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Flyers, Maple Leafs seek big win in Toronto

by Adam Kimelman

FLYERS (33-24-6) at MAPLE LEAFS (33-23-8)


Last 10: Philadelphia 8-2-0; Toronto 6-2-2

Season series: It's the second time the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers will play. It comes more than five months after the teams opened the 2013-14 season against each other Oct. 2. Dave Bolland scored two goals when the Maple Leafs won 3-1 in Philadelphia.

Big story: The game features a chance to re-evaluate the June 2012 trade between the teams that sent forward James van Riemsdyk from Philadelphia to Toronto for defenseman Luke Schenn.

Van Riemsdyk has set career-highs with 26 goals and 52 points this season and played for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"Have I gotten better since I've been here [Toronto]? Probably," van Riemsdyk said in the Courier-Post. "I don't think it's as substantial as it looks because of the numbers."

Schenn has four goals and nine points in 60 games but leads the Flyers and ranks in the top 10 in the NHL with 192 hits.

"I was drafted to play a more defensive role and play physical," Schenn told the Courier-Post. "It's like comparing oranges to apples, I guess. You can't compare them. If I was a forward, then yeah, you'd look at point production. Overall, I think he's enjoying himself in Toronto and I'm really enjoying myself here in Philly."

Team Scope:

Flyers: Forwards Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux are looking forward to a unique opportunity waiting for them Sunday: They will suit up for the World All-Stars against the Harlem Globetrotters.

"We're just playing a couple of minutes," Giroux told reporters Friday.

Giroux said he plans on taking a few 3-pointers, and Simmonds said he intends to dunk.

"I don't know if I got the skill, but I am going to try," Simmonds said. "Be nice to get out there with them. ... I've just got to get the ball and go strong to the hoop. Dunk on somebody. That's my goal. Yeah, I can dunk. Going to put my [Air] Jordan's on."

Giroux and Simmonds are two of the Flyers who warm up before home games by playing basketball on a rim hung from a wall on the bottom level of Wells Fargo Center.

Maple Leafs: Toronto is 0-for-17 on the power play in its past eight games, a bad turn for a team that was 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) in the eight games before the drought. The Maple Leafs have allowed four shorthanded goals in the past four games.

Coach Randy Carlyle said Friday he believes the issues plaguing the extra-man play are mental and physical.

"Teams are going to spend time and effort to shut down our power play when our skilled guys are out there," Carlyle said. "We're the same; we try to do an analysis of what the opposition is trying to do on their power play. And we need to make better decisions with the puck. We're guilty of turning the puck over in critical areas and that has to stop."

Who's hot: Flyers forward Jakub Voracek has three goals and two assists in his past two games. … Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak has two goals and three assists in four games since the Olympic break.

Injury report: Flyers goalie Ray Emery (lower body) is questionable. … Maple Leafs forwards Bolland (ankle) and Carter Ashton (hand) are out, and forward Colton Orr (undisclosed) is questionable. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf sat out practice Friday but Carlyle said he expects to have his captain in the lineup Saturday.


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