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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (33-24-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Claude Giroux has the Philadelphia Flyers rolling in the right direction and the club takes aim at a fourth straight victory on Saturday night when it visits the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Philadelphia has potted 15 goals over its past three games and has won seven of its last eight. That has the Flyers even with the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia has one game in hand over the Blueshirts and will use it on Saturday when the Rangers are idle.
Giroux has led the charge, posting 10 goals and 20 points over his last 13 games. That includes back-to-back three-point efforts in a home-and-home sweep of the Washington Capitals.
The Flyers' captain notched two goals and an assist in each contest, helping Philadelphia rally for a 5-4 overtime victory in Washington last Sunday before holding on for a 6-4 win at home on Wednesday.
"They're attacking. They're skating with speed and making plays; they're working hard, working down low hard, cycling the puck, competing, power play. They're doing a good job," said Flyers coach Craig Berube of Giroux's line that includes Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell.
Voracek also scored twice on Wednesday's win that saw the Flyers jump out to a 4-0 lead before they allowed the Capitals to twice get within a goal. Philadelphia yielded three power-play goals.
Michael Raffl and Steve Downie also scored for the Flyers and Steve Mason came up with 21 saves.
"We got the win, but at the end of the day we've got to make sure that when we've got a lead like that, we've got to be able to keep it," said Giroux.
Mason is 2-3-0 with a 3.99 goals against average in five previous meetings with the Maple Leafs, who sit third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. They moved one point ahead of Tampa Bay with Wednesday's 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers, and trail second-place Montreal by three points.
Tyler Bozak was the hero versus the Rangers, scoring on a penalty shot in the second period before netting the game-winner with 3:09 left in overtime. He took a blind backhand feed from Phil Kessel behind the net and elevated the disc over Henrik Lundqvist from the doorstep to send the Leafs to their first victory since the Olympic break.
Toronto had lost three in a row coming in, two of those in overtime.
Nazem Kadri netted Toronto's other goal, while Jonathan Bernier registered 35 saves for the Leafs.
"It doesn't feel so good right now, because you're frustrated with how it went, but tomorrow in the standings it will show two points and then we move on," Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle said of his team giving up a two-goal lead only to win in overtime.
Bernier could face the Flyers tonight and has split two previous encounters while posting a 4.51 GAA.
The Maple Leafs have won three of their past four versus the Flyers, including a 3-1 victory in Philadelphia on Oct. 2 in the first of three meetings this season.
However, the Flyers have won six of their last seven trips to Toronto.
03/08 10:51:37 ET