Game 62 Preview: Flyers try to rebound as they visit Maple Leafs

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The Philadelphia Flyers (26-24-11) will look to get back in the win column tonight as they travel to Canada to battle the Toronto Maple Leafs (24-31-5).  This is the third and final meeting between the clubs and second at the Air Canada Centre. Game time is 7:30.

Philadelphia has won both matchups so far. They Flyers stormed back from an early 2-0 defecit to beat the Leafs 7-4 in Toronto back on December 20th. Steve Mason picked up his second shutout of the season in a 1-0 win at home on January 31st. 

The Flyers will try to rebound from a lackluster performance on Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes. Philadelphia has lost the three games against teams below them in the standings. Tonight is another of those games. These are games they need to win if the hope catch and pass both Boston and Florida and make the playoffs.

Jakub Voracek is in a three way tie with Patrick Kane and Nickolas Backstrom for the NHL scoring lead with 64 points. His 45 assists lead the team and are second in the league.

 Claude Giroux, 17 goals and 40 assists, is second on the team. Wayne Simmonds leads the team with 24 goals and his 42 points are good for third. 

Rob Zepp (5-2-0) is expected to start in goal for the Flyers tonight. It will be his fourth straight start. Steve Mason will be dressed and back up Zepp. Mason has been out since injuring his knee in a game against Washington a few weeks ago. Mason will likely start Saturday at home against the New York Rangers.

Toronto is in rebuild mode. They recently traded defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli to Nashville. More chips fell yesterday as they also shipped out forward Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Offensively, the Leafs are led by Phil Kessel, 22 goals and 48 points, and James van Riemsdyk, 22 goals and 46 points.

The leafs are expected to get captain Dion Phanuef back tonight. Phanuef has not played since injuring his hand back on January 21st in game versus Ottawa. Toronto is just 2-8-2 in the 12 games without him. Jonathan Bernier (17-18-5) figures to get the start between the pipes. 

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (3rd, 13th on road), Leafs (13th, 4th at home) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (28th, 29th on road), Leafs (13th, 21st at home) 
  • The Flyers will be looking to sweep the season series tonight.

Flyers scratches: Luke Schenn, Vincent Lecavalier, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ray Emery

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1:  Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Line 2: R. J. Umberger-Brayden Schenn-Ryan White
Line 3: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Line 4:Chris VandeVeldePierre-Edouard Bellemare-Zac Rinaldo

D-Pair 1: Nick Schultz-Mark Streit
D-Pair 2: Michael Del Zotto -Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 3:Nicklas Grossmann-Andrew MacDonald

Goalie: Rob Zepp

Where to Watch
TV: CSN Philly
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic 

Bill Minchin is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow Bill on Twitter @wtfd103074 

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