January 17, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn (10) checks Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) during the 3rd period of game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Flyers defeated the Wild, 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild Preview

After a disappointing blowout loss, the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild will faceoff Monday night in the final game before the Christmas holiday. Check out Coast to Coast Tickets for Philadelphia Flyers tickets if you’re looking to attend the game.

The orange and black will look to jump back over .500 and take advantage of a Wild team coming off the second game of a back-to-back. Minnesota is on a two-game losing streak and are on the final stage of a three-game road trip.

The last time these two teams met, the Wild scored twice to come away with a 2-0 win. Over their last ten games, the Wild have gone 5-5-0. They have been Jekyll and Hyde this season when it comes to playing at home and on the road. To this point in the season, the Wild are 14-3-2 at home and 6-10-3 on the road.

Steve Mason will start tonight for the Flyers. He will be opposed by Niklas Backstrom who played Sunday night against the New York Rangers. The Flyers are getting very lucky, once again, with opposing goaltenders. Josh Harding, who has a fantastic season so far, is on injured reserve to adjust to his new MS medicine. Backstrom is 2-7-2 with a 3.19 goals against average, and a .895 save percentage. During the Wild’s road trip, Backstrom has given up nine goals in two games. His team has not given him much help though. The offense has only produced three goals in the past two games. Expect the Flyers to come out strong and fire a barrage of shots on Backstrom to test him early.

Mason will look to bounce back from some rough starts. Since the Flyers went on their first extended road trip, Mason has looked average in most of his starts.

Projected lineups via Broad Street Hockey.

Flyers lineup

Raffl – Giroux – Voracek
Hartnell – Schenn – Simmonds
Read – Couturier – Lecavalier
Rinaldo – Hall – VandeVelde

Timonen – Coburn
Grossmann – Streit
Schenn – Meszaros

Wild lineup

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Niederreiter – Granlund – Pominville
Cooke – Brodziak – Heatley
Veilleux – Konopka – Rupp

Suter – Brodin
Scandella – Spurgeon
Ballard – Stoner

*projected lineups, subject to change



Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson will be out for the next two weeks with a sprained knee. Andrej Meszaros will probably take his place until Gustafsson can return to action.

Nicklas Grossmann should be back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with the flu.

Steve Downie will be out of the lineup again with an upper-body injury.

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Tags: Erik Gustafsson Philadelphia Flyers Steve Downie Steve Mason

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