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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at San Jose Sharks

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (27-23-6--60pts)

  San Jose Sharks (35-15-6--76pts)
TIME: 10:30 p.m. ET  I  TV: TCN  RADIO: 93.3 WMMR

The Flyers come in winners of two of their last three with both victories coming in the form of a shutout by goaltender Steve Mason… The Flyers own a 6-4-0 record against the Pacific Division, while the Sharks own a 3-2-1 mark against the Metropolitan Division… The Sharks come into tonight's game having dropped three of their last four, but snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks… San Jose also had a six-game win streak prior to their recent stretch of losing three of their last four, and have gone 13-4-0 in their last 17 games.

This is the first of two meetings between the teams… The Flyers visit San Jose for the first time since Feb. 28, 2012, a 1-0 loss … The Flyers have have not won in San Jose in 13 seasons, going 0-5-1 with the last victory coming on Nov. 5, 1999, a 3-1 win… The Flyers have also not beaten the Sharks overall in their last 13 tries - home or away - they have gone 0-8-2-3 with their last victory coming on Dec. 12, 2000… Prior to this current winless skid, the Flyers owned a 13-3-2-0 record against the Sharks from the team's expansion in 1991-92 thru 2000-01.

The Flyers rank fourth in the NHL in scoring third-period goals (60), while the Sharks are tied for second in first-period goals scored (56) and have allowed the least amount of first-period goals scored (30)… The Flyers have scored on the power-play in six straight games, going 6-for-18 (33.3%) - its the second time they have done that this season, posting an eight-game streak from Nov. 12-27… The Sharks have the third-best penalty kill on home ice this season, allowing just nine goals on 79 attempts (88.6%) and are tied for fourth among the NHL's least penalized team, averaging 9.1 minutes per-game, while the Flyers are the NHL's most penalized teams at 15.5 minutes per-game… The Sharks have had six of their last eight games decided by one goal, winning five of those six games… San Jose is 24-2-5 when they score the first goal… Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi is a perfect 1-0-0 against the Flyers with his only regular season game against the club being a shut out… Sharks center Joe Thornton and defenseman Dan Boyle each scored their first NHL goal against the Flyers.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux (C: 28)
The Flyers captain has been leading by example - he is coming off a goal and an assist in the club's 2-0 win at LA, and over the last four games, has posted six points (3g-3a)… Giroux also has 10 points (4g-6a) in his last eight games and since scoring his first goal of the season on Nov. 9, Giroux is tied for fourth overall in the NHL in scoring with 45 points (17g-28a) in that stretch… Giroux leads the team in points (52) and ranks second in goals (17)… Against the Sharks, Giroux averages a point-per-game with three goals and five points in five career games.

5. Player to watch SHARKS: Joe Pavelski (C: 8)
Pavelski leads the Sharks and is tied for third among all NHL players with 29 goals on the season, which is two shy of his career-high, and 10 of his 29 goals have come on the power-play… He ranks second on the team in scoring with 54 points in 56 games… Lately Pavelski has struggled - after posting seven goals and 10 points in a five-game span from Jan. 16-25, he has recorded just one goal in his last four games… Pavelski is also a point-per-game player against the Flyers - he has six points (3g-3a) in six career games.

"We've had a tough time going into that building. It's a tough building to play in. We have to be ready to go. Ready to be competitive. Ready to do things right. That's the only way you have a chance to win."
- Craig Berube
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