The Flyers come into tonight minus two players via trade: Sending defenseman Luke Schenn and forward Vincent Lecavalier to the LA Kings, while picking up a third round pick in this year’s draft and forward Jordan Weal… Weal made his NHL debut this season, playing in 10 games, after winning the AHL’s Calder Cup, and being named MVP of the playoffs last season with the Manchester Monarch, posting 22 points in 19 games… The Flyers are looking to snap a five-game road winless skid, going 0-4-1 since their last victory on Dec. 10 against the Blues… The Flyers have recorded a goal on the power play in four of their last five games, going 4-for-18… The Wild are one of two teams in the Western Conference that the Flyers have not faced this year (Arizona).
The Wild return home for the first time after spending their last four games and seven days on the road - they own a 14-5-1 record on home ice and have the fifth most wins at home in the NHL… Tonight is also the fourth consecutive game against an Eastern Conference opponent for Minnesota, who is 8-4-1 against the East and 4-2-0 against the Metropolitan Division… Minnesota also has 18 of their 21 victories this year when scoring the first goal, going 18-3-2, and are unbeaten in regulation this season when leading after two periods of play, going 14-0-1… The Wild have scored just one goal on the power play in their last nine games, going 1-for-19, but own the NHL’s fourth best power play on home ice, going 16-for-61 (26.2 percent).
Wayne Simmonds has points in three straight games (1g-2a), and five points (3g-2a) in his last seven games, while Brayden Schenn has goals in two straight games and four points in his last two games - Schenn will be looking for his first three-game goal-scoring streak in his career tonight… Michal Neuvirth ranks second in the NHL with a .934 save percentage having appeared in 18 games for the Flyers this season, going 9-5-2, and is tied for sixth in the NHL with three shutouts… Claude Giroux leads the Flyers in scoring with 29 points (12g-17a) in 38 games, but has just one point (1g) in his last eight games… Mikko Koivu leads the Wild in scoring with 32 points (10g-12a) in 39 games, but has recorded just three points (2g-1a) in his last eight games… Despite playing in just 30 games this season due to a knee injury, Zach Parise leads the Wild in goals (14) and shots (106)… Since joining the Wild on Jan. 14, 2015 goaltender Devan Dubnyk (44-20-5) leads the NHL in games played (71), is T-1st in wins (44) and shutouts (9), T-2nd in GAA (2.01) and third in save percentage (.929) amongst goalies who have played at least 35 games.
Couturier posted the game-winning-goal and added an assist in the Flyers last game, a 4-3 win over Montreal - it was his fourth multi-point game of the season and the third in the last eight games… Couturier has posted four goals and nine points in his last eight games, as well as a plus-minus rating of plus-8 in that stretch… Couturier, who was drafted by the Flyers in Minnesota’s building in 2011, has two goals in five career games against the Wild… He has played the most games of any player in the 2011 draft class (319) and has the fifth most points (135).
Suter won’t be hard to miss because he averages over 28 minutes of ice-time per game at 28:16, which ranks second among all players in the NHL (1st: OTT, Karlsson, 28:27) and leads all NHL players in even strength time on ice per game at 23:00… Suter also leads the team defense and is second overall on the Wild in scoring with 27 points (5g-22a) in 39 games… He comes into tonight with points in two straight games with three assists including two assists and a plus-4 rating in his last game, a 4-2 win over Columbus… Against the Flyers, Suter has recorded points in each of the last three meetings, and has six points (1g-5a) in 11 career games.