Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell both scored in the Flyers 4-1 win over the Flames on Tuesday. The Flyers face the Avalanche in the fourth game of a six-game road trip. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
There's a snow storm expected in Philadelphia on Thursday. For the Flyers, the Avalanche are coming.
The Philadelphia Flyers open the 2014 portion of the season in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Flyers and Avalanche already have a previous tie this season as trade partners. The Flyers dealt Max Talbot to the Avs for Steve Downie, a move that appears to have paid dividends to the Flyers revival.
Talbot has four goals and seven assists on the season. Downie has three goals and 16 assists.
The Avalanche are led by Matt Duchene. The center is averaging a point per game in 36 games played and leads the team with 16 goals and 20 assists. Recently named Olympian Paul Stastny is another scoring threat with 11 goals and 14 assists.
Young Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog is a star in the making. Landeskog is second on the team with 28 points - 12 goals, 16 assists. Ryan O'Reilly is also a solid young player for the Avalanche. He has 13 goals and 14 assists on the season.
Colorado's first-round pick Nathan McKinnon also has 10 goals and 14 assists so far in his rookie season.
The Avs will also be missing two solid forwards due to injury. Alex Tanguay and P.A. Parenteau are on injured reserve.
Defensively, Erik Johnson leads the way for Colorado. Jan Hejda, Andre Benoit and Cory Sarich join a strong blue line group for the Avalanche.
The Avalanche will likely tab Semyon Varlamov with the start in goal. Varlamov is 17-8-4-1 with a 2.38 GAA.
The Flyers will likely go with Steve Mason in goal again after Ray Emery's solid performance on Tuesday. Mason is 16-9-4-1 with a 2.38 GAA.
The Flyers have seen solid production out of the top line of Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl for weeks. However, Craig Berube shuffled the lines a bit in Tuesday's game.
Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell also have been hot of late for the Flyers, giving the team a good scoring edge.
Colorado allows just 2.5 goals per game, meaning the Flyers will face a tougher test defensively than they have in prior games.
- Power Play: Flyers (16th, 5th on road), Avalanche (14th, 15th at home)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (10th, 13th on road), Avalanche (19th, T-13th at home)
- The Flyers are 6-9-4-4 against the Colorado Avalanche in franchise history.
- Milestone Watch: Steve Downie is one assist away from 100 in his career. Vincent Lecavalier is three assists from 500 for his career.
Flyers scratches: Matt Read, Erik Gustafsson, Hal Gill, Chris VandeVelde
Flyers Projected Lineup
Line 1: Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Scott Hartnell-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Steve Downie-Sean Couturier-Vincent Lecavalier
Line 4: Jay Rosehill-Adam Hall-Zac Rinaldo
D-Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Luke Schenn-Andrej Meszaros
Goalie: Steve Mason
Where to Watch
Radio: 93.3 WMMR