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FIVE THINGS: Blues vs. Flyers

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers play their final game before the NHL’s mandatory holiday break and come in riding a three-game point streak, going 2-0-1… They have earned points in five of their last six games and own an 8-3-3 record in their last 13 games which has brought them to within four points of the final wild card position with one game in hand on all three teams head of them… The Flyers have won two straight and have a 5—4-1 record in the last 10 seasons in games before the holiday break, while posting an overall record of 23-14-7-1 (7 ties & 1 shootout loss) in games before their holiday break… The Flyers have played on Christmas Day four times in their first five seasons - the last coming in 1971.
The Flyers are on a two-game home winning streak and have points in their last three on home ice - they are looking for their third straight home win for the first time this season and first since Feb. 21-28 of last season… The Blues come into tonight’s game riding a three-game winning streak with all three victories coming by one-goal margins… They are also unbeaten in regulation in their last four road games, going 2-0-2… This is the second and final meeting of the year against the Blues with the Flyers winning the first meeting, 4-2, on Dec. 10… The Flyers will look to sweep the season series for the 11th time in franchise history, out of 37 years in which they have met in two games or more… The Flyers will also be looking for their 50th win on home ice against the Blues - they own an all-time winning percentage of .750 at home against the Blues with a 49-13-10-0 record.
Tonight’s game features two of the top rookie defensemen in the scoring department - Blues Colton Parayko and Shayne Gostisbehere lead the way with six goals each… Parayko leads with 15 points in 32 games, while Gostisbehere is tied for second with 12 points in nearly the half the games (17gp)… The Blues own the NHL’s best penalty kill overall at 87.8 percent, allowing just 14 goals on 115 time shorthanded, and have allowed just one goal on the man advantage in their last 11 games, going 27-for-28… The Blues also have the NHL’s best power-play on the road at 27.5 percent (11-for-40)… Sean Couturier (2g-2a) and Matt Read (3a) are both riding three-game point streaks… Alexander Steen has a three-game point streak with six points (1g-5a)… Claude Giroux has been held without a point in his last three games, the last time he went four straight without a point was Feb. 15-21 of last season.
Voracek is the hottest Flyer as of late, riding a four-game point streak - his longest of the season - with two goals and six points in that stretch, and since moving to the left wing on a new line with Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds, he has two goals and three assists… He leads the team in assists (18), as well as shots on goal (98), while ranking second with 21 points, having played in all 33 games thus far… Voracek’s iron-man streak is currently 259 games… Against the Blues, Voracek has 14 points (6g-8a) in 24 career games. Tarasenko leads the Blues and is tied for second in the NHL with 21 goals in 33 games… He is also tied for fifth among all NHL players with 36 points… He comes into tonight’s game with a career-high, five-game goal-scoring streak and has found the back of the net in seven of his last eight games… In his last 11 games, Tarasenko has recorded eight goals and six assists for 14 points… Against the Flyers, Tarasenko has one assist, which he recorded in the last meeting on Dec. 10, in three career games.

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