WILD CARD TRACKER
1. NYR: 94 pts, 8 games remaining
2. BOS: 82 pts, 9 games remaining
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3. NYI: 80 pts, 10 games remaining
4. TBL: 77 pts, 10 games remaining
5. CAR: 75 pts, 11 games remaining
6. PHI: 74 pts, 10 games remaining
7. FLA: 73 pts, 10 games remaining
1. FAREWELL TO THE WEST
Tonight is the final game against the Western Conference for the Flyers, who own a 13-10-4 mark, as well as a 7-5-1 record against the Central Division… Last season, the Flyers posted a similar record against the West, going 14-11-3, but owned an 11-3-0 mark against the Central… This season against Western Conference opponents, Claude Giroux leads the team in assists (2g-19a), Wayne Simmonds leads in goals (15g-7a) and Jakub Voracek leads in overall points (6g-18a, 24pts).
2. A WILD MARCH
After going 41-14-6 through the first five months of the season, the Wild have stumbled in the month of March, going 3-8-0, and have dropped five of their last six games… On a per-game basis, the Wild averaged 3.33 goals-for and 2.33 goals-allowed from Oct-Feb, compared to 2.36 goals scored and 3.00 goals allowed in March thus far… Despite the fall, the Wild continue to rank second in the Western Conference and tied for fifth in the NHL standings with 94 points… The Wild also come into tonight's game looking to clinch a playoff berth with their magic number to clinch being two points.
3. THERE'S HISTORY THERE
The Flyers are looking to sweep the season series against the Wild for the second straight season and their fifth straight victory over Minnesota, coming into tonight with a four-game win streak… Three of the four wins have come by one-goal margins, including the last three wins… Brayden Schenn averages a point per-game with eight points (1g-7a) against Minnesota… Defenseman Michael Del Zotto has four goals in seven career games against the Wild, while defenseman Marco Scandella has three goals and five points in six career games against the Flyers.
4. FEELING SPECIAL
The Wild own the NHL's best power play on home ice, operating at 29.6 percent, while also having the NHL's second-best penalty kill at home, killing off 87.8 percent of the times shorthanded… The Flyers rank fifth in the NHL for the most power-play goals scored (49)… Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds share the league lead with 15 PPG each, while Claude Giroux ranks second in the NHL in both power-play points (28) and power-play assists (23).
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (C: #14 - Sean Couturier)
Couturier leads the Flyers in the month of March with nine points (2g-7a) in 10 games, while also recording a +8 rating, which is tied for third among all NHL players this month… Against the Wild, Couturier has three goals in eight career meetings… He also returns to the building he was drafted in 2011, going 8th overall… Among his draft class, he has played the second-most games (406) only to Gabriel Landeskog's 418.
WILD (D: #20 - Ryan Suter)
Suter leads the team's defense in scoring with 36 points (8g-28a) and is the only Wild defenseman to have played in all 72 games this season… He is one of three NHL defensemen who averages over 27 minutes of time-on-ice this season, ranking third at 27:07… He also leads all NHL players with a plus-minus rating of +34 on the season… In the November meeting with the Flyers, Suter logged over 29 minutes of TOI (29:02), but was held scoreless and did not record a shot on goal.
TODAY AT 50
On March 23, 2002… Flyers right wing Mark Recchi becomes just the 177th player in National Hockey League history to play in 1,000 games, and he does so in a road game against his original team, the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Recchi marks the occasion with two assists in a 4-4 tie.
Season Series: 1-0-0
All-Time Record: 20 gp (13-5-1-1)
PHI: 55pts, Voracek (17g-38a)
MIN: 66pts, Granlund (25g-41a)
(PHI: 49-for-250, 19.6%, T-13th)
(MIN: 43-for-202, 21.3%, 9th)
(PHI: 173-of-218, 79.3%, T-22nd)
(MIN: 161-for-192, 83.8%, 7th)