Two of the NHL's top candidates for rookie of the year - Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and San Jose center Logan Couture - figure to oppose each other when their teams meet Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, as is his custom, said on Tuesday he would not announce his starting goalie until game day. But Bobrovsky, 22, who is among the league leaders in wins (14, third in the league), goals-against average (2.21, seventh), and save percentage (.925, seventh), is expected to get the call.
San Jose (13-9-4) is coming off Monday's impressive 5-2 win in Detroit, a game in which Couture scored his 11th and 12th goals. The 21-year-old Couture, selected ninth overall in the 2007 draft, leads NHL rookies in goals, face-off percentage (53.3), and game-winning goals (4).
As for Bobrovsky, he could become the first Flyer to win the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league's best rookie.
The Flyers (17-7-4) are aiming for their third straight win.
Dan Carcillo has recovered from a sprained left knee suffered on Nov. 15, but he is expected to be a healthy scratch Wednesday.
Though he is eager to return to the lineup, Carcillo understands the situation.
"The team's rolling right now and we're winning, and I just have to cheer them on, have a good attitude, and work hard every day - and wait for your opportunity," he said after Tuesday's practice in Voorhees. "You want to play . . . but you usually don't tinker with a winning lineup."
Goalie Michael Leighton will play Friday and Saturday on his rehab for the Phantoms, general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed. When Leighton returns, the Flyers will probably carry three goalies for a while and put Ian Laperriere on the long-term injured list to open cap space. . . . Backup goalie Brian Boucher on the Flyers' soon-to-be-crowded goalie situation: "We were in this situation last year and things worked out. I'm not too, too worried about it." . . . Andreas Nodl is tied for the league lead in shooting percentage, having scored on seven of 31 shots (22.6 percent). . . . Former Flyer Antero Niittymaki (2.34 GAA, .910 save percentage) and Antti Niemi (3.33, .890) have been dividing San Jose's goaltending duties. Niemi played for Chicago and beat the Flyers in last season's Stanley Cup Finals. . . . Prior to Wednesday's game, legendary former Flyer Bernie Parent will be honored and given his No. 1 banner that used to hang in the Spectrum. - Sam Carchidi