PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The Philadelphia Flyers have a playoff position in their sights.
Sitting just three points back of a wildcard spot and six points out of a Metropolitan Division spot, they are within striking distance and are desperately seeking to close the gap.
In the last 10 games, they have gone 5-3-2 and they have been able to rack up plenty of points on home ice in recent weeks; they have points in seven of their last 10 home games (4-3-3) and are 3-0-1 in their last four home games. Philadelphia's power play has at least one goal in nine of the last 10 home games and is 10-for-37, converting on 27 percent, in that stretch.
They are coming off a big 4-2 win over Arizona on Saturday, a victory that saw former Coyote Sam Gagner score the game-winning goal at 18:21 of the first period.
"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't [extra motivation]," Gagner said about facing his old team. "But at the same time we're fighting to get back into the playoff race here and every game is important. I just wanted to approach it as another game and then obviously when you score there it's a little added excitement."
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was named the first star in the win over the Coyotes after making 29 saves on 31 shots. In his last five starts, he is 3-1-1 and has allowed two or fewer goals in four of those games. In 28 games, Neuvirth has a 15-7-4 record, a 2.19 GAA, and a .928 save percentage.
This is the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Flames took the first game back in November by a score of 2-1 in overtime. Mikael Backlund had two points in that victory, scoring the game-winner and assisting on Josh Jooris' goal. Michael Raffl scored the lone Flyers' goal.
BREAKING DOWN THE FLYERS
Power Play: 18.5 percent overall (37 goals scored in 200 chances with the man advantage), 18.4 percent at home (18 goals scored in 98 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 79.3 percent overall (44 goals allowed in 213 times being short-handed), 78.8 percent at home (21 goals allowed in 99 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-0-1
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 0-1-1
Notable Injuries: Michael Del Zotto (wrist), Jordan Weal (upper body), Jakub Voracek (lower body)
Who's HOT: Mark Streit
The veteran defenceman notched three assists, all in the first period, in Saturday's game against the Arizona Coyotes. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first Flyers defenceman to record three assists in a 1st period since Eric Weinrich on Oct. 26, 2002 against the New York Islanders. Streit's third assist in that 4-2 Flyers win was his 400th NHL point.
Streit, who has four points in his last two games, has netted five goals and 16 points in 42 points.
Honourable Mention: Sam Gagner
The 26-year-old forward has scored in back-to-back games and has three goals in his past four games. During that stretch, Gagner has put 13 shots on net and has had no less than 15:45 of ice time.
Gagner has played 32 games in Flyers silks this year, scoring five goals and 10 points.
Who's NOT: Andrew MacDonald
It's been a rough year for the 29-year-old defenceman. Signed to a six-year, $30 million deal in 2014, MacDonald was sent off to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League last October. He has spent the majority of the season in AHL but was recalled recently in the wake of Michael Del Zotto's season-ending surgery.
The Judique, NS product has played in eight games for the Flyer this year and has no points thus far.