Flyers hope to improve their home record against resurgent Toronto on Monday

Posted: October 24, 2011

The Flyers will try to end their lackluster play at home Monday night when they host the resurgent Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Flyers are 1-2-1 at home - including two straight losses in which they were outscored, 9-4 - and 3-0 on the road.

At home, they are allowing a little under four goals per game. On they road, they are surrendering just one goal per game.

"We got off to a good start on the road. We were excited to get going, get playing again, and for whatever reason, we haven't had the same consistency [at home] as on the road," captain Chris Pronger said after Sunday's practice in Voorhees. "It's something we had problems with last year as well. We need to be not only road warriors, but homers."

The Flyers will be facing a Toronto team that is 5-1-1 and coming off a 5-4 overtime win in Montreal on Saturday.

"We need to be better at home, come out with better jump and more energy," said Pronger, whose team fell into a 2-0 first-period hole en route to a 4-2 loss to St. Louis Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

For the first time, Monday will match Flyers center Brayden Schenn against his brother, Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn, in a regular-season game. They faced each other in the preseason.

"Obviously, it's been talked about for a while now - the first match," Schenn said. "I think it's going to be exciting, not only for us, but for the family as well."

Schenn's mother and father and his sisters, Madison and Macy, will travel from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to be at the game.

The Flyers were 4-0-1 before changing the chemistry by recalling Schenn from Adirondack and demoting Zac Rinaldo to the AHL team. The addition of Schenn has scrambled the lines the last two games.

"With a new group and you bring in five or six new guys, you're not going to have that consistent line where these guys work really well together," winger Scott Hartnell said. "I don't think we've found that niche yet, but you can't change them every game, either. We're sticking with the same lines next game. You just have to work hard and work together, get pucks to the net, and make it hard for the goalie. It seems like every save they are making it's a nice little shot to his chest, and the play is over.

"We have to do a better job making it hard for [the goalie with] ugly, dirty goals."

Left winger Jody Shelley, who hasn't played this season, and defenseman Matt Walker might play Monday and put some edge back into the Flyers lineup. Shelley missed the first five games while serving an NHL suspension, and he hasn't played in the two games since he became eligible.

There is also a chance coach Peter Laviolette will use backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (1-0, 2.00 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) and give the struggling Ilya Bryzgalov (3-2-1, 2.84, .895) a rest.

Saturday's loss to St. Louis, Hartnell said, "was a case of not being ready to play. That first period was horrible. A second late to pucks. It seemed like they won every battle collectively as a group, not just a couple of guys."

Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr are goalless in the seven games.

"I'm pretty sure those two will score this year," Laviolette deadpanned.

Breakaways. Toronto's starting goalie, James Reimer, took an elbow to the head in the opening period Saturday and was later replaced by Jonas Gustavsson, who is expected to face the Flyers. . . . Schenn and Hartnell each had five hits in the loss to the Blues.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at or @BroadStBull on Twitter.


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