Tuesday night pucks return to Philips Arena this evening as the Thrashers host the Flyers. The game can be seen on Versus with John Forslund (Carolina) and Darren Eliot calling the game at 7pm. For tickets, go to www.atlantathrashers.com.
Here are a few nuggets heading into the tilt:
Philadelphia is 2-3-3 overall and 1-1-2 on the road. They are led in scoring by Mike Richards (4-6=10) and Jeff Carter (6-2=8). Martin Biron has played the majority of time between the pipes and has posted a 2-3-1 record with a goals against average of 3.95.
As for streaks, Carter has six points in his last four games and Scott Hartnell has six points over his last three games (3-3=6). The Flyers are unbeaten in the last two games and have yet to play a team from the Southeast Division.
For the Thrashers, they are coming of the 5-4 heartbreaking loss on Saturday in Boston. They have lost two straight and are 1-3-1 in their last five games. They are 0-1-0 against the Atlantic (home loss to New Jersey). Todd White leads the team in points (2-6=8) and Kari Lehtonen is expected to start in goal (2-3-2, 2.99 GAA). As for streaks, Colby Armstrong has four points in his last three games (1-3=4) and defenseman Ron Hainsey has tallied three points in the last three games (1-2=3).
The key to the hockey may come down to the Thrashers play in the second period. So far this season, Atlanta has been outscored 12-4 in the middle frame while outscoring it's opponents 18-13 in the first and third periods. The Flyers have struggled in opening periods, being outscored 13-7 while outscoring teams 14-10 in the second period. Another key to the game is how the Thrashers handle Philadelphia's size. The Flyers average height and weight is 6'1", 203 lbs.
In 24 career games against Philadelphia, LW Ilya Kovalchuk has tallied 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points. Slava Kozlov has recorded eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 31 games against the Flyers.
Neither Kari Lehtonen nor Moose Hedberg have fared well against tonight's opponent. In 16 games, both goaltenders have posted a combined 1-11-2 record against Philadelphia.
The Thrashers will be busy against the Atlantic Division over the next couple of weeks. Four of the next five games are against teams from that division (Philadelphia, at NY Rangers, at New Jersey, NY Islanders). Looks like a great time to start picking up points against Eastern Conference teams.
Defenseman Matthieu Schneider currently ranks fifth among active defensemen in games played with 1,205 and is the 74th player in NHL history to play in 1,200 contests. The leader is Detroit's Chris Chelios at 1,616 games played.
LW Slava Kozlov's current 128 consecutive games played streak ranks 6th all-time in franchise history. Former captain Bobby Holik holds that record at 190 consecutive games played.
Ilya Kovalchuk shares the franchise record for most points recorded in a single game when he tallied five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in a game at Philadelphia on November 18, 2005.
Defenseman Ron Hainsey is even or plus in seven of the first eight games of the season (+3).
I'll be travelling with the team later this week and filling in for JP on the games from New York and New Jersey later this week. I'll be sure to pass along updates from New York City and hopefully have time to break down the 10-game numbers after the Rangers game on Thursday. In the meantime, ENJOY TONIGHT'S GAME!