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Surging Flyers head north to Montreal

The sizzling Philadelphia Flyers will shoot for their first game winning streak in nearly 10 years when they visit the Montreal Canadiens for tonight's Eastern Conference clash at the Bell Centre.

Philadelphia has set a season-high with six straight wins, but the franchise hasn't posted seven consecutive victories since an eight-game winning streak from Jan. 6-19, 2002.

Although the Flyers learned on Tuesday that leading scorer Claude Giroux would be out indefinitely with a concussion that didn't stop them from exploding for five goals later that night in Washington. Marc-Andre Bourdon, Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot tallied in the second period as the Flyers torched the Capitals by a 5-1 score at the Verizon Center.

Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek also scored for the Flyers, who have taken eight of their last nine contests. Hartnell has scored in six straight games, tying him with Nashville's Patric Hornqvist for the longest goal-scoring streak in the NHL this season.

Hartnell has scored a goal a game during his tear and his 15 tallies on the season leaves him one shy of Giroux for the team lead.

Matt Carle and James van Riemsdyk added two assists each in Tuesday's win, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 31-of-32 shots to improve to 14-5-2 on the year.

"I'm really happy," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game. "It was, I thought, one of our better team games; just a complete start to finish, all lines, all defensemen, goaltender and everybody going."

Giroux and team captain Chris Pronger are both currently out with concussions for the Flyers and there is no timetable for their returns. Giroux is leading the NHL with 39 points on the year, while the oft-injured Pronger is third among Philadelphia defenseman with 12 points in just 13 games.

Philadelphia has won four straight as the guest and is sporting a superb 11-3-1 road record this season.

Montreal is coming off consecutive wins and will try to record three straight victories tonight for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Oct. 26-Nov. 4.

The Habs earned their latest win Tuesday against the visiting New York Islanders. Petteri Nokelainen scored the go-ahead tally after Montreal wasted a two-goal lead in the third period, and it proved to be the game-winner as the Canadiens squeezed past the New York Islanders, 5-3.

The Canadiens led 3-1 early in the third period before allowing New York to tie the game at 3-3. However, Nokelainen scored the game-winner with 6:15 remaining and Hal Gill added an empty-netter in the final minute to seal the win for the Habs.

"We did a good job in the first two periods, but in the third we got away from it. ... We got a little bit comfortable there," Nokelainen said.

Montreal's Carey Price made 29 saves and was also backed by goals from Erik Cole, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche.

Tuesday's win ended a four-game losing streak on home ice for the Habs, who are 5-5-6 as the host this season. Montreal will complete a three-game homestand Friday against New Jersey.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov and forwards Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta are currently on injured reserve and winger Travis Moen could miss tonight after suffering a foot injury against the Isles on Tuesday.

The Flyers and Canadiens have split a pair of meetings this year with each club winning on home ice. Philadelphia has taken four of the last five encounters overall, but Montreal has won two of three and four out of six in this series at the Bell Centre.