Despite an awful start, the Flyers enter Tuesday’s game against visiting Anaheim just five points out of a playoff spot _ and with two games in hand on Carolina, the team holding that position.
“Our division has been struggling at the start of the year,” center Sean Couturier said after Tuesday’s morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center. “We’re lucky we’re in that situation and we have to take advantage of it.”
“Teams are going to start winning pretty soon. Teams are going to get hot, and hopefully we’re one of those teams,” said captain Claude Giroux, who is coming off a two-assist performance in a 5-2 win over the Islanders but is still searching for his first goal.
The Flyers are 3-7 but have won two straight. They will face a 9-3 Anaheim team that has a strong attack and is led by Corey Perry (six goals, 13 points) and Ryan Getzlaf (five goals, 12 points).
“Nobody has really taken off in the East; it’s been pretty tight, and we definitely feel fortunate,” coach Craig Berube said. “We just have to worry about winning our games and doing what we have to do."
Mason starts. Steve Mason (3-5, 2.15 GAA, .930) will make his ninth start in 11 games for the Flyers and will oppose Jonas Hiller (4-2, 2..64, .911).
Mez in lineup. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, a healthy scratch the last five games, will be paired with Kimmo Timonen in Tuesday's game.
Maroon returns. Left winger Patrick Maroon (two goals, two assists), chosen by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, will be on Anaheim's top line tonight with Perry and Getzlaf. Maroon played for the Philadelphia/Adirondack Phantoms before being dealt to the Ducks.
In 2010, Maroon and David Laliberte were traded by the Flyers for Danny Syvret and Rob Bordson. He is playing on the top line because of injuries.
Sbisa sidelined. Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa, a former Flyer, has been out all season with a sprained left ankle, and he will not play tonight. He skated in the morning and said he was "getting close" to returning.
Sbisa, 23, said even though only four Flyers remain from when he played here in 2008-09, he got sentimental walking into the Wells Fargo Center. "This is where it all started for me," he said.
Sbisa was 18 years old when he started his rookie season with the Flyers. He was later one of the players sent to Anaheim in the Chris Pronger trade.
Breakaways. Jay Rosehill will remain in the Flyers' lineup, and Adam Hall will be scratched....The Ducks' PP (8.2 percent) is worse than the Flyers' (10 percent). Anaheim is 26th on the PK, while the Flyers are ninth....Mathieu Perreault (nine points in 11 games) will return to the Ducks' lineup tonight, while Dustin Penner will remain sidelined with a concussion.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.