Philadelphia Flyers (8-10-1--17pts)
Winnipeg Jets (7-8-1--15pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
1. COMING INTO TODAY
Today's game will be the Flyers' sixth game in their last nine days, having just come off of two sets of back-to-backs in a week span… So far in February, the Flyers have played 12 games in a 21-day span, going 6-5-1 and winning two of their last three games… The Jets come into today's game winners of two straight, and of their last eight games, seven have been decided by just one goal… This is their third game in a five-game road trip, while this is the second game in the Flyers' five-game homestand.
2. AGAINST THE JETS
This is the second of three meetings against the Jets this season, including first and only meeting at home against Winnipeg… In the first meeting, the Flyers held off the Jets to walk away with a 3-2 win as Tye McGinn tallied the game-winning goal and Jakub Voracek had two assists… Last year's series on home-ice saw two very different one-goal games, both of which were won by the Jets (9-8 on Oct. 27 & 2-1 on Jan. 31)… Since moving to Winnipeg, four of the five games between the two teams have been decided by one goal…
3. THIS & THAT
Today is the Flyers' 20th game of the season - the most by any team in the NHL… The Flyers have taken 120 overall penalties this season, which leads the NHL… Jets' Evander Kane has a five-game point streak (2g-3a)… Claude Giroux has taken 471 faceoffs this season, which is 40.1 percent of the Flyers’ team faceoffs this season - BOTH numbers lead the NHL… The Jets have now killed off 11 straight penalties on the road… Today is the 10th game against the Southeast Division for the Flyers, which is 50 percent of their games so far… They own a 5-3-1 record against the Southeast.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Jakub Voracek - RW #93
Voracek continues his assault on the scoresheet… He is riding a four-game point streak in which he has nine points (4g-5a), and in his last 11 games, he has recorded six goals and 10 assists for 16 points… He leads the Flyers in points (19), assists (12), power-play goals (3) and shots on goal (50) and is tied for the lead in goals (7)… Voracek has the third lowest time-on-ice for any players who leads his team in scoring at 16:08 per-game (ANH-Selanne & FLA-Huberdeau).
5. Player to watch JETS: Andrew Ladd - LW #16
Andrew Ladd is the Jets hottest player right now, posting goals in two straight games, including four of his last five where he has potted five goals in that span… Ladd leads the team in goals (9) and points (16), and against the Flyers, he had two goals in the first meeting this season… Ladd also has the most goals of any captain in the NHL this season… Overall, Ladd has had a lot of success against the Flyers, recording 10 goals and 13 points in 17 career games.
"We need to continue to fight and press. Right now we look to give some guys some rest because it has been a bit of a grind. We'll see if we can get the energy or rest back for the one o'clock game."
- Peter Laviolette
After getting off to a poor start on the road, the Winnipeg Jets are finally putting together solid performances in their opponents' buildings. That's been the case for the past few seasons when they take the ice in Philadelphia.
The Jets have won three in a row away from home for the first time since relocating to Winnipeg, and they'll try to extend that run as they go for a seventh straight road victory over the Flyers on Saturday.
Winnipeg allowed an average of 4.4 goals in opening 1-3-1 away from home, but it has cut that number to 1.3 in the last three on the road. The Jets (7-8-1) last won four consecutive road games Nov. 12-Dec. 5, 2009, while based in Atlanta.
They opened a season-high five-game trip with a 2-1 win over Buffalo on Tuesday before beating Carolina 4-3 on Thursday.
Blake Wheeler's second goal of the game with 4:54 remaining provided the difference against the Hurricanes, who rallied to tie the game three times.
"It was big just to find a way to win," said Wheeler, who ended a six-game goal drought. "It wasn't necessarily our 'A' game. ... That's the way you get the job done in this league. You've got to find a way to win when you don't have your best game."
Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists in his 500th NHL game, and Evander Kane also scored for Winnipeg. Ladd has scored five of his team-leading nine goals in the last five contests.
He scored twice in a 3-2 loss to the Flyers (8-10-1) on Feb. 12, his second straight two-goal game in the series - both losses for the Jets. While those defeats came in Winnipeg, the Jets have taken the last six meetings in Philadelphia and are 10-2-1 in the past 13 overall matchups.
The Flyers have taken a bit of a step back at home, losing two of three after opening 3-1-0 there. They failed for a third time to win three straight for the first time this season Thursday, falling 5-2 to a Florida team that entered on a five-game losing streak.
Philadelphia, which opened a five-game homestand after playing a season-high six in a row on the road, never recovered after falling behind 3-0 just over halfway through the first period. The Flyers trailed 4-0 after two before Luke Schenn and Jakub Voracek scored in the third.
"I've seen this happen a million times," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "Coming off a road trip, the hardest game is the next one at home. It's tough mentally."
To make matters worse, the Flyers learned before the game that forward Matt Read will miss six weeks with torn rib cage muscles. Read is tied with Voracek for the team lead with seven goals, and he's also a key contributor on special teams.
"He's a guy that does everything," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He can play point on the power play. He can play left wing, center, right wing. He kills penalties. He's a valuable piece to the puzzle."
Voracek has four goals and five assists during a four-game point streak and leads the Flyers with 19 points.
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