The Flyers come in winners of two straight and overcoming two-goal deficits in both of the victories… They have also earned a point in the standings in eight of their last nine games, going 5-1-3… The Wild come into tonight’s game having lost two straight games in overtime and have had three of their last four go past regulation play… The Flyers own a 4-4-1 record in the last nine years in games before the holiday break, while posting an overall record of 22-14-7-1 (7 ties & 1 shootout loss) in games before their holiday break… The Flyers played the Wild on this exact date last season, earning a 4-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center… This is the 30th time in franchise history that the Flyers have played on December 23… They have never played on December 24, but have played on Christmas Day four times in their first five seasons - the last coming in 1971.
The Flyers and Wild are a tale of two opposite ends of special teams… The Flyers rank 6th in the NHL on the power play, operating at 22.5%, scoring 25 goals on 111 opportunities, but have not scored on the power play in their last three games, going 0-for-8… Claude Giroux leads the Flyers on the power-play with 17 points, which ranks second in the NHL and Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers with eight power-play goals, which is tied for 2nd in the NHL… The Wild have the NHL’s 3rd best penalty kill, operating at 86.5%, allowing just 13 goals on 96 times shorthanded, but recently have given up a power-play goal in five of their last six games, allowing five goals on 20 opportunities… The Wild have three shorthanded goals this season, which is T-9th in the NHL
This is the second and final meeting of the season against Minnesota, who won the first meeting, 3-2, in Philadelphia on Flyers Hall of Fame Night for Eric Lindros and John LeClair… This is just the fifth meeting in Minnesota against the Wild in the last 11 years, and seventh meeting since the Wild joined the NHL in 2000 - they own a 2-3-1 record in Minnesota… The Wild has outshot its opponents in all but six games this season and leads the NHL in fewest shots against per-game (26.5) and T-3rd in shots for per-game (32.2)… The Flyers own a 6-3-2 record against the Western Conference this season, while the Wild have a 7-6-1 record against the East… Nick Schultz spent parts of 10 seasons with the Wild (2001-12) and is the franchise leader in games played (743).. Schultz is the second player ever and first defenseman drafted by the Wild franchise.
After posting two consecutive multi-point games, Jake is still the player to watch… He has three goals and seven points in his last three games and was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week on Monday… He continues to lead the NHL’s scoring race with 44 points (14g-30a) in 33 games, while being tied for 55th in the NHL in time-on-ice among forwards at 18:42… Voracek has recorded points in 26 of 33 games and has 14 multi-point outings this season… Against Minnesota, Voracek posted an assist in the only meeting this year and has nine assists and 10 points in 14 career games against the Wild.
Suter leads all NHL players in time-on-ice, averaging nearly 30 minutes per game at 29:37, and has logged over 31 minutes of ice-time in his last two games… He has played nine games this season in which he has over 30 minutes of TOI… Since 2008-09, he ranks first in the NHL in TOI per-game (26:16)… Suter is T-11th in scoring among defensemen, posting 21 points, 20 of which are assists… Lately he has recorded assists in two straight games and has at least a point in six of his last eight games played with 10 helpers during that stretch… Suter recently appeared in his 700th NHL game (vs. BOS, Dec. 17)… Against the Flyers, Suter has five points (1g-4a) in 10 games.