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Flyers look to extend win streak, Jets' skid

by Adam Kimelman /

FLYERS (17-17-3) at JETS (18-19-2)


Last 10: Philadelphia 5-3-2; Winnipeg 3-7-0

Season series: This is the third and final meeting of the season between the teams. The Flyers will look for a season sweep after winning 3-2 in Winnipeg on Feb. 12 and 5-3 in Philadelphia on Feb. 23.

Big story: Can the Flyers take another big step in their push for a spot in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Or will the Jets be able to snap their five-game losing streak and climb back into the conference's top eight?

Team Scope:

Flyers: The Flyers already are missing three regular defensemen due to injury -- Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) and Nicklas Grossmann (upper-body injury). They could be down a fourth if Kimmo Timonen can't play Wednesday.

Timonen left the Flyers' game Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period with what the team is calling an undisclosed injury. He is listed as a game-time decision.

The 38-year-old is second among the team's defenseman with an average ice time of 21:24 per game. He's also tied for fifth in scoring among NHL blueliners with 24 points.

Jets: Dustin Byfuglien's return to forward will end at two games, as Winnipeg coach Claude Noel told reporters Friday that Byfuglien will return to defense against the Flyers on Saturday.

Byfuglien was shifted to forward in the third period of the Jets' game Tuesday against the New York Islanders, and started up front Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens, but the move failed to do what Noel hoped it would -- spark an offense that has produced just six goals in the team's current five-game losing streak.

"It's not like we don't know what's going on," Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press after the loss to the Canadiens on Thursday. "I don't think you can expect to lose five straight games and expect that things aren't going to change. We know that if we continue down this road, it isn't good. That's why there's urgency. We're running out of games; we know that."

Who's hot: After going 15 straight without a point, Flyers center Sean Couturier has points in four straight, with a goal and four assists in that span.

Injury report: The Flyers will be missing forwards Danny Briere (concussion), Maxime Talbot (leg), Zac Rinaldo (high ankle sprain) and Jody Shelley (hip), as well as Coburn and Meszaros. Grossmann and Timonen are questionable. … The Jets are playing without forwards Jim Slater (upper body), James Wright (upper body), Anthony Peluso (hand) and Nik Antropov (lower body), as well as defenseman Zach Redmond (leg).

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