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On the Road Again: Philadelphia Flyers at the Minnesota Wild Tonight

December 2nd, 2013 at 7:47 PM
By Scott Erik Anderson

The Philadelphia Flyers came back to tied the Nashville Predators in the third period on Saturday to force the game to go to overtime and then to a shootout. Steve Mason came up big for the Flyers in the shootout and the Flyers held on to win their first game of a six-game road trip. Tonight, the Flyers are in Minnesota to take on the Wild on their second stop of their road trip.

o. casey / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: o. casey / Foter / CC BY-SA

The Flyers and Minnesota Wild have faced off against each other 13 times since the Wild were created in the 2000 expansion. The Flyers have a 8-4-1 record against the Wild with their most recent win coming in January 2012 in Philadelphia

WHO IS STARTING BETWEEN THE PIPES TONIGHT?

Ray Emery will be between the pipes tonight when the puck drops at 8:00 p.m. While Steve Mason is one of the hottest goaltenders in the league right now with a .946 save percentage and a 1.72 goals against average to back up his 6-1-1 record since the Edmonton Oilers game last month, his career stats against the Wild are not as good as Emery's stats against the Wild. Emery has started against the Wild five times in his career and has come away from those games with a 4-0-1 record. He has shutout the Wild once to go along with his .919 save percentage and a 2.32 goals against average against them. Mason has played in more games against the Wild than Emery has and the only difference between their records is in the loss column. Mason has a career 4-6-1 record against the Wild with a .904 save percentage and 2.79 goals against average.

Emery was expected to get the start tonight as Mason was due for a rest day after playing in back-to-back games against the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators.

LECAVALIER OUT WITH BACK SPASMS

The Flyers will be without Vinny Lecavalier tonight as he is dealing with back spasms. Paul Holmgren, the Flyers General Manager, said Lecavalier could return to the lineup as soon as Wednesday when the Flyers take on the Detroit Red Wings if his back spasms are gone by then. 

You wouldn't have known it judging from how he played against Nashville, but Lecavalier actually hurt his back in the third period. It didn't bother him enough to stop playing as we all watched him score the game-winner in the Flyers' shootout victory. 

Jay Rosehill will be taking Lecavalier's spot in the lineup and Brayden Schenn will move to the center spot until Lecavalier's return. Michael Raffl will be playing alongside Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FLYERS — CLAUDE GIROUX

Claude Giroux has been becoming more and more productive on offense as the games go by. In the month of November, Giroux scored all four of his goals and had more than half of his assists. He is currently the team leader in points and assists. His four goals came in the past 11 games. Look for Giroux to have an even bigger presence on offense tonight to make up for the absence of Lecavalier.

WILD — ZACH PARISE

The Flyers targeted Zach Parise during his free-agency and he strongly considered signing with the Flyers before deciding on going to Minnesota. Parise played on the Flyers' rival, the New Jersey Devils, for his entire career and averaged just under a point in 40 games against the Flyers. Parise has a career 18 goals and 18 assists against the Orange and Black. Currently, Parise is the point leader for the Wild this season with 11 goals and 12 assists. Five of his goals and nine of his assists have come in his last 14 games. Tonight will be Parise's first game back after blocking a shot with his foot last Monday. He missed only one game since then and he was originally given a two-to-three week return timeframe after suffering the contusion on his left foot. 


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Tags: Claude Giroux, Hockey, Minnesota Wild, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Ray Emery, Steve Mason, Vinny Lecavalier, Zach Parise

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