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FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs. Nashville Predators

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

T he Flyers kick off a rare back-to-back with both games on home ice today… The Flyers have had just one back-to-back set with both on home ice in the last four seasons with the last time coming on Mar. 30-31 in 2013 and the Flyers winning both contests… This is the 11th set of 14 back-to-backs the Flyers play this year - they own a 1-9-0 record in the first game and 3-6-1 mark in the second game… Today is also the eighth day-time start for the Flyers, who own a 3-4-0 record in that scenario… Nashville plays it’s sixth matinee matchup this season and fourth in the month of February… The Preds have a perfect record of 5-0-0 in afternoon games .

T he Flyers come in having earned a point in the standings in 10 of their last 11 games, posting a 6-1-4 record in that span… They are six points out of the final playoff position behind the Boston Bruins (65pts)… The Predators come into tonight’s game having won eight of it’s last 10, but had their six-game winning streak snapped on Thursday at Long Island… They own the NHL’s best record at 39—13-6 for 84 points… James Neal has four goals in his last five games and leads the Predators in overall goals scored this season (21)… Michael Del Zotto has four goals and 11 points in his last 13 games - he has also recorded over 21 minutes of TOI in 12 of the 13 games, including over 23 minutes of TOI in seven of those contests… The Predators recently acquired defenseman Cody Franson, who has 32 points (6g-32a) from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Michael Santorelli, who has 29 points (11g-18a)… Both are expected to make their Predators debut today .

C laude Giroux and Jakub Voracek practiced on separate lines for the first time since 2012… Prior today’s game Giroux has three points, all assists, in his last nine games, while Voracek has two goals and four points in his last nine… Voracek is tied for third in the NHL’s scoring race at 61 points, two points off the lead from Patrick Kane and Nicklas Backstrom… Today’s game marks the first time that former Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette returns to Philadelphia - Laviolette recorded a 145-101-29 record over parts of five seasons with the Flyers… Nashville back up goaltender Carter Hutton dressed for the Flyers as an emergency backup on Mar. 28, 2010 just over a week after finishing his senior season at UMass-Lowell… The Predators have 38 of their 39 wins this year when they score more than two goals… Zac Rinaldo will be in the line-up tonight for the first time since Jan. 20 and after serving his 8-game suspension from the NHL .

immonds is the hottest Flyer over the last two weeks… He currently has a six-game point streak having posted four goals and four assists for eight points in that span… Simmonds will begin the game with a new set of line mates, playing on the top line with Giroux and Michael Raffl… Simmonds leads the Flyers in goals (22) and power-play goals (12) which is also tied for third in the NHL… The Flyers are 10-4-4 when Simmonds scores a goal, but are winless when he records two goals, going 0-1-3 in his four two-goal games this season… He went scoreless in the first meeting against Nashville this year, but has 10 points (5g-5a) in 17 career games against the Preds .

The Predators have the NHL’s leading rookie scorer, Filip Forsberg, who leads all NHL rookies in nearly every offensive category: points (51), goals (20 - tied for 1st), assists (31), power-play goals (5), power-play points (17), shots (176) and plus-minus (+21), but ranks second in game-winning goals (5)… Not only does he pace all rookies, he leads the Predators in points as well… Lately Forsberg has three goals and nine points in his last 10 games… Against the Flyers, he has two points (1g-1a) in just one meeting… The Capitals 11th overall in 2012 was acquired by Nashville for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta on April 3, 2013.

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