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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, October 11th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (2-2-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (1-3-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - It wasn't perfect, but the Philadelphia Flyers played well enough under new head coach Craig Berube to pick up their first victory of the season.
The Flyers will try to make it two in a row under Berube on Friday night when they play host to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Following a second straight 0-3 start to a season, Philadelphia fired coach Peter Laviolette on Monday and replaced him with Berube, who made his head coaching debut the following night versus the Florida Panthers.
The Flyers had been outscored 9-3 over their three-game skid, but got just enough offense and 33 saves from Steve Mason in a 2-1 victory. Brayden Schenn and Braydon Coburn had the goals as Philadelphia avoided its first ever 0-4 start.
"Well it's huge (to get that first win). The players were squeezing their sticks, bearing down trying to score but overall we had a great effort," Berube said.
Berube's next task will be getting the Flyers' power play on track. The club went 0-for-5 when up a man versus the Panthers and is just 2-for-19 on the season.
A meeting with the Coyotes could help as Phoenix is killing off penalties at just a 64.3-percent clip so far (9-for-14).
Mason has posted a 2.02 goals against average and .935 save percentage in three games this year, while fellow netminder Ray Emery allowed four goals in his only action on Oct. 5 versus Montreal. It is unknown which goaltender will start tonight.
Mason is 3-6-0 with a 3.25 GAA and .895 save percentage in nine meetings with the Coyotes, while Emery is 2-2-1 with a 2.10 GAA and .911 save percentage in seven games against them.
Phoenix picked up a much-needed road victory on Thursday night, knocking off the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.
The Coyotes had been outscored 10-2 in losing the first two contests of a five-game road trip, but Michael Stone broke a tie game with 4:47 left in the third period and Antoine Vermette tacked on an empty-netter.
Stone put home the game-winner when he took a drop pass from Mike Ribeiro and sent a shot through traffic.
"I got an open chance to shoot. Ribeiro made a great pass and I got a screen in front from Marty Hanzal," Stone said. "Everything worked out really well there."
Derek Morris and Mikkel Boedker also scored and Boedker picked up an assist on Vermette's goal. Mike Smith made 28 saves.
"It was a good stepping stone game for us. Obviously better than the last two," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, who will coach in his 299th career game with Phoenix tonight.
In the back end of playing on consecutive nights, Tippett could opt to give backup Thomas Greiss is his start of the season. Greiss has appeared once in relief this season and beat the Flyers the only time he faced them, stopping 37-of-38 shots faced on Oct. 25, 2009 with San Jose.
Smith is 4-6-1 with a 3.77 GAA and .884 save percentage in 12 career games against the Flyers.
The Coyotes will wrap their road trip in Carolina on Sunday and lost both of their meetings with the flyers in the 2011-12 season. The clubs did not meeting during the lockout-shortened campaign.
10/11 10:43:32 ET
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