Weekly Flyers Preview: Oct. 13-Oct. 19

In the next eight days, the Flyers play three games against some of the Western Conference's top teams. Two of those games are this week.

Both teams this week made the Western Conference playoffs last season. The Anaheim Ducks are off to a strong start to their season while the Dallas Stars, like the Flyers, are winless to start the season.

Tonight, 7 p.m. vs. Anaheim Ducks (2-1-0, 4 points, 2nd Pacific)

Anaheim is a true Stanley Cup contender once again this season. The Ducks have exciting players up top, an exciting young defense, but a new goaltender.

The game tonight for Anaheim will be its fourth straight road game to open the season. If there is one advantage the Flyers will have tonight it's that they've been home for nearly a week while Anaheim has been touring America to start its season.

Throught three games, that travel hasn't slowed the Ducks offense. They've scored 12 goals total in three games, but have given up nine in the process.

The Flyers have the ability to match Anaheim's offense with offense, but won't have the ability to do so defensively.

The Flyers defense is just bad right now. In the first game of the season last Wednesday, despite holding Boston to just two goals, the defense was shaky, and bailed out by Steve Mason numerous times. It was just awful in Thursday's 6-4 loss to New Jersey follow. Saturday was even worse when the defense blew a 3-0 lead in the third period, resulting in a 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal.

Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kessler all have five points through three games. Perry has four goals, leading the team in that area.

Frederick Andersen has been great in net for the Anaheim so far. In two starts, he's allowing just three goals, stopping 41 of 44 total shots.

For Philadelphia, Wayne Simmonds has been explosive and dominant. He has four goals and an assist through three games. Mark Streit has been aiding the offense from the blue line with three assists, and Jakub Voracek has three assists. Claude Giroux has a goal and two assists.

The Flyers are banged up though. Braydon Coburn is with a lower-body injury and Vincent Lecavalier will miss two weeks with a foot injury. As a result of Lecavalier's injury, Brayden Schenn could see some time at left wing.

Saturday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m. at Dallas Stars (0-1-1, 1 point, 7th Central)

Dallas will have played twice as many games as it has now when the Flyers head there on Saturday. Dallas is on the road for the next two games, playing Columbus Tuesday and Pittsburgh Thursday.

Dallas has struggled to score in its first two games. Only Trevor Dailey, Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin have goals for the Stars. The lack of offense wasted solid starts each from Keri Lehtonen and Anders Lindback.

It is only a matter of time before newly acquired Jason Spezza (one assist) and star Tyler Seguin (no points) get into the scoring act. The Flyers will just hope that doesn't begin until after Saturday.

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John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers
Email: russo@thecheckingline.com