WILD CARD TRACKER
1. NYR: 88 pts, 15 games remaining
2. NYI: 73 pts, 17 games remaining
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3. TOR: 72 pts, 17 games remaining
4. PHI: 70 pts, 17 games remaining
5. TBL: 69 pts, 17 games remaining
6. FLA: 69 pts, 17 games remaining
1. FOUR POINT SWING
With a regulation win, the Flyers could pull even with the Maple Leafs in the hunt for the wild card race at 72 points… Ahead of both teams is the NY Islanders at 73 points, who play at Vancouver tonight at 10 p.m., while behind them are the Tampa Bay Lightning at 69 points who host the Minnesota Wild… The Florida Panthers are idle tonight… The Flyers come into tonight having earned points in four straight games, going 3-0-1, while the Maple Leafs won their last outing, but dropped five straight games prior to that, going 1-2-3 in their last six games.
2. RUBBER MATCH
Tonight is the third and final meeting between the two clubs, who have each won on home ice this year… The last time these two teams met, the Flyers earned a 2-1 win at the Wells Fargo Center, but Leafs took a 6-3 win in the last meeting at the ACC… Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers with three goals in the season series, while defenseman Morgan Rielly leads Toronto with four points (1g-3a) in just one game, missing the last meeting due to injury… Flyers captain Claude Giroux averages nearly a point per-game with 26 points (9g-17a) in 27 games, while Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen owns a perfect 5-0-0 record with a 2.71 GAA and .917 sv. pct. in his career against the Flyers.
3. THE GREAT ROOKIE RACE
Tonight also pits the top two rookie defensemen in time-on-ice with 25-year-old, Nikita Zaitsev, leading by averaging 22:22 per-game, while 20-year-old, Ivan Provorov, is second at 21:42 per-game… The Leafs have three of the top four in the rookie scoring race this year, led by Auston Matthews who has 31 goals and 55 points - his 31 goals are also tied for fourth among all NHL players… Mitch Marner (52pts) and William Nylander (46pts) round out the Top 4… Toronto also has six rookies in the Top 15 of NHL rookie scoring.
4. CLOSE AS THEY COME
The Flyers have had 31 games decided by one goal this season, posting a record of 18-5-8, while Toronto has had 32 games decided by one goal, going 11-7-14… The Flyers 18 wins by one goal is tied for fifth in the NHL, while Toronto's 14 losses past regulation leads all NHL teams… The Flyers and Maple Leafs are among the league leaders in games going past regulation, both tied at 20 games - The Flyers are 12-8, while the Leafs are 6-14 in games decided in either a shootout/overtime.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (RW: #93 - Jakub Voracek)
Voracek comes into tonight with points in four of his last five games (2g-2a) and over the last month of action, has recorded points in eight of his last 11 games for eight points (3g-5a), while not going two straight games without finding the scoresheet… He is scoreless in two games against the Leafs this season, but since joining the Flyers, has not gone scoreless in a season series against the Leafs, recording 13 points (4g-9a) in 17 games against Toronto in six years as a Flyer.
MAPLE LEAFS (C: #16 - Mitch Marner)
Since his return form injury which caused him to miss five games, Marner has four points (all assists) in four games, including a current three-game point streak… Marner leads all rookies in the NHL with 37 assists and is third with 52 points in 60 games… The Maple Leafs have a 27-20-12 record when he is in the lineup, an 8-3-3 mark when he scored and 16-5-4 record when he records an assist… In two games against the Flyers, Marner has two points (1g-1a).
TODAY AT 50
On March 9, 1976… After eight-plus seasons and 617 regular season games, the Philadelphia tenure of 35-year-old original Flyer and former team captain Ed Van Impe comes to an end. The Flyers trade the aging defenseman along with backup goaltender Bobby Taylor to the Pittsburgh Penguins for backup goaltender Gary Inness and four late-round (eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th rounds) draft picks in the 1977 NHL Draft.
Season Series: 1-1-0
All-Time Record: 176 gp (94-56-22-4)
PHI: 53pts, Voracek (17g-36a)
TOR: 55pts, Matthews (31g-24a)
Power Play: (PHI: 46-for-224, 20.5%, 12th) (TOR: 45-for-196, 22.9%, 3rd)
Penalty Kill: (PHI: 160-of-198, 80.8%, 17th) (TOR: 172-for-206, 83.5%, 9th)