The NHL on Monday canceled games through Dec. 30, meaning nearly 43 percent of the regular season has been scrapped because of the lockout.

Before Monday, games had been canceled through Dec. 14.

The NHL and the players union are expected to meet later this week, trying to end a labor dispute that started in mid-September. The sides have had informal talks since negotiations broke off on Thursday.

The dispute is conjuring memories of the 1994-95 season, when the league and its players did not forge a collective bargaining agreement until Jan. 11. That year, a 48-game season started Jan. 20 and ended May 3.

Monday was the 86th day of the lockout. Despite last week's breakdown in talks, the sides appear close on several key issues - closer than at any point during the work stoppage.

If the NHL was able to start the regular season Dec. 31 and played through April 13 (the original date of season finales), it could play 55 games based on a schedule in which teams played three games one week followed by four games the next week.

The Flyers have had 35 games canceled because of the lockout. They are slated to play at Phoenix on Dec. 31, but the schedule is expected to be revamped if the lockout ends.

By Dec. 30, NHL players will have missed six of their 13 paychecks. A year ago, players averaged $2.4 million per season.

Bryz in space. In a Russian interview with Sport Express, Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said he was not playing in the Channel One Cup in Moscow because he was at mission control at the Russian federal space agency. He said he was doing cosmonaut training and wearing a space suit, making it difficult to talk to the media.