Morning Skate: Party Like It's 1997

First off, I gotta apologize for not having the game thread up yesterday. It was my thread to take and I totally forgot about it yesterday while running around town. 

The Flyers have had an odd road trip to the West over the past three games. First, they lost to the Canucks 6-2, then beat the Kings 7-4, before falling to the Ducks 5-2 on New Year's Eve. The Flyers used a different goalie in each game and the win was by Michael Leighton, his first game of the 2010-2011 season. The Flyers sit high in the Eastern Conference and the Wings will have a tough test tonight.

Quick reminder that tonight's game is at 5:00 p.m., not a later 7/7:30 start. 

Broad Street Hockey is the SB Nation Philadelphia Flyers site. Head on over there, they do great work.

More after the jump and the predictions form. 

  • Jimmy Howard will start in net for the Red Wings, says mlive.com's Ansar Khan . Howard allowed four goals against the Islanders on New Years Eve but will have an even tougher job tonight stopping the Flyers' with their depth. Howard's save percentage was a very bad .739 against the Islanders and he'll have to tighten that up.
  • That depth is evident in the boxscores as the Flyers have 5 players with 10+ goals and 3 with 9 goals. The Wings will need to do a good job keeping the shot totals down against the NHL's fourth most prolific offense. 
  • But...the Wings have the NHL's most prolific offense in the NHL and this game should be interesting to the type of battle it comes down to. It could be a game where the goalies are both required to stand on their heads or a game where it won't matter much how the goalies play, it will be a high scoring game. What type of game do you all expect tonight?
  • Patrick Eaves will sit out again tonight. Tomas Tatar was an emergency call up for the Islanders game and played well in his first game, even recording his first career NHL goal. A lot of people are excited about the future of this kid and he got things off to a good start. It will be interesting to see how he follows that up. 
  • Danny Briere leads the Flyers with 18 goals so far this season. The 5'9" forward is on pace for a career high in goals and is a big part of this offense. But the Wings have more than just him to worry about as a whole host of players are capable of stepping up if Briere is shut down. This is where Datsyuk and Cleary being out really hurts this team. Should be interesting to see how the Wings play against the thickest offensive team since the Vancouver win.
  • Ville Leino is a +17. Yes, the same Ville Leino that was a -10 in Detroit before being traded is a +17 in Philly. 
  • Score Prediction: 5-3 Red Wings. The Wings come back a little stronger than the Islanders game. 
  • Player of the Game Prediction: Johan Franzen. Franzen's been heating up a bit and hopefully he continues that. 
  • Lines, via the Khan again.:
    Franzen-Zetterberg-Holmstrom
    Hudler-Filppula-Bertuzzi
    Draper-Helm-Tatar
    Miller-Abdelkader-Mursak

    L
    idstrom-Stuart
    Ericsson-Rafalski
    Kronwall-Salei

    Howard

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