The Flyers will host Ottawa this afternoon, starting a home-and-home weekend against the streaking Senators.
Sparked by Matt Read’s four points and a power play that went 3 for 6, the Flyers scored a 7-2 win in Ottawa on Oct. 18.
“We’d be making a huge mistake if we didn’t respect Ottawa,” Laviolette said. “They started slow, but they’re not slow now. The way I worded it (to his players), ‘This isn’t the Ottawa Senator team that played in the first week or two of the season.’ Sometimes you get new coaches and new styles and new systems and it takes a while to figure out that identity.”
Ottawa has won four straight.
* * *
Asked if sitting out the Winter Classic was a wake-up call, Ilya Bryzgalov said, “Let’s not go back and look at the past. Let’s look in the future. I think we had a great game (Thursday). I think the team play was unbelievable.”
In his last five games, Bryzgalov is 1-3-1 with a 4.44 goals-against average and .835 save percentage.
Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky are expected to divide the weekend starts against Ottawa.
Breakaways. Blair Betts, sidelined all season with a knee injury, skated before FRiday's practice…… Claude Giroux, who moved to Ottawa when he was 14, entered Friday tied for the NHL lead with 48 points……Sean Couturier is fourth among NHL rookies at plus-8..… Harry Zolnierczyk was moved into Pronger’s old locker Friday…The Flyers are 9-6-2 at home, 14-5-2 on the road…..Detroit appears to be the frontrunner for next year’s Winter Classic….Matt Carle called Thursday's 5-4 win over Chicago “a huge confidence booster.”….Four of the fans’ six all-stars are with Ottawa.....Jaromir Jagr (groin) said he is doubtful for today's game but that he hoped to play Sunday.
* * *
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BroadStBull.