Ray Emery made 23 saves in the Flyers 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 31. The Flyers host the Flames in the final game before the Olympic break on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
Saturday afternoon marks the Flyers final game before the Olympic break and they have a chance to close that stretch on a continuing hot streak. They are in the midst of a three-game winning streak.
The final game comes against the Calgary Flames, a team the Flyers faced in the middle of one of their other strong stretches this season. The opening face-off will commence at 1 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flames have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL of late. Winners in six of their last seven games, the Flames were once on the fast track to an early offseason, but now find themselves just 12 points out of a playoff spot with two months left in the season.
Jiri Hudler is the clear frontrunner in points for the Flames. His 43 points are 14 more than Mikael Backlund in second place. Backlund is doing his best to catch Hudler. In his last six games, Backlund has 10 points including six goals.
Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan have also been strong point producers. Monahan leads the team in goals with 16 and Giordano is second on the team in assists with 19.
Defensively, the Flames pride themselves in shot blocking. No one does it better than Chris Butler. Butler leads the Flames with 150 blocked shots, which also ranks third in the NHL. Ladislav Smid and Kris Russell also rank in the top 10 in the NHL in blocked shots as well, giving the Flames durability on the blue line.
In goal, the Flames will likely go with Reto Berra. Berra is 8-15-2 with a 3.06 GAA and .895 save percentage.
The Flyers are in search of their fourth straight win and fifth in the last six games on Saturday. There may not be a hotter player than Mark Streit, one of five players the Flyers will send to Sochi as part of the Olympics. The Team Switzerland defenseman has seven points in his last seven games, including goals in two straight games.
Claude Giroux has goals in three straight games for the Flyers as well. Michael Raffl has scored in back-to-back games. Steve Mason has been red-hot in the five-game stretch, going 4-1-0 with a 1.40 GAA and .957 save percentage.
But Mason will likely get a rest on Saturday for Ray Emery. Emery is 6-9-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .897 save percentage this season. Emery was in goal for the Flyers 4-1 win over the Flames on Dec. 31.
- Power Play: Flyers (10th, T-23rd at home), Flames (24th, 25th on road)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (6th, 9th at home), Flames (22nd, 30th on road)
- The Flyers defeated the Flames on Dec. 31, 4-1. Mark Streit, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Braydon Coburn scored goals in the win and Ray Emery made 23 saves in the win. Sean Monahan scored the only goal for the Flames.
- Milestone Watch: Vincent Lecavalier needs three points for 900 in his career and five goals for 400 in his career. Matt Read needs three points for 100 in his career.
Flyers scratches: Andrej Meszaros, Hal Gill, Jay Rosehill
Flyers Projected Lineup
Line 1: Scott Hartnell-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Vincent Lecavalier-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Steve Downie
Line 4: Michael Raffl-Adam Hall-Zac Rinaldo
D-Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Erik Gustafsson-Nick Grossmann
D-Pair 3: Mark Streit-Luke Schenn
Goalie: Ray Emery
Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.