Trying to avoid four straight losses at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since December, the Flyers close out their season-high five-game homestand on Saturday when they face a Maple Leafs club looking for a third consecutive road win.
The Flyers (2-3-1) were the Eastern Conference’s third-highest scoring team with 2.83 goals per game in 2009-10, when they advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 13 years, but they’re nearly at the bottom of the East this season, averaging 2.17 goals.
Despite firing a season-high 42 shots on net Thursday, Philadelphia lost 3-2 to Anaheim to fall to 1-3-0 on its homestand. The Flyers’ last four-game skid at home was Dec. 10-21.
“We’re getting more shots on net and moving the puck better,” forward Claude Giroux(notes) told the Flyers’ official web site after netting his third goal of the season. “We’re just helping each other better on the ice. We’ve just got to find a way to put it in the net and we’re not.”
While Philadelphia has totaled five goals during its three-game slide, Toronto (4-1-1) has found the back of the net twice while dropping its last two - both at home.
The decreased traffic in front of the net has forced coach Ron Wilson to switch up his lines. Second-year center Tyler Bozak(notes), still without a goal this season, was dropped from the top line during Thursday’s 2-1 home loss to the New York Rangers, playing just three third-period shifts.
“You don’t stand and wait for something to happen,” said Wilson, whose team averaged 4.0 goals during its 4-0-0 start. “It’s my job to make something happen.”
Kessel, though, has no goals in 14 career games against the Flyers, while MacArthur has netted one in nine matchups with Philadelphia.
Flyers center Mike Richards(notes) has fared much better against the Maple Leafs, posting six goals and two assists in the last nine matchups. Philadelphia’s captain, however, is without a goal in 2010-11 after averaging 4.7 through the first six games of the last three seasons.
Richards’ slow start has contributed to the Flyers converting 7.4 percent (2 for 27) on the power play. Richards was tied for sixth in the NHL last season with 13 power-play goals.
The Maple Leafs are also struggling with the man advantage, succeeding four times in 28 opportunities.
It’s unclear if rookie Sergei Bobrovsky(notes) will make his third consecutive start in goal for Philadelphia. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette could also give Brian Boucher(notes) his first start since Oct. 14. Boucher is 4-2-1 with a 1.69 GAA in seven career appearances versus the Maple Leafs.
Toronto is trying to win its first three road games for the first time since opening 5-0-0 in 1993-94. The Maple Leafs, though, have been outscored 21-9 while losing four in a row in Philadelphia.