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Game 62 Preview: Flyers end February with visit from Calgary Flames

The Flyers have found some luck on their current six-game homestand -- topping Minnesota and Arizona in its first two games -- and will look to duplicate that success with a visit from the Calgary Flames.
Tonight's game will also have a special nostalgia in the air, as Jimmy Watson becomes the 25th inductee in the Flyers Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. Watson is this year's second inductee (after Rod Brind'Amour), and the fourth over the past two seasons.
It's been a while since the Flyers beat the Flames. The Flames currently hold a three-game win streak (previously extended on Nov. 5), and last lost to the Orange and Black on Feb. 8, 2014.
The Flyers and Flames face off from Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Flames Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 58 17 33 50 Johnny Gaudreau 60 24 38 62
Jake Voracek 60 10 38 48 Sean Monahan 60 19 24 43
Wayne Simmonds 61 21 20 41 T.J. Brodie 52 4 35 39
Brayden Schenn 59 18 21 39 Mark Giordano 61 15 22 37
Shayne Gostisbehere 43 12 22 34 Mikael Backlund 53 11 20 31
Player to Watch
12 Michael Raffl 13 Johnny Gaudreau
Last 5 Games: 1G, 2A, 3Pts, E Last 5 Games: 2G, 5A, 7Pts, -1
With eight goals and 21 games to go, Michael Raffl may not be on pace to duplicate his 21-goal breakout from last year, but that didn't stop Ron Hextall from inking him to a three-year, $7.05 million deal over the weekend. Raffl was also a name speculated in trade rumors leading to today's deadline, and will obviously be sticking around for the time being. It's worth seeing if his new contract will help boost his production as the season winds down.
Johnny Gaudreau burst onto the scene in a fury for the Flames last season, and finished with 24 goals, 64 points and a Calder Trophy nomination. The 22-year-old Carneys Point, N.J. native carries a seven-game points streak (sound familiar?) into tonight's game, and set up Mikael Backlund's overtime winner when both teams met in November. 
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 35 Jonas Hiller
15-7-4, 2.19 GAA, .928 SV% 9-8-1, 3.29 GAA, .886 SV%

Michal Neuvirth figures to return between the pipes for the Flyers, and will look to keep up his dominant style of play. He most recently made 29 saves on 31 shots in Saturday's win over Arizona.

Jonas Hiller will start for the Flames. In five career games against the Flyers, the 34-year-old has posted a 3-1-1 record matched with a 2.54 GAA and .924 save percentage.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Jakub Voracek, R.J. Umberger, Evgeny Medvedev, Jordan Weal, Micheal Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 89 Sam Gagner
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
21 Scott Laughton 52 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
47 Andrew MacDonald 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
32 Mark Streit 55 Nick Schultz  
23 Brandon Manning 3 Radko Gudas  
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Jakub Voracek remains out of the lineup for the Flyers, as he continues to recover from a lower-body injury. Expect the Orange and Black to ice a lineup similar to the one that won on Saturday against Arizona.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (16th, 20th at home), Flames (29th, 25th on road) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (23rd, 22nd at home), Flames (30th, 27th on road)
  • Nick Cousins was briefly sent to AHL Lehigh Valley before the game just be be eligible should they make the playoffs, but was recalled in time for the game.
  • The Flyers are 57-45-12 all-time against the Flames (counting for their history in Calgary and Atlanta), and 35-18-3 at home.
  • The Flyers are playing their first Leap Day game since 2004, and are 2-3-0 all-time.

Where to Watch
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

Rob Riches is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia and Sports Talk Philly. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61


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