The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t getting much right lately, but Vincent Lecavalier’s scoring surge and the potential return of Claude Giroux are providing some hope.
With Giroux a game-time decision, Lecavalier will try to help the Flyers avoid matching their longest slide of the season Tuesday night against the visiting Ottawa Senators.
Philadelphia (14-18-7) has been outscored 19-9 during an 0-4-1 stretch after starting a season-high eight-game road trip with three victories. The jaunt also cost the Flyers some money, as the NHL fined them for violating the collective bargaining agreement by traveling during the holiday break.
Players were barred from traveling or practicing Dec. 24-26, and Philadelphia reportedly took a flight to Nashville on Dec. 26 before losing 4-1 the following night to begin this slide.
The Flyers concluded the trip by giving up the first five goals in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to New Jersey.
Lecavalier, however, has been a bright after spending seven games as a healthy scratch. The veteran center has five goals with one assist in eight games since after scoring twice through his first 17.
He scored his first power-play goal Saturday but was also a minus-3.
"It’s a lot more than what I had two weeks ago," Lecavalier told the team’s official website of being back in the lineup regularly. "The more you are out there, the more comfortable you are, the more you feel the puck."
Lecavalier has six points in his last four meetings with Ottawa (16-15-7), assisting on a goal by Wayne Simmonds in a 5-2 win in the most recent home matchup Nov. 19, 2013.
Giroux had a goal in that meeting, giving him eight points in 10 matchups at Wells Fargo Center. It’s unclear if he’ll be available for this one after his stretch of 168 consecutive games played ended Saturday due to a cut on the back of his left leg by a skate during Friday’s 2-1 loss at Carolina.
Having Giroux on the ice for this four-game homestand could provide a spark since he’s compiled 22 of his 30 points there.
The venue hasn’t mattered for Jakub Voracek as he leads the league with 48 points. He’s collected 12 in 13 career games against the Senators, scoring four goals while setting up another in the last four.
Ottawa has dropped four of six after squandering a pair of leads to lose 4-2 to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Frustration showed in the third period as the Senators were whistled for five penalties, including a double-minor on captain Erik Karlsson in the final minutes.
"A lot of it comes from frustration," coach Dave Cameron told the team’s official website. "I think we allowed our tiredness and fatigue to become frustration. I can guarantee you that of the nine penalties, there were a few questionable ones. So how many did we actually take is somewhere in between. But at the end of the day you get pegged for nine so you take nine."
Karlsson leads Ottawa with 27 points and has four in his last three visits to Philadelphia.
Kyle Turris has three goals in his last four games against the Flyers, and he’s scored in each of the last two overall while adding an assist Sunday.