonen on Monday. The veteran blueliner left Saturday's game with an upper-
body injury and did not return. He is questionable for tonight's contest.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (12-14-3) AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (20-10-1), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets carry a lengthy shutout streak
into Monday's game in Pittsburgh, but it could prove difficult to put up
another zero against the high-scoring Penguins.
The Blue Jackets enter tonight's tilt at CONSOL Energy Center with a shutout
streak of 137 minutes, 45 seconds, dating back to the third period of a 3-1
loss in Boston on Nov. 30. Columbus followed that setback against the Bruins
with a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday before notching a 4-0 triumph Friday
Columbus has posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Nov. 2010.
The franchise record for shutout streaks is 199:19.
Curtis McElhinney has seen action in the last two shutout wins for Columbus,
taking over for an injured Sergei Bobrovsky in the third period of the Tampa
Bay game before stopping all 20 shots in a start against the Wild on Friday.
With reigning Vezina Trophy winner Bobrovsky out for several weeks due to a
groin strain, McElhinney is the de facto No. 1 netminder in Columbus with Mike
McKenna serving as the backup.
"It felt great out there tonight," said McElhinney after Friday's win. "The
guys did a real good job keeping them away from the front and did some hard
work when we were killing penalties."
R.J. Umberger and Nick Foligno posted a goal and an assist against Minnesota,
while Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have
won three of four.
"It's been a good couple of games we've had here," said Umberger. "We've been
putting a lot of hard work in practice, working on the power play and defense
a lot and it's starting to pay off."
In addition to the Bobrovsky injury, the Blue Jackets are also currently
without forwards Marian Gaborik (knee), Nathan Horton (shoulder) and Jared
Boll (foot). Defenseman James Wisniewski joined the group of injured Columbus
players after sustaining an upper-body injury in Friday's victory. Wisniewski
is expected to miss at the least the next two games.
McElhinney expects to start again tonight and he'll face a Pittsburgh club
that ranks sixth in the NHL in scoring with an average of 3.03 goals per
game this season. The Pens also have dominated this series in recent years,
taking three straight, five of six and seven of the last nine encounters with
the Blue Jackets.
Pittsburgh, which boasts an impressive 12-3-0 mark in the Steel City this
season, has won its last two home games against Columbus and is 6-2-0 all-time
as the host in this series.
The Pens had won five straight before suffering a late collapse in Saturday's
3-2 regulation loss at Boston. The game also featured a couple of ugly
incidents in the opening period, and one of them led to a suspension for
Pittsburgh forward James Neal.
David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored goals 1:16 apart late in regulation for
the Bruins, giving Boston a 3-2 edge. Chara's tally with 13 seconds remaining
handed the B's their first lead of the game. Neal and Chris Kunitz accounted
for Pittsburgh's goals on Saturday, while Marc-Andre Fleury took the loss
after making 18 saves.
Saturday's game, however, is likely to be remembered more for a pair of ugly
incidents in the first period rather than the way it ended.
During a scrum which was created by a kneeing call to Neal against defenseless
Boston winger Brad Marchand with 8:54 remaining in the first period, Bruins
forward Shawn Thornton grabbed Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik from behind
and punched him twice, the second time as the veteran blueliner was on the
Medical personnel were immediately summoned, and the 33-year-old Pittsburgh
blueliner was completely immobilized before being loaded onto a stretcher and
taken away for evaluation. Following the game, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma
reported that Orpik was out of the hospital and was able to travel back home
with his teammates. He is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion and has
been placed on injured reserve.
Neal, who has 10 goals and 10 assists this season, was suspended for five
games Monday after having a phone hearing with the league. He won't be
eligible to return to the lineup until Dec. 19, when Pittsburgh hosts the
Thornton, meanwhile, drew a match penalty for his actions -- apparently in
retribution for a clean but hard hit Orpik laid on Bruins forward Loui
Eriksson early in the game. Thornton faces an in-person disciplinary hearing
with the league, meaning he could face a suspension of greater than five games
for his actions.
The Penguins played without Evgeni Malkin Saturday and the star forward is
questionable for Monday's game with a lower-body injury, Malkin is second in
the league to his teammate Sidney Crosby in scoring this season, registering
37 points on seven goals and 30 assists. Crosby is pacing the NHL with 42
points on 15 goals and 27 helpers.
CAROLINA HURRICANES (13-12-5) AT VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-10-5), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks try to extend their winning streak
to a season-high five games when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in Monday's
interconference battle at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver earned its fourth consecutive win in Sunday's home triumph against
Colorado. It's the second four-game winning streak of the season for the
Canucks, who also went 4-0 from Oct. 22-28.
The Canucks last won five in a row during a six-game tear from March 19-28 of
Mike Santorelli led the way in Sunday's 3-1 victory against the visiting
Avalanche, recording two goals and an assist to help Vancouver improve to 2-0
on its current five-game homestand. The Canucks are 7-5-3 on home ice this
Vancouver led 1-0 after the first period and expanded its cushion to 3-0 after
scoring twice in the early stages of the third.
Ryan Kesler posted his team-leading 15th goal of the season just 1:32 into the
final period and Santorelli made it 3-0 at the 7:17 mark. Santorelli has eight
goals in 32 games this season after posting a total of 11 markers over 94
contests during the previous two campaigns.
"If you want to be successful in this league, you've got to be able to hold
onto leads, and tonight we did it the right way," Santorelli said. "We wanted
to come out strong and not look at the time, and that's what we did."
Roberto Luongo stopped 28-of-29 shots to improve to 14-8-5 this season. Backup
Eddie Lack could give Luongo a rest tonight with the Canucks playing on back-
While Vancouver takes aim at a fifth straight victory on Monday, the
Hurricanes will try to extend their season-best winning streak to four games.
Carolina has notched three straight positive decisions against Washington,
Nashville and Carolina, giving the 'Canes five victories over their past seven
After earning a 5-2 road win Thursday against the Predators, the Hurricanes
returned home to beat the San Jose Sharks by a 5-3 count on Friday. Rookie
Elias Lindholm capped a three-point night by scoring the go-ahead goal with
six minutes remaining in the third period to help Carolina down the Sharks.
Lindholm, the fifth overall pick of last summer's draft, had gone five
straight games without a point before posting a goal and two assists on
Friday. The outburst doubled his career point total, giving the 19-year-old
Swede six points on three goals and three assists in 18 games.
Jordan Staal, Riley Nash and Jay Harrison each had a goal and an assist, while
Eric Staal scored the other goal for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward made 22 stops
for Carolina in the win.
"The nice thing the guys are learning if they just stay the course and play
the game the right way, you're going to get certain results consistently,"
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said.
Carolina will try to stay hot on the road, as the club is beginning a four-
game swing on Monday. The 'Canes, who also are set to visit Edmonton, Calgary
and Phoenix during this trip, are 6-6-1 on the road this season.
The Hurricanes have not fared well in Vancouver in recent years, losing five
straight at Rogers Arena. Carolina hasn't won in British Columbia since it
recorded a 4-1 decision over the Canucks on Oct. 15, 1999.
Vancouver has won two of three and three of the last five overall encounters
in this series.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (8-17-5) AT ANAHEIM DUCKS (20-7-5), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The lowly New York Islanders will try to avoid a 10th
consecutive loss when they visit the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks
for Monday's clash at Honda Center.
New York lost its ninth consecutive game Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Kings
stifled the Islanders in a 3-0 decision at the Staples Center. L.A. goaltender
Martin Jones needed to stop only 16 shots to record a shutout in his second
career NHL start.
The Islanders have scored a total of five goals over its last five outings and
have only managed to record more than two scores in a game once during its
current slide, tallying three times in a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 22.
"If we're not going to score any goals, it's going to be tough for us,"
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said after Saturday's setback.
The current skid is the longest losing streak for the Isles since a club-
record 14-game slide (0-11-3) from Oct. 23-Nov. 24, 2010.
Kevin Poulin permitted two goals on 23 shots for the skidding Islanders, who
haven't won since recording a home win against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov.
New York also has dropped its last nine road games and is just 3-11-0 as the
away team this season. The Isles' last win as the guest came in a 5-4 shootout
win at Ottawa on Nov. 1.
The Isles have suffered losses in their last three trips to Anaheim. The Ducks
also have taken three of four and four of the last six overall meetings in
Anaheim, which is leading the Pacific with 45 points, enters Monday on a two-
game winning streak. Bruce Boudreau's club also has recorded at least a point
in five straight during its current 3-0-2 stretch.
The Ducks posted both victories on their current winning streak on the road
and are coming off Saturday's 5-2 triumph in St. Louis. Andrew Cogliano scored
a pair of goals and Frederik Andersen made 26 saves, as Anaheim rode an early
three-goal burst to down the Blues at Scottrade Center.
Nick Bonino and Ryan Getzlaf each contributed a score and a helper for the
Ducks, who beat the top two teams in the Central Division on the road in
consecutive games. Anaheim also posted a 3-2 shootout win against the Central-
leading Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
"We feel like we're an elite team," Getzlaf said after the win in St. Louis.
Anaheim is beginning a three-game homestand on Monday and has still yet to
lose in regulation on home ice, going 10-0-2 this season in Orange County.
12/09 13:03:21 ET