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Leafs-Flyers rematch on tap

by Adam Schwartz

The Toronto Maple Leafs pay a visit to Philadelphia to battle
the Flyers tonight at the Wachovia Center.
Teams from all six of the NHL’s divisions are in action Wednesday night, with six games scheduled.

Four early games feature the Buffalo Sabres facing the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Florida Panthers hosting the New York Islanders, the Calgary Flames visiting Washington and the second half of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Philadelphia Flyers home-and-home series.

Later, the Carolina Hurricanes battle the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks travel to Anaheim.

Here’s what to watch:

* Toronto center Mats Sundin, who leads the League with 919 faceoff wins, leads the team with 77 points – 25 more than any other Maple Leaf. Sundin, whose favorite players growing up were Mats Naslund and Kent Nilsson, has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in his last nine games.

* Philadelphia, which has scored the most goals in the Atlantic Division with 215, has scored the most second-period goals in the League with 84. The Flyers, who have a 19-11-7 record against non-divisional Eastern Conference opponents, are in eighth place in the conference with 79 points.

* Flyers center Jeff Carter, who enjoys the music of Incubus, has six goals and two assists for eight points in his last six games.


* Calgary right wing Jarome Iginla, who leads the Northwest Division with a plus-27 rating, set the franchise goal-scoring record with goal No. 365 Monday night against the St. Louis Blues in a 7-3 Calgary victory.

* Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf is tied for fourth in the League among defensemen with 14 goals, but he has the most missed shots of any defenseman in the NHL with 98 – 16 more than any other blueliner.

* Washington center David Steckel, whose favorite food is lasagna, has won the most shorthanded faceoffs among rookies with 135 – 60 more than any other rookie.

* Sabres center Derek Roy, who leads Buffalo forwards with an average of 20:47 of ice time per game, has a minus-5 rating in his last six games. Roy, who is second among Buffalo players with 61 points, has scored four game-winning goals this season.

* Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Whitney, selected No. 5 overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has one goal and six assists for seven points in nine career games against the Sabres.

* The Penguins, who have the fourth-most home power-play goals in the League with 36, are one point behind the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils. Pittsburgh is one of just two teams in the division to have scored at least 200 goals with 206.


* Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who has played at least 26 minutes in eight of his last 10 games, leads the team with an average of 27:33 of ice time per game. Bouwmeester’s season-high was Jan. 3 in a 35:48 performance in a 4-3 Florida overtime victory against the Islanders.

* The Islanders have four players – Trent Hunter (225), Brendan Witt (135), Sean Bergenheim (120) and Ruslan Fedotenko (104) – with at least 100 hits.  

* Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek, selected in the eighth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, leads the team with 57 takeaways.

* Hurricanes center Eric Staal, who leads the team with 33 goals and 67 points, has three goals and six assists for nine points in his last four games – all Carolina wins.

* The Hurricanes, who lead the Southeast Division with 79 points, have not lost to the Blackhawks in Chicago since April 3, 1999.

* Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, who has played at least 25 minutes in five of his last six games, leads the team and is fourth in the NHL with a plus-28 rating. Keith, who leads the team with an average of 25:30 of ice time per game, also has the most assists among Blackhawks defensemen with 17.

* The Blackhawks have allowed and scored 202 goals.


* Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who is tied for third in the League with a .922 save percentage, has won his last three games and has not allowed more than two goals in his last four games.

* Canucks center Brendan Morrison played 8:03 in his first game back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for 38 games.

* The Ducks, who have scored five goals in their last four games, have lost three of their last four games. Despite their recent troubles, Anaheim remains just four points behind the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.

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