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Philadelphia Flyers (20-7-5) at Montreal Canadiens (18-10-2) – December 15th,

Two top Eastern Conference teams face off tonight as the Montreal Canadiens
host the Philadelphia Flyers.  Tonight’s game marks the third time the two
clubs have met, with both teams earning respective victories at home; Montreal
won 3-0 while Philadelphia countered with a 3-2 victory the following week. 
The Habs are on a modest 2-game losing skid, having last mailed in an awful
performance in a 3-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday.  The Flyers were in
action last night against Pittsburgh, winning 3-2 to gain the first place in the
NHL and are 6-1-3 in their last
10 games.  The Canadiens are 5-4-1 over the same duration.

After sitting out against the Maple Leafs, Carey Price (17-8-2, 1.96 GAA,
.935 SV%) will be back in net to face the Flyers. 200 feet away will be rookie
sensation Sergei Bobrovsky (14-4-3, 2.29 GAA, .922 SV%) who has been largely
inconsistent of late, and has lost a few starts to the veteran Brian Boucher
(6-3-2. 2.21 GAA, .918 SV%).  Price is a life-time 6-2-0 against the Flyers,
with a 1.81 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.

Despite only recording 1 point over the last 3 games, Tomas Plekanec
(9-17-26) continues to lead the Canadiens in scoring.  Plekanec is followed
by the suddenly hot Mike Cammalleri (10-11-21) who leads the Canadiens in goals
scored and has tallied 6 points in his last 6 games.  Andrei Kostitsyn
(9-11-20) and Brian Gionta (9-9-18) round out the scoring leaders for Montreal. 
The Flyers have a multitude of scorers at their disposal and feature the likes
of Mike Richards (11-19-30), Claude Giroux (15-14-29), Jeff Carter (12-12-24),
Danny Briere (16-8-24) and Ville Leino (7-16-23)

Despite the overabundance of talent, Philadelphia has converted only 16.2% of
their chances with the man advantage.  Although Montreal has only received
6 powerplay opportunities the last 4 games, they are ranked 14th in the league
with 17.6% efficiency.  Montreal leads the NHL with their 89.3%
penalty-killing, but Philadelphia isn’t too far behind with a 82.8% success rate
with the man disadvantage.  In the two games this year, Montreal has gone 2
for 12 on the powerplay while Philadelphia has yet to score on the 8 powerplay
opportunities that they have been afforded.

Jaroslav Spacek (upper body) and Scott Gomez (lower body) practiced on
Tuesday, and appear to be suiting up for tonight’s game.  Tonight will mark Max Pacioretty’s first game this season in the NHL.  Yannick Weber, Tom Pyatt and Dustin Boyd will serve as healthy scratches.  Philadelphia will be
without Ian Laperriere (concussion), Matt Walker (hip) and Jody Shelley will
complete his 2-game suspension for his hit on Adam McQuaid. 

The forward lines at Tuesday’s practice were as follows:

Cammalleri – Plekanec – Moen

Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta

Pouliot – Eller – Darche

Kostitsyn – Halpern – Lapierre

Game-time is 7:30 and the game can be seen on RDS and TSN.

Preview by Matt