GAME: Ottawa Senators (35-17-9-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (34-16-12-6).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators continue to fight for the Eastern Conference's top seed.
That's not the only reason their matchup should be a heated one as these elite teams face off for the second time in nine days.
An ugly incident from the last meeting on Feb. 26 will be fresh on the minds of both teams, particularly the Flyers.
Ottawa's Martin Havlat was ejected in the third period of the 1-1 tie for swinging his stick and attempting to injure Philadelphia's Mark Recchi.
"Someday someone's going to make him eat his lunch," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game. "This is something in my opinion that the players should take care of."
Havlat has not played since that contest because he received a two-game suspension for his two-handed swing at Recchi's head in frustration at the Flyers forward's dogged stick-checking.
"He two-handed me across the face," said Recchi, who received several stitches on his upper left lip. "He's known for it. ... It might not come from our team, but he better protect himself."
Havlat might want to remember that warning, even though he was regretful of the infraction.
"I don't feel good about what I did," he said. "I was getting frustrated with all the hooking going on before that. I wanted to hit him, but not in the face. It was a bad decision."
Without Havlat in the lineup the last two games, the Senators split a home-and-home series with Buffalo.
Recchi has recorded a point in each of Philadelphia's three games since the tie in Ottawa.
While the Flyers are tied for the best record in the East, the Senators are just two points back.
Ottawa has knocked Philadelphia out of the playoffs each of the last two seasons, and has lost just four times in the last 23 regular-season meetings (12-4-7).
The Senators have struggled a bit lately, however, going 1-2-1 in their last four. They blew a one-goal second-period lead and gave up the winner with 7:45 left in regulation in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Sabres.
"We knew it was a big game," Senators forward Mike Fisher said. "We have to start winning and create some space, but it's tough."
Ottawa leading scorer Marian Hossa had a goal Wednesday to extend his point streak to six games. Daniel Alfredsson has three goals in the last two games after going nine straight without one.
Alex Zhamnov has been among the hottest Flyers, with three goals and four assists in six games since being acquired from Chicago.
Zhamnov had three points in Wednesday's 5-2 victory over Nashville, helping Philadelphia end a three-game winless streak and notch just its third victory in nine games.
STANDINGS (through March 3): Senators - 84 points, 1st place (tied), Northeast Division. Flyers - 86 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Hossa, 29 goals, 41 assists and 70 points; Chris Neil, 148 PIM. Flyers - Recchi, 24 goals, 40 assists and 64 points; Donald Brashear, 135 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 3): Senators - Power play: 21.9 percent (69 for 315), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (237 for 283), 20th. Flyers - Power play: 23.7 percent (60 for 253), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (243 for 289), 16th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Patrick Lalime (22-18-7, 3 SO, 2.26 GAA); Martin Prusek (12-4-2, 3, 1.86). Flyers - Robert Esche (17-7-5, 2, 1.95); Sean Burke (14-19-6, 1, 2.85).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 26; 1-1 tie. At Ottawa, Burke made six of his 39 saves in overtime and Simon Gagne scored on the power play for the Flyers. Hossa had the goal for the Senators, who had a 40-18 shots advantage.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 14-10-4-1 on the road; Flyers - 21-7-2-3 at home.