Mar 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van RIemsdyk (21) passes the puck as Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) bears down on him at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview

Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Wells Fargo Center for the third and final meeting of these two teams this season. The game begins at 7:00pm and will be televised on CSN Philadelphia.

The Flyers are 0-1-1 in the previous meetings against the Maple Leafs. The teams first met at the Wells Fargo Center in the Flyers opening game of the season. The Flyers played a solid game, but Jonathan Bernier shut the door to give the Maple Leafs a 3-1 victory. In the second meeting, the Flyers battled back from a first period 2-0 deficit thanks to two Kimmo Timonen goals. The Flyers forced overtime but they were defeated by a Joffrey Lupul goal.

Both the Flyers and Maple Leafs are on losing streaks. The Maple Leafs have lost their previous six games and now sit 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs will be hungry to get a win and fight back into playoff position. The Flyers have lost two straight after putting together an impressive five game winning streak. The Flyers beat Pittsburgh (x2), Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis before losing to Los Angeles and the New York Rangers.

This game will feature two of the NHL’s top scorers. Toronto’s Phil Kessel is 3rd in the NHL scoring race with 77 points. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux is tied for 4th with 75 points. With both team’s are in desperate need of a victory, so expect both players to play well. However, the Flyers are the home team so we can expect to see the Sean Couturier line out against Phil Kessel’s line.

As of this writing, neither team has announced their starting goaltender. However, a rematch of the season opener, Mason vs Bernier, is expected. Mason is 30-17-6 this season with a SV% of .916 and a GAA of 2.54. Bernier is 25-17-7 with a .925 SV% and a 2.65 GAA. The Leafs hold the edge in goaltending, but the Flyers have the edge in scoring depth. After Toronto’s first line, their scoring begins to dry up while the Flyers have three lines that can provide offense.

On the injury front, Steve Downie skated with the Flyers this morning but he is not expected to return to the line up. Tye McGinn was also with the team and is expected to start.

Odds and Ends

– James van Riemsdyk is on Toronto’s top line and has 28 goals and 29 assists. However, he has only 2 goals in the last 12 games.

– Jakub Voracek is riding a 3 game goal streak. He now has 21 for the season and 100 in his career.

– The Flyers are 3 points behind the NY Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers have two games in hand ont he Rangers and both teams are in play tonight.

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Tags: Claude Giroux Phil Kessel Philadelphia Flyers

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