Ottawa and the Flyers split four meetings last year and the Senators won both encounters at Scotiabank Place. The Senators have taken five of seven and seven of the last 10 games in this series overall and Philadelphia has dropped its last seven tilts in Canada's capital city. The Flyers last recorded a win in Ottawa on Nov. 24, 2007.
The Flyers opened with three straight wins, but were dealt an overtime loss Saturday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings. That game marked the return of Mike Richards to Philadelphia and the former Flyers captain burned his old team by setting up the game-winner in OT.
Skating on a power play in the extra session, Richards used a slap pass from the high slot to get the puck down to the inside left circle, where Jack Johnson redirected it behind Ilya Bryzgalov. The tally came at 1:39 of the extra session and gave Los Angeles a 3-2 decision.
Richards, 26, had spent his entire career in Philadelphia and was the captain of the team before a surprise trade in the offseason shipped him west for forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, as well as a second-round draft pick in 2012. Justin Williams, another former Flyer, scored twice in regulation while Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots for the Kings, who had dropped their previous two.
"I felt okay out there tonight," said Bryzgalov. "I wasn't as busy as I was the last time, but they had some good chances out there and I was seeing things well. That last goal, he was just in a good spot and put it in the empty net."
The Flyers hope to get back on track against an Ottawa club that is just 1-4-0 on the season and has surrendered 23 goals over its first five games. The Senators are actually coming off their best defensive performance of the season and that game still ended in defeat.
After allowing a total of 21 goals over the first four games of the year, the Sens yielded just two markers in Saturday's 2-1 road loss to Washington. Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves, including 26 in the final two periods for the Capitals.
Auld could get the call again tonight after Craig Anderson missed practice on Monday due to personal reasons. Anderson is 1-2-0 with a dismal .853 save percentage and a lofty 5.07 goals-against average this year.
Ottawa hopes to give its home crowd a better effort tonight after the club was throttled, 7-1, by Colorado on Thursday in its last game at Scotiabank Place.
The Sens are also expected to be without defenseman Sergei Gonchar tonight after the veteran suffered a bruised ankle while blocking a shot in Saturday's loss.