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FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

T onight is the final game of the Flyers four-game homestand in which they are 2-1-0 - it also kicks off a stretch in which they will play six games in a span of nine days heading into the All-Star break, with three at home and three on the road… Five of the six games are against opponents with above .600 winning percentage and four of which are either in first of second place in their division… This is the third of four Monday games for the Flyers who are 0-1-1 in the previous two, both of which have come on the road… The Lightning come into tonight’s game leading the Eastern Conference with 58 points - they have won three in-a-row and seven of their last eight games… Tampa has given up just two power-play goals to their opponent in their last nine games, killing off 21 of 23 in that stretch… The Flyers have recorded a goal on the power play in four straight games and five of their last six, going 25 percent in that span, and have scored a PPG in all but five home games this season .

T onight’s game features five players in the Top 14 of NHL scoring and four NHL All-Stars… Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are in the Top 5 of the NHL scoring race with Voracek leading all players with 50 points (16g-34a), while Giroux is fifth in the NHL with 46 points - Voracek (34) and Giroux (32) are No. 1 and 2 in assists… The Lightning have three players in the Top 14 in scoring with sophomore forward Tyler Johnson leading the team with 45 points, tied for sixth in the scoring race, while Nikita Kucherov (41pts) and Steven Stamkos (40pts) not far behind… The trio of Johnson-Kucherov-Stamkos have combined for 126 points, while the duo of Giroux and Voracek have 96 points .  

T his is the third and final meeting of the year against the Lightning with the Flyers dropping the first two meetings… The Flyers are trying to snap a skid of six consecutive losses to the Lightning and are looking to avoid going winless in two consecutive seasons against Tampa for the second time in franchise history dating back to 1992-93 (last time: 2003-04 & 05-06)… Since the Flyers swept the season series, going 4-0-0 in 2009-10, they have gone 3-12-1 over the last five seasons… Claude Giroux has a six-game point streak against the Lightning - posting seven points, all of which are assists, in the last six meetings…  Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos has three goals through two games this year and scored 17 goals and 26 points in 22 career games against the Flyers - Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, no player in the NHL has scored more goals than Stamkos (232). .

Although Simmonds has just one goal in his last eight games, he is tied for the team lead in goals (16) and leads the team with nine power-play goals, which is also tied for second overall in the NHL… He has 11 of his 16 goals at the Wells Fargo Center and 17 of his 26 points on home ice… Simmonds has two goals in the season series thus far, and has recorded a goal in four straight games against the Lightning dating back to Jan. 11, 2014… In his career, he has six goals and seven points in 14 games against Tampa… Tonight is his 492nd game in the NHL - he and teammate Jakub Voracek have played the same amount of NHL games (491) heading into tonight.

Johnson comes in leading the Lightning with 28 assists and 45 points while also ranking sixth overall in the NHL’s scoring race… He ranks fifth among forwards on his own team in ice-time per-game at 17:30… Johnson, along with teammate Kucherov, leads all players in the NHL in plus-minus at +26… He has points in four of his last five games, three of which have been multi-point games, recording four goals and four assists in that five-game span… In six career games against the Flyers, Johnson has eight points (3g-5a)… The 5-foot-9 center was not drafted into the NHL - he signed as a free agent in March of 2011 by Tampa Bay, and was recently named to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game.

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