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Flyers visit Bryzgalov, Oilers to begin swing

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will face a former teammate on Saturday, as they visit Ilya Bryzgalov and the Edmonton Oilers for a highly- anticipated battle at Rexall Place.

Bryzgalov's tumultuous tenure with the Flyers came to an abrupt end last summer, as Philadelphia banished the controversial goaltender with a massive buyout. The outspoken netminder will get a chance to prove the Flyers made the wrong decision by letting him go, as he expects to get the start for the Oilers on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Russian backstop joined the Flyers in the summer of 2011, signing an 8-year, $51 million deal. However, perceptions of inconsistent play along with off-ice and locker-room behavior issues contributed to the buyout -- one which saved the Flyers an estimated $6 million on the salary cap for the remaining six years of the deal.

Bryzgalov was signed by Edmonton to a one-year deal in early November and has gone 2-4-0 with a 2.80 goals against average and .915 save percentage this season. Bryzgalov, who also played for Anaheim and Phoenix before signing his massive deal with the Flyers, is 3-0-0 with a 1.86 GAA and .927 save percentage over four career games (three starts) against Philadelphia.

"It's just another game of hockey," said Bryzgalov on Friday of facing the Flyers.

The Flyers enter this emotional clash against their former goaltender with wins in three of their last four games, but Philly also has lost its last five tilts on the road, where the club is just 6-9-4 this season.

"On the road we tend to not fall asleep but not push the issue enough at certain times. And we end up letting our guard down a bit," Flyers coach Craig Berube recently told his team's website.

Philadelphia hopes to solve its recent road issues during an upcoming six-game swing, which begins tonight in Edmonton before taking the Flyers to Vancouver, Calgary. Colorado, Phoenix and finally New Jersey.

The Flyers won their ninth straight home game in their last trip to the ice, as Wayne Simmonds tallied twice and Steve Mason stopped 26 shots to help Philly enter the Christmas break with Monday's 4-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Claude Giroux and Luke Schenn also scored with Jakub Voracek chipping in a pair of assists for the Flyers. Voracek extended his point streak to eight games, while Giroux reached the scoresheet for a seventh straight outing.

The Flyers expect to have Steve Downie back on Saturday, as the forward is ready to return from an upper-body injury that caused him to miss the last two games. Downie has three goals and 16 assists this season and has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in 20 games since he was traded by Colorado on Oct. 31.

The Oilers, meanwhile, hope Bryzgalov can follow up Devan Dubnyk's 27-save shutout on Friday night that lifted his club to a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames. It was Dubnyk's second shutout of the season and eighth of his career.

Ryan Smyth scored both goals -- one an empty-netter -- for the Oilers, who have won their past two after dropping six straight games. Boyd Gordon assisted on both tallies as Edmonton recorded just its third winning streak of the season.

"You have to give (the Flames) credit, they are a hard-working team, but by no means are we going to lay down and be pushed over," Smyth said. "We're a team that's going to fight and claw and try and get ourselves bumping up in the standings, one game at a time and we did it tonight."

Philadelphia beat a visiting Oilers club by a 4-2 score on Nov. 9. Giroux tallied the game-winner to help the Flyers beat Edmonton for the second time in three meetings, while Mason stopped 24-of-26 shots for the win to improve to 6-4-0 with a 3.86 GAA in 11 career starts in this matchup.

The Oilers, however, are 7-2-0 with a tie in the last 10 overall meetings against the Flyers. Philadelphia also is winless over its last four trips to Edmonton, going 0-3 with a tie since last winning at Rexall Place on March 19, 2001.

12/28 10:49:05 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh3Final(OT) | Box
Columbus «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Anaheim2Final | Box
Dallas «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
St. Louis3Final(OT) | Box
Chicago «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR