FIVE THINGS TO KNOW FLYERS (31-17-7--69pts) at RED WINGS (37-17-2--76pts)
1. THE RECORD
The 1975-76 Flyers hold the record for most consecutive wins at home (20), along with the 1929-30 Boston Bruins… The Detroit Red Wings will be looking to join them tonight as they go for their 20th win in-a-row at Joe Louis Arena… The Red Wings have not lost on home ice since Nov. 3, 4-1 to the Calgary Flames.
2. BACK ON THE ROAD
The Flyers play just their second game on the road since the All-Star break nearly three weeks ago… They own one of the best road records in the NHL (18-8-2) with the second-most road wins (18)… They are also second in the NHL in goals scored on the road (87) and power-play goals (25) on the road.
3. FEELIN GIROUX-VVY Claude Giroux enters tonight’s game in second place in the NHL scoring race… He has 22 goals and 40 assists on the season for a total of 62 points... He has posted 28 points on the power play, which leads the league, and his 40 overall assists rank fourth in the NHL… Giroux has also been 50 percent or better on faceoffs in 15 out of the last 17 games.
4. Player to watch RED WINGS: Johan Franzen
Franzen leads the Red Wings in goals with 21, including nine of which have been game-winning-goals, which leads all players in the NHL… He ranks second overall in points on the Wings (44) and has points in three of his last four games (2G-1A).
5. Player to watch FLYERS: Wayne Simmonds
Simmonds has recorded at least a point in five of his last six games, producing five goals and seven points in that span, including a goal and an assist vs. NY Rangers on Saturday… Simmonds has already surpassed his career-high in goals (18) and is six points shy of breaking his career-high in points (40 in 2009-10)
GAME PREVIEW TV: NBCSP (HD), TSN2
Last 10: Philadelphia 4-3-3; Detroit 7-2-1.
Season Series: This is the first of two meetings, with the other to be played on Mar.ch6. In their only meeting last season, the Flyers won for the first time in 22 years in Detroit when they beat the Red Wings 3-2 on Jan. 2, 2011.
Big Story: All the eyes will be trained on Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night, as Detroit attempts to tie the NHL record for consecutive home wins with 20. The last team to achieve that feat? The 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers, whose current team is looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
"I like the points more than anything," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "But when you can have a record, you might as well tie it … [and] see if you can break it. But Philly's going to be a tough opposition for us."
Flyers: For the second time in a week, Philadelphia fell to the Rangers by a 5-2 score on Saturday afternoon. It was the Flyers' seventh straight loss to their Atlantic Division rival, and opened up a six-point gap between the teams in the divisional race. The Flyers conceded three power-play goals on seven chances in a typically physical affair.
"I was a little disappointed with the effort, actually," Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "The emotional level, top team in the conference, league. It was a big game for us, and I was expecting more."
While they still sit just outside the top three in the East with 69 points, the Flyers have lost five of seven games since the All-Star break – all against Eastern opponents. A streak-snapping win in Detroit could go a long way in easing the recent struggles.
Red Wings: Of all 19 home wins that have Detroit in this record-setting position, Friday's 2-1 shootout win against Anaheim might be the most representative of the Red Wings uncanny ability to fight and finish. The Ducks outshot the Wings, 30-24, had one more power-play opportunity and six more takeaways. Once again, however, Detroit prevailed in the shootout for the seventh time in eight chances. With goalie call-up Joey MacDonald in net for an injured Jimmy Howard, this shootout looked in doubt, but MacDonald saved from Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan – to go along with 29 saves – to seal the win.
"Of course it does," said MacDonald, when asked whether the streak weighed on him in the waning moments. "Eighteen straight and you're in a shootout and you know you have three shooters [to face]. We scored. [Pavel Datsyuk] got a nice one and when [Bertuzzi] got that one, it put a little more pressure on me. I didn't want to go into any extra shooters. I just tried to stay out and stay big and made the save."
Who's Hot:Wayne Simmonds has been a rare bright spot for the Flyers since the break with 5 goals and 2 assists in his last five games.
Injury Report: Flyers starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov missed Saturday's game against New York with flu-like symptoms. Jakub Voracek left that game with a nupper-body injury, and James van Riemsdyk (concussion) and Blair Betts (bone bruise) are out indefinitely. … Danny Cleary will miss Sunday’s game versus Philadelphia with a lower-body injury, Howard is out 4-6 weeks with a broken right index finger and Patrick Eaves is out indefinitely with a concussion and jaw surgery.
Stat Pack: Statistically, Philadelphia has the best chance of any in the League of ending Detroit's home supremacy. Their 18-8-2 record away from home is the NHL's best, and Philadelphia has more away goals (87) and away power-play goals (25) than any team besides Vancouver.
Puck Drop: "They seem to be real comfortable here and find a way. It's fun that we're going to have Philly in here. We'll have a good skate tomorrow and (try to) tie that record. I haven't even thought about that record until now, so we might as well tie it, with Philly coming in here." – Detroit coach Mike Babcock