Flyers-Oilers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 22, 2012
The Philadelphia Flyers keep surrendering goals at an alarming rate, but they can make up for that with the league's top offense. The Edmonton Oilers hope another balanced effort will lead to a second straight win. The Flyers continue a four-game trip Thursday night when they go for their first victory in Edmonton in 11 years. With one of the league's highest goals-against averages of 2.98, Philadelphia (33-19-7) is not putting much fear in opponents with Ilya Bryzgalov or Sergei Bobrovsky set up in net. The team has given up 24 goals in the last six games. The Flyers, though, can deliver on the other end like no other team in the NHL. They are scoring a league-best 3.34 goals per game after finding the back of the net 16 times in the last three. Philadelphia registered a season-high 55 shots in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win at Winnipeg. Jaromir Jagr netted his NHL-record 16th OT goal off a pass from Danny Briere to help the Flyers earn what coach Peter Laviolette called "one of our best, toughest, wins of the year." "It doesn't matter how many they score against us because we know we can score a lot of goals," said Jagr, 11th all-time with 662. The Flyers will need to keep leaning on Jagr, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Max Talbot for scoring as they are currently tied with Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference with 73 points, one back of fourth-place New Jersey. "There's a lot of good teams in the East, and we obviously want to (have) home-ice advantage going into the playoffs," said Giroux, who has eight of his team-best 70 points in the last three games. The Flyers continue their trip with just their 11th visit to Edmonton in two decades. Philadelphia has two losses and a tie on the road in this series since a 4-2 victory on March 19, 2001. The Oilers (23-30-6) have dropped a season-high three straight at Rexall Place, but return home following a 6-1 victory over Calgary on Tuesday. Edmonton, 14th in the West with 52 points, scored six unanswered goals and Devan Dubnyk stopped 21 of 22 shots to help the club end a three-game skid. "If we can play like that and bring it consistently, we're going to win a lot more games," right wing Jordan Eberle told the Oilers' official Twitter account after he and Sam Gagner both had a goal and two assists. If the Oilers are going to win this game, they'll likely need another big performance from Dubnyk, who is expected to start his second straight contest with Nikolai Khabibulin out a week with a groin injury suffered on Sunday. Dubnyk made 23 saves the last time these clubs met, a Philadelphia 4-1 home win on March 8. The Flyers had dropped five straight to Edmonton. The Oilers' last four-game home skid was an 0-6-1 stretch from Jan. 18-Feb. 13, 2011. Philadelphia, which last won two straight on Jan. 10 and 12, is among the league's best on the road with a 19-9-2 mark.
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