Philadelphia Flyers (21-11-5, 47pts)
San Jose Sharks (16-20-3, 35pts)
at SAP Center | San Jose, CA
TIME: 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSP+ | RADIO: 93.3 WMMR
Presented by: BELFOR PROPERTY RESTORATION
Season Series (2018-19): 0-1-1
All-Time Record: 43gp (16-17-4-6)
PHI - Travis Konecny: 33-pts (11g-22a)
SJS - Logan Couture: 33-pts (12g-21a)
1. THE LONG GOODBYE
The Flyers enter their season-long six-game, 12-day road trip which, in terms of games, is tied for the longest stretch of any NHL team this season (with Pittsburgh)... As part of the trip, the Flyers will cover 5,527 air miles... The Flyers begin the trip facing off against all three California teams, all of which are at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a below .500 record... The Flyers have also had success on their California road trip in recent years, going unbeaten in regulation last season (2-0-1) and have earned points in seven of their last nine visits to California, going 5-2-2.
2. THE DRIVE FOR FIVE
The Flyers head into tonight looking to extend their four-game winning streak to five straight, which would be the second five-game streak of their season thus far... During the four-game streak, the Flyers have averaged 4.75 goals per-game outscoring their opponent by a 19-7 margin... The Flyers have also been hot on the power-play as of late, recording goals in each of their last three and going 5-for-16 (31.2%)... The Flyers also look for their second straight road win tonight - despite being under .500 on the road this season (8-9-1), a win tonight will give them nine road wins, which they didn't get until Jan. 10 last season.
3. DECEMBER DISASTER
Tonight's game is the second of a back-to-back for the Sharks coming out of the holiday break - they surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period to lose to the Kings in overtime... It was their fourth straight loss, all on home ice, and they have now dropped 10 of their last 11 games, going 1-8-2 in the month of December where they have been outscored 44-21... Also in that span, the Sharks have scored just twice on the power play (2-for-28, 7.1%) and allowed seven PPG against (28-of-35, 80%)... Despite the slide, the Sharks still own the NHL's best penalty kill, operating at 88.1%... Since 2003, when GM Doug Wilson took over the Sharks, San Jose continues to lead all NHL teams in wins (697), points (1,539) and is tied in playoff round appearances (30) with Pittsburgh.
4. NO TANKS
It's the first of two meetings against San Jose and only visit to the Shark Tank this season... San Jose has had a great amount of success over the Flyers in the last 18 years - they have earned three straight wins, gone 9-1-1 in their last 11 and have earned at least a point against the Flyers in 23 of their last 25 meetings, going 20-2-2-1 since Jan. 2, 2002... Logan Couture averages a point per-game against the Flyers (5g-7a) in 12 games, while Kevin Labanc averages two points per-game against the Flyers with 10 points (2g-8a) in five games... Goaltenders Aaron Dell (3-0-1) and Martin Jones (3-1-0) are a combined (6-1-1) in their career against the Flyers.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
FLYERS (LW: #25 - James van Riemsdyk)
James van Riemsdyk will be suiting up in his 300th game as a Flyer tonight... He is also the hottest Flyer in December - leading the team in goals (7) and points (12)... Six of his seven goals have come at even strength, which is T-4th among all NHL players on the month... He has posted three straight two-point games and has points in five of his last six outings, recording nine points (6g-3a) in this stretch.
SHARKS (D: #65 - Erik Karlsson)
Karlsson leads the team's defense in scoring with 28 points (4g-24a) through 38 games... His 28 points are T-9th among all NHL defensemen while his 20 even-strength points rank sixth among all blue liners... Since entering the NHL in 2009-10, Karlsson leads all NHL d-men in assists (458) and overall points (591).