St. Louis (5-6-2) at Philadelphia (8-4-1)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sat Nov 7, 2009
  • TV: FSMW, CSP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Blues and Flyers were among six teams added when the NHL doubled in size in 1967. Since then, St. Louis has not enjoyed many of its visits to the City of Brotherly Love.

The Blues look for a rare win in Philadelphia on Saturday night in the opener of a two-game road trip.

Overall, St. Louis is 12-45-1 with 10 ties in Philadelphia. However, the Blues’ futility there was most evident at the old Spectrum from 1972-88 as they came away with 31 losses and three ties, including skids of 20 and 10 games.

St. Louis’ last trip to Philadelphia resulted in its first overtime loss. Simon Gagne’s(notes) power-play goal 27 seconds into the extra session lifted the Flyers to a 4-3 victory on Feb. 10, 2007.

The sputtering Blues (5-6-2) will try to avoid a season-high fourth consecutive loss while jump-starting a nearly non-existent offense.

Rookie Lars Eller(notes) scored on the power play in his NHL debut midway through the third period Thursday in a 2-1 overtime loss to Calgary. That snapped the Blues’ scoreless string at 171 minutes, 5 seconds and came after they failed to find the back of the net in 26 straight chances with the man advantage.

St. Louis coach Andy Murray was happy to see his team finally get on the scoreboard following shutout losses to Phoenix on Oct. 29 and Florida two nights later.

“You know it’s a tough league. You have to scrap and claw for every point you can get,” he said.

Brad Boyes(notes) and David Backes(notes) may want to take Murray’s words to heart.

After leading the Blues with 43 goals in 2007-08 and 33 last season, Boyes has managed just two so far. That’s one more than Backes, who was second on the club with 31 goals in 2008-09 as St. Louis made its first postseason appearance in five years.

St. Louis is last in the Central Division, but has a 3-1-1 road record and closes out its brief swing Sunday in Atlanta.

Paul Kariya(notes), limited to two goals in 11 games last season due to injury, has scored all four of his goals in 2009-10 away from home. A seven-time All-Star, Kariya has one assist in his last six games, but points in five of the six career games he’s played in Philadelphia.

The Flyers (8-4-1) extended their run to a season high-tying three games as Daniel Carcillo(notes) recorded the fourth multigoal game of his career and rookie James van Riemsdyk(notes) also scored in a 5-2 victory over Buffalo on Friday.

It was Carcillo’s first two goals since being acquired from Phoenix in March. In 32 games after that, Carcillo had five assists and 101 penalty minutes.

“We did a good job of being physical and getting in their face,” he said. “We want to get on a roll and gain some points and momentum.”

Van Riemsdyk has two goals and five assists in a four-game streak. Selected second overall behind eventual Calder winner Patrick Kane(notes) in the 2007 draft, van Riemsdyk is among the rookie scoring leaders with 14 points.

The Flyers are 5-2-1 at home, scoring six goals in each of their last two games. With 33 goals, Philadelphia is tied with Edmonton for the league lead in home scoring.

That could spell trouble for either of St. Louis’ goaltenders. Neither Chris Mason(notes) nor Ty Conklin(notes) have stood out, but Mason should be between the pipes.

Mason is 2-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average in three career starts against Philadelphia, including a 4-0 shutout Jan. 31 in St. Louis. Conklin has also made three starts against the Flyers, going 1-2-0 with a 3.71 GAA.

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Saturday, Nov 7