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FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs. San Jose Sharks

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers have won two straight on home ice by a combined score of 11-3, and have gone 4-for-6 on the power play in that stretch… They have also earned a point in the standings in eight of their last nine home games, going 6-1-2… They have 21 of their 30 victories this season at home (21-9-6) and are three wins shy of matching their home win total from last season with five home games remaining… The Sharks come into tonight’s game on the tail end of their season-high seven-game, 14-day road trip, having gone 2-3-0 thus far… The Sharks have more wins on the road (19) than they do at home (17)… The Sharks are also eight points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference with eight games remaining.

This is the second and final meeting against the Sharks this season… The Flyers dropped the first meeting in San Jose on a goal from Matt Nieto who scored with 11.5 seconds left to break a 1-1 tie and give the Sharks a 2-1 win on Dec. 2… The Flyers will look to snap a six-game winless skid against the Sharks on home ice, having gone 0-4-2 since the 2002-03 season… Their last victory at home over the Sharks came on Dec. 21, 2000 with Roman Cechmanek earning a 4-3 win on 25 saves… Joe Thornton leads San Jose with 30 points (9g-21a) in 35 career games against the Flyers, while Claude Giroux averages a point-per-game with eight points (4g-4a) in eight career outings against the Sharks.

Claude Giroux has a four-game point streak, posting four goals and five points in that stretch, while linemate Jakub Voracek has points in three straight games (5a)… Voracek (74pts) enters today’s game one point behind Sidney Crosby (75pts) for the NHL scoring lead… Sharks rookie Chris Tierney is tied for the team lead with four points (2g-2a) in five games on the current road trip… Vincent Lecavalier will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last three games and 10 of the last 17 contests… Patrick Marleau became the youngest player in NHL history (35 yrs) to appear in 1,300 games this season… With Wayne Simmonds out of the lineup due to injury, the Flyers will have just four players to appear in all 76 games this season (Voracek, Streit, B. Schenn and Couturier)… Jakub Voracek is the current iron-man holder for the Flyers, appearing in 219 consecutive games before today.

Raffl has been on a tear lately, recording goals in two straight games and three of his last four to give him 19 on the season, a new career high and 10 more than he had last season in his rookie year… His 19 goals rank fourth on the team, but he leads the squad in even-strength goals with 17… Since his return to the lineup after a small bout of pneumonia on Feb. 15, Raffl is tied for the most goals (Simmonds) scored on the team with seven and leads with the most goals scored per 60 minutes (1.51) in that 20-game span… Raffl is also third on the team in plus-minus at +6… Against the Sharks, Raffl has one goal in three career games. Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals (35), which is also tied for fourth among all NHL players… His 18 goals on the power-play also lead the team and is second in the NHL… Lately, Pavelski has just three goals and five points in his last six games… In his ninth season with the Sharks, Pavelski has recorded three straight 30-30 seasons in which he has posted 30 goals and 30 assists (excluding the lockout shortened season in 2012-13)… He ranks second all-time in Sharks history with 226 career goals… Against the Flyers, he averages a point-per-game with six goals and nine points in nine career games.
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