OTTAWA _ Barring a last-minute setback, Flyers winger Steve Downie will return to the lineup Tuesday night in Ottawa.
“I’m just looking forward to tonight,” Downie said after Tuesday’s morning skate.
Steve Mason (4-7-1, 2.34, .925) will be in the net, making his 13th start in 17 games. He will oppose Ottawa’s Craig Anderson (4-4-2, 3.14, .912), who missed the last here games with a neck injury.
Led by Cherry Hill native Bobby Ryan, the Senators have scored 53 goals _ more than double the Flyers’ total of 26. Ryan, acquired in an off-season trade from Anaheim, leads the Senators in goals (nine) and points (19).
“It’s been great,” Ryan said. “From an organizational standpoint and team standpoint, you can’t ask for a better place.”
Downie will wear a full cage Tuesday night, the first time he will use one in a game since he played youth hockey _ “10 or 15 years” ago, he said. He is expected to be on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read.
The cage can be distracting. “It’s a little different, but no excuses,” Downie said. “I'll get used to it. I’m pretty used to it right now. Wore it for a week now. I’m not too worried about it.”
Downie has missed the last four games because of a concussion suffered in a Nov. 1 fight with Washington’s Aaron Volpatti. Downie will replace Michael Raffl, who has not skated the last two days because of the flu.
Breakaways. The broken leg suffered by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos increases Claude Giroux's chances of making Team Canada in the February Olympics.....Berube said he thought defenseman Luke Schenn moved the puck quickly and "moved his feet better" when he was re-inserted into the lineup Saturday in a 4-2 win over Edmonton......The Flyers and Sabres each had 22 goals in their first 15 games, which equaled an NHL low in modern league history for that time span. It was last done by the 1956-57 Blackhawks....Mason's .925 save percentage is eighth among NHL goalies who have played in at least 11 games.
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