The Flyers kick off a season-high, six-game homestand tonight against the Wild, and have 13 of their final 23 games at home… They have a 13-8-7 record on home ice and have earned points in the standings in four of their last five games at home, going 2-1-2… Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers in goals at home (11) and has scored six goals in his last six games at the Wells Fargo Center, while Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers in points at home (22)… The Flyers have recorded a goal on the power play in seven of their last eight home games, going (8-for-32) at 25 percent, and have scored nearly 50 percent of their overall goals at home in that span on the man advantage (8-of-17).
Both teams come in battling for a wild card position in their conference: The Flyers are five points out of the final spot in the East, held by the Pittsburgh Penguins… The Flyers are battling with one team tied and three teams above them in the standings (Montreal, Ottawa, Carolina and New Jersey) but have two games in hand on all four of those teams… Minnesota is coming off a coaching change, relieving Mike Yeo on Feb. 13 and replacing him with interim head coach John Torchetti, who served as the club’s head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild… Since the change, the Wild have won four of their last five games and have outscored their opponent, 22-12… The Wild are in the ninth position in West, four points behind the Avalanche for the final wild card spot.
This is the first of four straight meetings against Western Conference teams for the Flyers… The Flyers own an 8—9-3 record against the West with seven of those eight wins coming against the Central Division (7-3-0)… The Wild play the second of four straight games against the Eastern Conference and three straight against the Metropolitan Division - they are coming off a loss to the Islanders on Tuesday, and are 8-11-2 against the East and 4-7-1 against the Metro… In the first meeting between the two clubs, the Flyers earned a 4-3 overtime victory in Minnesota on Jan. 7, when Michael Del Zotto scored twice, Brayden Schenn had two assists and 10 different Flyers recorded a point… Wild defenseman, Ryan Suter, was a +2 and logged over 32 minutes of ice time (32:14) in the loss.
The second-year pro is riding a three-game point streak with a goal and three assists for four points and a +3 rating in that stretch… A point in tonight’s game would give him a new career-high point streak at four games… Paired with Matt Read, the duo has combined for five points (2g-3a) in the last two games… Laughton has the most points in February, than any other month this season with six points (1g-5a), which is also more than all of December and January combined… Against the Wild, Laughton is scoreless in three career games.
Haula has nine points (3g-6a) in his last eight games, which is the same amount of goals, assists and points he had in his previous three months combined - (3g-6a, 9pts) in 35 games from Nov. 5-Feb. 6… He was named First Star of the NHL stadium series, recording a goal and two assists in the 6-1 win over Chicago, and the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the week of Feb. 15-21… Haula has been centering the Wild’s third line between Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville… Against the Flyers, Haula is scoreless in three career games.