Since the calendar flipped to 2016, the Wild had found themselves victorious just three times. They were on track to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012, before deciding to fire coach Mike Yeo.
After Yeo's firing on Feb. 13 -- less than two weeks ago -- the Wild have been surging, with wins in four of their next five games. They have climbed back into the West's playoff picture, and find themselves just two points out of the final spot.
|Flyers Leaders||GP||G||A||P||Wild Leaders||GP||G||A||P|
|Claude Giroux||57||16||33||49||Mikko Koivu||60||12||30||42|
|Jake Voracek||59||10||37||47||Ryan Suter||60||7||31||38|
|Wayne Simmonds||59||21||19||40||Thomas Vanek||59||17||19||36|
|Brayden Schenn||57||18||18||36||Zach Parise||51||18||18||36|
|Shayne Gostisbehere||41||12||22||34||Mikael Granlund||60||6||26||32|
|Player to Watch|
|10 Brayden Schenn||22 Nino Niederreiter|
|Last 5 Games: 3G, 3A, 6Pts, +2||Last 5 Games: 2G, 3A, 4Pts, +7|
Nino Niederreiter may not be among the Wild's top scorers, but he's still been a consistent scoring threat since arriving in Minnesota in 2013. The 23-year-old right winger is on pace to set career highs in assists and points, and recorded several multi-point games lately -- including a goal and an assist in Sunday's 6-1 Stadium Series win over Chicago.
|35 Steve Mason||30 Cam Ward|
|13-15-7, 2.70 GAA, .915 SV%||21-20-5, 2.38 GAA, .918 SV%|
Expect Steve Mason to return between the pipes for the Flyers, after being pulled early in his last start for cramping. Mason carries a 6-6-1 all-time record against the Wild, and made 31 saves in his last meeting against them on Jan. 7.
After a stellar first season in Minnesota, Devan Dubnyk has not been able to duplicate his success -- thanks in part to his team's poor play. Much like how the Flyers have been heavily reliant on Mason, the Wild have been quite dependent on Dubnyk
Scratches: Claude Giroux, R.J. Umberger, Evgeny Medvedev, Jordan Weal, Micheal Del Zotto
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|189 Sam Gagner||10 Brayden Schenn||17 Wayne Simmonds|
|12 Michael Raffl||14 Sean Couturier||93 Jake Voracek|
|76 Chris VandeVelde||78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare||25 Ryan White|
|221 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|
|35 Steve Mason|
Expect the Orange and Black to roll the same lineup out, as Claude Giroux is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
- Power Play: Flyers (19th, 26th at home), Wild (17th, 19th on road)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (24th, 23rd at home), Wild (25th, 27th on road)
- In their last matchup on Jan. 7, the Flyers topped the Wild, 4-3, in overtime. Michael Del Zotto recorded two goals (including the overtime winner), while Sean Couturier and Ryan White scored as well. Steve Mason made 31 saves on 34 shots
- The Flyers are 11-6-1 all-time against the Wild, a nd 7-3-0 at Wells Fargo Center.
Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Rob Riches is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia and Sports Talk Philly. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61