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Philadelphia
Flyers
42-29-11
Minnesota
Wild
44-28-10

25 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PHI
MIN
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Flyers-Wild Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Flyers-Wild Preview
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild took over sole possession of the Northwest Division lead in their last game. On Wednesday night, they'll try to extend it.

Minnesota goes for its fifth straight win as it meets the Philadelphia Flyers in a rare matchup at the Xcel Energy Center.

This will be only the clubs' third meeting in Minnesota. They played to a 3-all tie in 2000 before the Wild posted a 2-0 win in 2003.

Minnesota (15-9-2) ended Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo's shutout streak en route to defeating the Canucks 2-1 on Sunday. Aaron Voros and Eric Belanger scored, and Niklas Backstrom stopped 19 shots for the Wild, who entered the game tied with Vancouver for the division lead.

Voros, a forward and Vancouver native originally selected by New Jersey in the eighth round of the 2001 draft, has scored twice this season against his hometown team. He also provided the Wild with some additional energy, getting into a fight with the Canucks' Jeff Cowan only three seconds into the game.

"He scores a goal, it's like his first goal ever," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire told the team's official Web site. "He's happy. When a linemate scores, it's like his first goal ever. He's great. He's got a lot of life on the bench. He goes on the ice and does what he has to do."

Marian Gaborik assisted on Voros' marker, and has three goals and an assist in a season high-tying four-game points streak. Gaborik, who leads Minnesota with 10 goals and 21 points, had two assists the Wild's last meeting with the Flyers, a 3-2 road loss on Dec. 10, 2005.

Backstrom was named the NHL's third star on Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 1.32 goals-against average - all at home - last week to propel Minnesota into the Northwest lead. He's 9-1-0 with a 1.50 GAA and two shutouts at home, but has never faced the Flyers in his career.

With 30 points, Philadelphia (14-9-2) starts play tied with the Devils for second in the Atlantic and just two points behind the New York Rangers. The Flyers have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, but all three victories in that span have come on the road to help them to an 8-6-0 record there.

Daniel Briere, the Flyers' key offseason free-agent acquisition, has four goals and four assists during Philadelphia's road winning streak, followed by Mike Knuble with two goals and four assists.

The Flyers will be without one suspended player while another who made headlines for his suspension will return.

Forward Riley Cote will serve the first of a three-game ban for striking Dallas' Matt Niskanen in the head during Saturday's 4-1 loss. To replace Cote - the fifth Flyers player suspended by the league this season - the Flyers recalled forward Steve Downie from Philadelphia of the AHL. Downie recently completed a 20-game suspension for leaving his feet to hit Ottawa's Dean McAmmond during a September pre-season game.

Downie, who had a team-high 63 penalty minutes for the Phantoms, told the Flyers' official Web site that he will not change his style of play because of the suspension.

"I'm not going to change anything. I'm just going to work hard and play with my intensity. That's what got me this far, so that's what I'm going to do," he said.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 05 '07PHI 3 at MIN 1J. Carter
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%