Spying on the Saboteur: Philadelphia Flyers Host Ottawa Senators

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The Flyers went into Thursday night’s game against the Coyotes with a five-game winning streak and an 11-game home point streak in their hands. After dropping the game 3-1, they look to rebound Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Flyers are -200 money line favorites with an over/under set at 6 goals even.

First Matchup

During one of their only regulation losses of November, the Flyers dropped game one of three against the Sens, 2-1. The Flyers came out strong and Tyler Pitlick scored an early first-period goal. However, goaltender Anders Nilsson stood strong between the pipes as his teammates potted two goals in the second period to spring the Sens past the Flyers in regulation.

Road Trip Woes

The Senators travel to Philadelphia to close out a five-game road trip. During this trip, they dropped three straight games (five if you include home) before defeating the Oilers in Edmonton three days ago.

So far going 1-3 on their trip, and 5-11-1 on the road this season, the Senators seem to be the perfect candidate for a Flyers rebound Saturday afternoon.

Know your Enemy

The Senators are led by leading goal scorer, Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The centerman has 15 goals and six assists en route to 21 points on the season. However, he still has failed to find the back of the net on the powerplay. As a team, Ottawa is 25th in the league in goals for( 2.62 goals per contest) this season and 20th (3.10 goals per game) in goals against on the year.

Since their last meeting, Anthony Duclair has been hot. His five goals and three assists have accumulated him eight points in 10 games since the Flyers visited Ottawa.

Cherry Hill, New Jersey native Bobby Ryan is sidelined for his homecoming with a hand injury. In his 12th NHL season, Ryan has been beyond lackluster for Ottawa, picking up four points in 16 games this season.

As for goaltending, the Sens, similar to the Flyers, have rolled out two consistent goaltenders. Usual starter, Anders Nilsson, is expected to get the start. On the season, Nilsson is 7-7-1 with a 3.15 GAA. In the Flyers and Sens last meeting, he only allowed a lone goal en route to the victory. However, in his first start in December, Nilsson was pulled after the first period, allowing three goals on 15 shots to the Canucks.

Prediction

It’s only December, but the Flyers need to win games like these. Ottawa is a struggling team, especially on the road and the Flyers must capitalize on this. Wells Fargo Center has been friendly to the orange and black this season, as they are 9-2-4 at home.

Expect the Flyers to win this one 3-1, with a guy like Scott Laughton netting one this afternoon.

Mandatory Credit – © Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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