|Date of game: 10/25/2014
Detroit Red Wings (4-1-2) at Philadelphia Flyers (2-3-2), 7 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to take advantage of a thin Philadelphia Flyers defense when the clubs meet Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Flyers will play tonight's home game without the services of Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald, who will both miss approximately four weeks with lower-body injuries, according to an announcement made Friday by general manager Ron Hextall.
Coburn has been out since suffering an injury in the season opener against Boston on Oct. 8, but was skating with the team for a full week before Friday's news. MacDonald, meanwhile, had played in all seven games so far, collecting one goal and two assists while averaging almost 23 minutes of ice time, second on the team.
The Flyers also have been without defenseman Kimmo Timonen since the start of the season. The 39-year-old Timonen is sidelined indefinitely with blood clot issues that could be force the Finnish blueliner into retirement.
The injuries on the back end opened the door for prospect Shayne Gostisbehere to possibly make his NHL debut Saturday. Gostisbehere, a third-round pick by the Flyers in 2012, was recalled Friday from the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The 21-year-old Union College product led the Dutchmen to an NCAA title last season and was named the Frozen Four's most outstanding player.
Philadelphia has won two of its last three games after beginning the season with four straight losses, but the club's defense has been a major problem with the Flyers surrendering an average of 3.71 goals per game. Philly is averaging a stout 3.14 GPG on offense and it may need all the scoring it can get with Coburn and MacDonald out of the lineup for the next month.
The Flyers are coming off Wednesday's 5-3 win in Pittsburgh. R.J. Umberger, Matt Read and Sean Couturier tallied in the third period to help Philly skate past the Penguins and improve its amazing record at Consol Energy Center to 10-1-1.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare picked up his first NHL score while defenseman Mark Streit also lit the lamp. Ray Emery stopped 22 shots and he could get the start over Steve Mason again tonight.
Mason entered this season as Philadelphia's clear No. 1 netminder, but has struggled to an 0-3-1 mark and a 3.83 goals against average so far in 2014-15. Emery, meanwhile, is 2-0-1 with a 2.84 GAA.
In other injury news for the Flyers, forward Zac Rinaldo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury he suffered Wednesday against Pittsburgh. Rinaldo is questionable for Saturday's tilt.
Detroit enters Saturday having won three of its last four games and the club has earned a point in five straight outings (3-0-2).
The Red Wings' last three games all have been decided in overtime and they are coming off Thursday's 4-3 win against visiting Pittsburgh. Justin Abdelkader provided the game-winning goal for Detroit, beating Penguins goaltender Thomas Greiss over the shoulder with 44 seconds left in OT.
Niklas Kronwall had two goals and an assist and Henrik Zetterberg had a three- point night, tallying a goal and two assists for Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 23 saves in the win.
"We weren't pretty for a lot of the night," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. "In the end, we were able to get it done."
Zetterberg is off to a sizzling start to the season, registering three goals and seven assists in seven games. The Swedish veteran has amassed 16 points in 10 career games against the Flyers, posting nine goals and seven assists.
Jonas Gustavsson will get the start in net for Detroit. He is 0-3-1 with a 3.69 GAA in four career games against the Flyers.
The Flyers have won two straight and three of the last four meetings against the Red Wings. Detroit also has lost its last eight games in Philadelphia since taking Games 1 and 2 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals in the City of Brotherly Love en route to a sweep.
The Red Wings' last regular season victory in Philly came via a 4-1 decision on Jan. 25, 1997.