Currently, the battle for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference of the NHL is tight. The top five seeds are probably safe, while the sixth through 12th place teams are all in contention for the last three playoff spots.
The Senators sit in sixth at the time of this writing with 44 points in 38 games, while the Flyers are in 12th with 37 points in 38 games. They each have 10 games left, including one against each other in Philadelphia on Thursday night. With the New York Rangers and New York Islanders currently tied for the final two playoff spots with 42 points, the Senators can’t feel too safe nor should the Flyers feel they have no chance.
Thus, it could be a playoff atmosphere in South Philadelphia Thursday. The Flyers have been led by the scoring of Jakub Voracek, who has 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points in 38 games. Claude Giroux isn’t far behind with 11 goals and 26 assists for 37 points in 38 games.
The Flyers struggles have come defensively, which has hurt goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who is 17-5-3 with a 2.88 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.
It’s a different story all together for the Senators, who have benefitted from amazing goaltending from Craig Anderson, Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner. Anderson is 8-5-2 with a 1.53 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Bishop was traded at the trade deadline, while Robin Lehner is 3-3-4 with a 2.34 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
Scoring has been a bit of a challenge for the Senators, though, with Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson and Jakob Silfverberg tied for the team lead with eight goals.
This presents contrasting styles on Thursday, so it remains to be seen if a high-powered offense with defensive issues can overcome a defensive stalwart with trouble scoring goals. One way or another something has to give and the outcome will affect the playoff race quite a bit.
So don’t miss out, get your tickets today and enjoy the exciting atmosphere.