San Jose (6-4-1) at Philadelphia (5-2-1)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Sun Oct 25, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Goaltender Brian Boucher(notes) came up through the Philadelphia Flyers’ system more than a decade ago and helped the team to three playoff berths in as many seasons.

The Flyers hope Boucher can have a similar effect in his second stint with the club.

After bouncing around the league the past few seasons, Boucher is expected to make his first start for Philadelphia in more than six years Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks, one of his former teams.

The Flyers (5-2-1) selected Boucher with the 22nd pick of the 1995 draft and the goalie made his NHL debut in 1999. He compiled a 46-38-12 record with a 2.45 goals-against average and seven shutouts in 103 games over three seasons with Philadelphia, including an 11-8-0 mark with a 2.07 GAA and one shutout in 21 playoff games.

He helped the Flyers reach the 2000 Western Conference finals and last started for Philadelphia in the 2002 playoffs, before being traded to Phoenix in June of that year.

Boucher has played for four teams since being traded by the Coyotes in 2006, including the last two seasons with San Jose (6-4-1). He went 12-6-3 with a 2.18 GAA and two shutouts for the Sharks in 2008-09, before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

Philadelphia signed Boucher in July to back up Ray Emery(notes), who stopped 17 shots in Saturday’s 5-1 home win over Florida.

Danny Briere(notes) had two goals while Simon Gagne(notes) ended his longest goal drought to start a season at seven games, but the easy win was overshadowed by Mike Richards’(notes) devastating hit on Panthers left wing David Booth(notes).

Booth was wheeled off on a stretcher following a 7-minute delay and Richards, who has six goals and four assists, could face a suspension.

While Richards’ immediate fate is uncertain, Emery will get his first night off this season.

Boucher struggled in the preseason, going 0-2-1 with a 4.52 GAA, and suffered a lower-body injury that landed him on the injured reserve list.

Before taking the ice for the Flyers, Boucher was sent to the minors for a conditioning stint with Adirondack of the AHL. In his lone game with the Phantoms last Sunday, Boucher stopped 29 shots in a 4-2 win over Bridgeport.

“I’m just happy to get a game in,” he told the Flyers’ official Web site.”I want to get the first game over with and get going here.”

Boucher is 3-3-0 with a 2.86 GAA in seven career games against the Sharks, but hasn’t faced them since 2005.

Philadelphia had little luck against San Jose last season, yielding 12 goals while losing both meetings. The Sharks have won five straight games against the Flyers and are 7-0-0 with two ties in the series since a 4-3 loss Dec. 21, 2001.

San Jose arrives in Philadelphia after Saturday’s 4-3 in Atlanta, its third victory in four games. Patrick Marleau(notes) had two goals and an assist, and Dany Heatley(notes) added a goal and an assist.

Heatley, acquired from Ottawa in September, has gotten off to a strong start with his new team, tallying seven goals and seven assists in 11 games. He had five goals and two assists in four games against the Flyers last season with the Senators.

Although the Sharks won both games against Philadelphia in 2008-09, goalie Evgeni Nabokov(notes) wasn’t particularly sharp, allowing 10 goals on 46 shots.

Nabokov, who has started all 11 games for San Jose this season, stopped 24 shots Saturday.

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Sunday, Oct 25