Tough road trip for Flyers begins in Anaheim against Ducks

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Kyle Palmieri scored two goals in the Ducks 3-2 win over the Flyers on Oct. 29. The Flyers open a three-game road trip in Anaheim on Thursday. (Photo Courtesy of Philly.com)

Tuesday night's game was a much-needed one for the Philadelphia Flyers. The 5-0 win gave the Flyers some form of confidence as they begin a stretch of games on the West Coast.

The Flyers last road trip featured games against the Canadian teams of the West. This time, they will tour California. It starts against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night at 10 p.m.

Right away, the Ducks look daunting simply because they have played so well all season. They have the most points of any team in the NHL with 83 points and a 39-11-5 record. At home, they are 21-2-2.

For scoring threats, look no further than Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Perry leads the Ducks with 28 goals and also has 30 assists. Getzlaf leads the team in points with 61 and assists with 36.

Nick Bonino has put together a solid season so far, scoring 16 goals and adding 24 assists. Kyle Palmieri and Andrew Cogliano are also dangerous scoring threats.

Defensively, the Ducks have a strong group headlined by Cam Fowler. They average 2.4 goals allowed per game.

In goal, Jonas Hiller has been excellent all season. He is 24-7-4 with a 2.39 GAA and .914 save percentage.

The Flyers started to get their top line working on Tuesday with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell each picking up three points. The recent waiving of Chris VandeVelde also seems to indicate that Zac Rinaldo will be back in the lineup on Thursday.

Coming off a 33-save shutout, Steve Mason will start against the Ducks. He is 20-13-5 with a 2.57 GAA and .915 save percentage.

Shuffling the lines in the previous game seemed to work. But it was no secret that Detroit was short-handed due to injury. The Ducks will not be short-handed. They are among the healthiest teams in the league. So this could be a totally different game, especially if the Flyers get caught napping at any point.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (14th, 6th on road), Ducks (T-15th, T-3rd at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-8th, T-8th on road), Bruins (T-12th, 6th at home)
  • The Ducks defeated the Flyers on Oct. 29, 3-2, at Wells Fargo Center. Kyle Palmieri scored two goals in the win.
  • Milestone Watch: Wayne Simmonds needs one goal for 100 in his NHL career. Vincent Lecavalier needs six points for 900 in his career. Matt Read needs six points for 100 in his career. Steve Downie is one assist away from 100 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Andrej Meszaros, Hal Gill, Jay Rosehill 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Scott Hartnell-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Vincent Lecavalier-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Steve Downie
Line 4: Michael Raffl-Adam Hall-Zac Rinaldo

D-Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Erik Gustafsson-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch
TV: CSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic 

Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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