Avalanche vs. Flyers
Philadelphia, PA - The last time the Philadelphia Flyers played a meaningful game on home ice, their opponent raised the Stanley Cup when it was over.
With their sights set on being the ones to hoist it in 2011, the Flyers begin their home schedule Monday night against a Colorado Avalanche team looking to open the season with consecutive wins over both Cup finalists.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BroburySports.com have made the Flyers –160 money line favorites for Monday's game against the Avalanche. Current MLB Public Betting Information shows that 67% of more than 628 bets for this game have been placed on the Flyers -160.
The last time Philadelphia fans watched their team play a home game that mattered, the Chicago Blackhawks won the championship with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 on June 9. That disappointing memory likely won't tarnish Monday night's celebration when the Flyers' Eastern Conference championship banner is raised.
"Everybody will be excited about it," coach Peter Laviolette told the team's official website. "I'm sure the building will have a lot of fire to it."
The Flyers (1-0-1) should feel confident returning home, where they went 9-2 during the 2010 postseason.
"We're going to be fired up, skating hard, hitting, whatever it takes to get a win," said forward Scott Hartnell, who has yet to record a point this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky could be in goal after making 29 saves in the Flyers' 3-2 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday in his NHL debut.
"It wasn't anything too extraordinary," said Bobrovsky, who at 22 years and 17 days, became the youngest Flyers goalie to start a season opener. "I wasn't too nervous. I was ready."
Bobrovsky watched Saturday as Brian Boucher stopped 23 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss at St. Louis. Boucher is 0-6-0 with two ties and a 2.97 goals-against average versus Colorado.
Danny Briere has scored in each game for the Flyers, who hope being on home ice will help them improve on a 1-for-9 power-play effort through two games - 0 for 5 on Saturday.
Briere has three goals and four assists in his last four games against the Avalanche (1-0-0). He had two of each in Philadelphia's 5-4 loss at Colorado in the teams' most recent meeting Nov. 23.
It's uncertain if Philadelphia star defenseman Chris Pronger will be in the lineup after he missed the first two games with a knee injury.
The Flyers have lost six of seven against the Avalanche, but the lone win in that span came in the last meeting at Philadelphia - 5-2 on Dec. 16, 2008.
Colorado's Paul Stastny had a goal in that contest. He has three goals and four assists in four career games versus the Flyers.
Stastny scored twice, including the overtime winner, to lift the Avalanche to a 4-3 home victory over the Blackhawks on Thursday.
The Avalanche, who started 2-0 and made the playoffs last season, look to build on the momentum sustained in that victory as they face another difficult task to open their road schedule.
"We played the Stanley Cup champions on Thursday and now we have the Eastern Conference champions, so those are two good tests right off the bat," winger David Jones told the Avalanche's official website. "We just have to play our game and hopefully take it to them."Craig Anderson is likely to be in goal after he made 35 saves versus Chicago. He is 3-1-0 with a 2.73 GAA against the Flyers.