espn

Flyers try to halt skid against Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Philadelphia Flyers will try to end a seven-game losing streak against the Anaheim Ducks and halt another post-Christmas skid when the teams meet Sunday afternoon at Honda Center.

The Flyers haven't defeated the Ducks since a 4-3 win on Dec. 2, 2011, which marked the debut of Bruce Boudreau as Anaheim's coach after Randy Carlyle was fired two days earlier. Boudreau was let go at the end of last season and Carlyle was rehired by the Ducks.

In the last 10 games against Anaheim, the Flyers are 1-7-3, and they continue to struggle coming out of the Christmas break, losing the first five games two years ago, the first three last season and the first two this year.

Both teams enter this game with 44 points, but Philadelphia has dropped five of six following a 10-game winning streak, the team's longest in 31 years. The Flyers have been shut out twice in the last three games, including Friday at San Jose against rookie goaltender Aaron Dell.

Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who has started 20 of the past 22 games, left the San Jose game at the first intermission after he was hit on an exposed part of his hand by the stick of Joe Thornton as the Sharks center was skating through the crease. Anthony Stolarz was solid in relief, stopping 21 of 22 shots on goal.

"I thought (Stolarz) was excellent," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He was prepared coming in, and I thought he played very well for 40 minutes. He had some tough saves and he looked confident doing it."

Mason took shots during practice in Anaheim on Saturday morning and told reporters he would wait until Sunday morning to see how he felt. But Stolarz is expected to get the start in the finale of a four-game road trip.

"I just want to go out and show I can play at this high level," Stolarz said.

The Ducks lost another game in the five-minute overtime period Friday night, this time 3-2 at the Vancouver Canucks. Anaheim is 0-7 in the five-minute overtime and 1-1 in shootouts this season.

"You're going to look back at some point and say the points are really going to cost you," Carlyle told the Orange County Register following the latest overtime loss.

Anaheim winger Corey Perry continues to struggle through the worst start to his 12-year career, sitting on seven goals for the last eight games after finishing goal-less in November. He has been productive against the Flyers in recent games, scoring in Philadelphia on Oct. 20 in a 3-2 win by the Ducks, collecting two goals in a 4-2 win in Anaheim last December and getting two assists in a 4-1 road victory in February.

The Flyers have been vulnerable on the power play of late, surrendering five goals over the last three games, while the Ducks have 11 power-play goals in the last 10 games for a 32.3 percent success rate.

Brayden Schenn led the Flyers with seven goals in December, but the 2009 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings has not scored against the Ducks in eight career games.

Related Topics:
sportsespnnhlphiladelphia flyersanaheim ducks
(Copyright ©2017 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.)

Load Comments