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Game Day: Preds vs. Flyers

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(39-13-6) Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers (24-23-11)
  12 P.M. | Wells Fargo Center
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game

After suffering a 5-2 loss on Thursday to the New York Islanders on Long Island, the Nashville Predators will attempt to reverse their fortunes this afternoon, and they're expected to have some help in doing so.

The Preds face off against the Philadelphia Flyers at noon (CT) today, and new acquisitions Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, both coming over from Toronto last Sunday morning, are likely to be in the Nashville lineup for the first time since the deal. After delays due to weather and immigration issues, the pair joined the team during the second intermission of Thursday's contest and took to the ice with their teammates for the first time during practice on Friday.

Franson skated alongside defenseman Mattias Ekholm during the session, while Santorelli skated on the right side of the third line, with Matt Cullen on the left and Calle Jarnkrok in the middle. To hear more from the new Preds, check out yesterday's Preds Practice Ponderings.

Defenseman Roman Josi tallied his 11th multi-point performance of the season on Thursday against the Islanders, assisting on both Nashville goals. Josi's two-assist night gives him 42 points on the season, moving him into a tie with D-partner Shea Weber for the scoring lead among Preds defensemen, third in points among all Nashville skaters and fifth among League blueliners. Josi has already set a career high in points this season and his 154 blocked shots paces the Predators and is second in the NHL.

Filip Forsberg recorded his 20th goal of the campaign in the Preds last game, becoming the second rookie this season to achieve the mark and the first in Predators franchise history to net 20 goals. Forsberg, who leads the team in points (31a, 51pts), has 12 points in his last 14 games.

Mike Ribeiro recorded an assist on Thursday for the third-consecutive contest, and his 38 assists lead the Preds and are tied for sixth in the NHL. With 38 helpers this season, Ribeiro surpassed David Legwand (2006-07) and Cliff Ronning (1999-00) for the third spot on the list of most assists by a Preds center in a single season. The Montreal native is four assists from tying Ronning's 43-assist 2000-01 season for second and five helpers from tying Jason Arnott's 44-assist 2007-08 season for the top spot.

Jakub Voracek has been the most prolific point-getter for the Flyers this season, tallying 61 of them in 58 games to lead the team. Flyers Captain Claude Giroux isn't far behind with 55 points, while forward Wayne Simmonds has potted 22 goals on the campaign, the most of any Flyer. Mark Streit puts up points from the Philadelphia blue line, adding 36 this year, including 28 assists.

With goaltender Steve Mason on injured reserve (IR), Ray Emery is the No. 1 netminder in Philly for the time being, posting a 10-10-4 record with a 3.15 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. The Flyers are 15-8-5 at home this season but are just 1-1-3 in their last five outings.

This afternoon's contest against the Flyers is Nashville's sixth matinee matchup this season and their fourth this month. The Preds have a record of 5-0-0 in afternoon games, including back-to-back wins against the Rangers and Panthers two weeks ago.

Today's game also marks the first time that Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette has coached against the Flyers since he was let go by the club early in the 2013-14 season. Laviolette spent parts of five seasons in Philadelphia, including a trip to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

This is the second and final time that the two teams will get together this season, with the Preds having won 4-1 over the Flyers back in December. Nashville is 8-7-(2)-2 all-time against Philadelphia and 4-5-(1)-0 in the City of Brotherly Love.
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