The Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers have cooled considerably following hot starts to the season, with the former failing to hold a late lead in the third period en route to a third loss in four contests. The Senators look to regain their edge on Thursday as they conclude a five-game homestand against the Flyers.
Goaltender Mike Condon misplayed the puck behind his own net, leading to a late goal and eventual 3-2 shootout setback against Los Angeles on Tuesday. Ottawa has been no stranger to working past regulation this season, and all three games versus Philadelphia in 2016-17 ventured past 60 minutes as well. Flyers forward Sean Couturier was held in check against the Senators last campaign but pushed his point total to six (five goals, one assist) in the last five contests with two goals in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Anaheim. Philadelphia has mustered just three tallies in its last three games (1-2-0) after erupting for 18 in its previous three.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN Philadelphia, TSN5, RDS2 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (5-4-0): Second overall pick Nolan Patrick was no worse for wear on Wednesday, one day removed from exiting the loss to the Ducks after being hit head-first into the boards by Anaheim’s Chris Wagner. “I don’t know if it’s scary. It’s part of the game. It happens fast, and I‘m fine,” the 19-year-old Patrick told Philly.com after Wednesday’s practice. In addition to Patrick returning to the ice, Philadelphia also will feature a new-look top defensive unit with Ivan Provorov being paired with the puck-moving Shayne Gostisbehere in the absence of Andrew MacDonald (leg).
ABOUT THE SENATORS (4-1-4): Craig Anderson will look to continue his run of good fortune versus Philadelphia, against which he owns a 10-5-3 career record and .923 save percentage. Derick Brassard, who leads the team in goals (six) and points (10), was kept off the scoresheet in all three meetings with the Flyers last season. Fellow forward Mark Stone scored and set up a goal versus Philadelphia last campaign and has netted four of his five tallies this season at home.
1. Ottawa C Kyle Turris sat out Wednesday’s morning skate due to the flu and has been ruled out versus Philadelphia, coach Guy Boucher told reporters.
2. Flyers G Michal Neuvirth, who leads the league with a 1.36 goals-against average and .957 save percentage, will draw his fourth start of the season on Thursday.
3. Philadelphia RW Wayne Simmonds’ availability versus Ottawa is in question as he reportedly is battling foot, groin and mouth injuries.
PREDICTION: Senators 4, Flyers 2