Saturday, August 29, 2015

Flyers try to snap road funk

TORONTO _ The Flyers are 1-5 on the road. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 1-4 at home.

Flyers try to snap road funk

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TORONTO _ The Flyers are 1-5 on the road. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 1-4 at home.

That suggests will be see a clunker Monday night when the teams meet in Toronto.

Then again, both teams have been playing well recently. The Flyers are coming off a 3-0-1 homestand, while the Maple Leafs won three straight on the road, where they are 6-1.

The Flyers (5-6-1) have won five in a row at the Air Canada Centre.

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To keep their streak alive, the Flyers need to play three solid periods _ something that has been a rarity in the first 12 games.  The third period has been particularly shaky for the Flyers, who have been outscored in that stanza, 13-5.

Slow starts have also been the Flyers' trademark. In their five road losses, they have been outscored, 10-1, in the openng period.

The game will mark the return of defenseman Luke Schenn to Toronto.  Schenn was acquired by the Flyers last summer for left winger James van Riemsdyk. Both have played well in the season’s first three-plus weeks (see story).

"It'll be good to get the game out of the way," van Riemsdyk said after the morning skate. "Obviously I had some great memories in Philadelphia, but it's time to move forward, time to move on."

Van Riemsdyk said he had dinner on Sunday night with a handful of Flyers, including Scott Hartnell, Jody Shelley and Claude Giroux.

Ilya Bryzgalov (5-5-1, .2.27, 921) is expected to face Toronto’s James Reimer (5-3, 2.30, .929)  

Giroux (seven points), coming off a 93-point season,  is off to a slow start, though he has dominated the faceoff circle and has been more involved in the offense in recent games. He has gone pointless in seven of 12 games.

Phil Kessel leads the 7-5 Leafs with 10 points (two goals, eight assists), while Matt Read paces the Flyers with nine points (five goals, four assists).

There was a chance Toronto was going to be without forward Mikhail Grabovski, who had as NHL hearing Monday morning for allegedly biting Montreal’s Max Pacioretty during a scrum in Saturday’s 6-0 win by the Maple Leafs. Grabovski, however, escaped without a suspension.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Broad Street Bull is your place for the latest updates, trade rumors, and everything connected to the Philadelphia Flyers.

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