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Flyers seek to improve league's worst record vs. Blackhawks

Oct 30, 2006 - 3:33 PM Chicago (4-6-0) at Philadelphia (2-7-1) 7:00 pm EST

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After getting off to one of the worst starts in franchise history, progress will be slow for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Playing the third contest of a five-game homestand, the Flyers try to win for just the second time in eight contests Monday when they face the Chicago Blackhawks in their only meeting of the season.

Philadelphia opened the campaign with seven losses in eight games before firing coach Ken Hitchcock and hiring John Stevens on October 22. Long-time general manager Bobby Clarke also resigned and was replaced by Paul Holmgren.

Since then, the Flyers have split their last two games. After Thursday's victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia surrendered six consecutive goals en route to Saturday's 8-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mike Knuble scored his fourth goal of the season, Stefan Ruzicka added his first and Jeff Carter collected a pair of assists for the Flyers, who are 28th in the league in goals (20).

Things looked promising for the rebuilding Blackhawks, who opened the season with four wins in six outings. However, they have dropped their last four games, including back-to-back shutouts at home against Vancouver and Anaheim.

Tuomo Ruutu is expected to return to the lineup for Chicago after suffering a sprained knee against the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 22. However, leading scorer Martin Havlat remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle.

Knuble and Mike Richards scored in the third period and Michal Handzus, who is now a Blackhawk, had three assists to lead Philadelphia to a 5-2 win over Chicago in their previous encounter on January 11.

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