FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FLYERS (26-13-2--56pts) vs. WILD (22-16-7--51pts)
1. WINNING AT THE WELLS
The Flyers have won five of their last six games played at the Wells Fargo Center, going 5-1-0 in that span… Three of the wins have been decided by one goal including their last two games.
2. TOUGH TIMES IN MINNY
The Wild have dropped five of their last six games, and over their last 15 games, own a 2-9-4 record which has included an eight-game winless streak during the month of December… Despite this, the Wild have 51 points and remain in second place in the Northwest Division.
3. BOOM BOOM POWE
Former Flyer Darroll Powe returns to Philadelphia tonight for the first time since being traded this past summer for a 3rd round draft pick in 2013… Powe spent his first five seasons in the NHL with the Flyers organizations, including parts of three seasons with the Phantoms and Flyers.
4. Player to watch WILD: Dany Heatley
With leading scorer Mikko Koivu out with injury, Dany Heatley takes center stage for the Wild… Heatley leads the entire team in goals (13) and ranks second on the team in points (30)… He has also recorded points in three of his last four games.
5. Player to watch FLYERS: Sean Couturier
For the second game in-a-row Couturier is the Flyer to keep an eye on… Couturier brings in a four-game goal-scoring streak, two of which have been game-winning goals… During that streak he has four goals and five points… He has also recorded at least a point in six of his last eight games.
It's been a little more than five weeks since the Minnesota Wild won a road game and ending that drought may have gotten just a little tougher.
Wild captain and leading scorer Mikko Koivu is expected to be sidelined at least the next two weeks, beginning with Tuesday night's visit to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Minnesota (22-16-7) is 0-7-2 on the road since a 4-1 win over Phoenix on Dec. 10. The Wild are also 2-9-4 in their last 14 overall but nearly earned a win in St. Louis on Saturday.
Josh Harding, filling in for an ill Niklas Backstrom, made a career-high 47 saves, but his teammates couldn't help him during a 3-2 shootout defeat.
Minnesota also lost Koivu in the first period of that game to an apparent shoulder injury. The Wild learned on Monday that he'll likely be out until after the All-Star break, but he's hoping to play in his first All-Star game Jan. 29 in Ottawa.
"It's pretty frustrating," said Koivu, who has 33 points in 41 games. "There's nothing you can do about it. You just have to move on and try to get better."
Without Koivu, the Wild will try to avoid adding to their longest road losing streak since going 0-10-1 from Nov. 20, 2006-Jan. 9, 2007. Minnesota had a team-worst, 12-game winless skid away from home during the 2003-04 season.
A trip to Philadelphia likely won't help as the Flyers (26-13-4) are seeking a season high-tying third straight win at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia is also hoping to bounce back from the disappointing end to a four-game road trip.
After prevailing in two of the first three games of their trek, the Flyers fell 4-2 to Nashville on Saturday. They were unable to overcome a 2-0 deficit, though Sean Courtier scored his fourth goal in four games in the loss.
After playing 15 of 21 on the road, Laviolette's club will get 11 of its next 15 games at Wells Fargo, where it's 5-1-0 since Thanksgiving Day.
"It seems like the whole month of December we've been on the road and to start the new year," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "It'll be nice to come back home to our fans and get a couple points here."
The Wild, meanwhile, are seeking to record consecutive victories in Philadelphia for the first time and earn their third win in four overall matchups. Minnesota, though, was routed 6-1 in the most recent game against the Flyers on Nov. 24, 2010.
Backstrom allowed all six goals and might return to the starting lineup Tuesday since Matt Hackett was sent back to Houston on Monday.
Backstrom, however, is 1-5-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average over his last six games and 1-3-0 with a 3.72 GAA in four career matchups with Philadelphia. Harding has never faced the Flyers.
The struggling Ilya Bryzgalov, 2-5-1 with a 3.97 GAA in his last eight games, is 5-1-0 with a 1.84 GAA in his last six against Minnesota and posted a 1-0 victory Feb. 5 for Phoenix.
Sergei Bobrovsky, 4-1-0 with a 1.81 GAA in his last five starts, stopped 15 shots during the victory in 2010, his only start versus the Wild.
James van Riemsdyk, who scored a goal in that game, remains out indefinitely with a concussion.