Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hartnell eager to face 'feisty' Briere tonight

MONTREAL _ Shortly after the Flyers arrived in Montreal on Friday, left winger Scott Hartnell said, one of the first things he saw was a huge billboard of his ex-teammate, Montreal’s Danny Briere.

Hartnell eager to face 'feisty' Briere tonight

Former teammates square off tonight in Montreal. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Former teammates square off tonight in Montreal. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

MONTREAL _ Shortly after the Flyers arrived in Montreal on Friday, left winger Scott Hartnell said, one of the first things he saw was a huge billboard of his ex-teammate, Montreal’s Danny Briere.

“So he’s in your face,” Hartnell cracked on Saturday morning.

Briere, who turns 36 on Sunday, will be in the Flyers’ faces _ and vice versa _ on Saturday night when his Canadiens host the Flyers. The teams are 0-1, with each losing to Toronto.

    Hartnell said he exchanged texts with Briere on Friday night.

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“We miss Danny B. I’ve been playing with him for years and there was a great chemistry that he and I had,” Hartnell said. “…It’s going to be different seeing him in a Canadiens uniform, but after the first couple shifts, I’m sure it’s going to just be a regular game. When he has the puck, you’re going to finish your check and try to get him off the puck.”

Hartnell was asked if he expected to get into a scrum with Briere.

“I don’t know if I want to tangle with him or he doesn’t want to tangle with me,” said Hartnell, laughing. “He is a feisty little guy. He definitely goes to the hard areas to score goals…and we have to make sure when he’s on the ice, we’re aware of what he can do.”

In the season-opening 3-2 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, Brayden Schenn was on the top line instead of Jake Voracek. The line also includes Claude Giroux and Hartnell.

“They’re two totally different players, obviously,” said Hartnell, comparing Schenn and Voracek. “No offense to Brayden, but Jake is quicker, he gets to loose pucks. Brayden’s good in the corners, and he’s great in front of the net and going to the net. Not having many games with him, I think we can do better _ obviously get more chemistry and hopefully it comes down the road.”

Emery in goal. Goalie Ray Emery will make his season debut Saturday. Playing for the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks last season, he was 17-1 with a 1.94 GAA and finished seventh in the Vezina Trophy voting.

Trivia. In franchise history, the Flyers are 68-76-30-4 against Montreal. In franchise history, Montreal and Boston are the only teams that the Flyers have a losing record against.

According to the Flyers’ public-relations department, the Flyers have a losing record against the New Jersey Devils and the incarnation of Winnipeg Jets, but only in the time since those franchises moved to their respective locations.

Breakaways. Through a team spokesperson, coach Peter Laviolette said he would only talk about hockey issues; he is suing Bank of America for fraud and seeking at least $3 million……Zac Rinaldo will play his 100th career game Saturday……The Flyers play in Carolina on Sunday at 5 p.m., and Laviolette said his goalie starter for that game is not set in stone…..Hartnell on Ilya Bryzgalov signing a tryout contract with Las Vegas in the ECHL: “Good for him….I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up somewhere (in the NHL) this year.”

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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