Programming note: Flyers-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network
Where they stand
Sharks: 11-10-4, 26 points, 5th Pacific Division
Flyers: 8-12-3, 19 points, 6th Metropolitan Division
Sharks: The Sharks snapped a four-game losing streak (0-2-2) with a 6-4 win over Anaheim at home on Saturday. Logan Couture scored twice after a hospital visit earlier in the day due to an eye injury, and Tommy Wingels posted a career-high four points as San Jose beat the Ducks for the second time in two tries. Tonight, the Sharks will be going for their second straight regulation win for the first time since the first two games of the season, and are 1-1-2 on a current six-game homestand that concludes with Boston on Thursday.
Flyers: Philadelphia is beginning a swing through California tonight, looking to snap out of a 1-7-1 stretch in its last nine. The Flyers were swept in a home-and-home by the Rangers in their last two games, including a 5-2 loss at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon. Philadelphia, which plays in Anaheim tomorrow and Los Angeles on Saturday, is just 2-8-1 on the road.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Sharks’ best defenseman brings a team-best +12 rating into tonight’s game, and he’ll almost certainly see the Flyers’ top line – where they get the majority of their goals – for most of the night. If Vlasic and partner Justin Braun can keep Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek off of the scoresheet, the Sharks should have little trouble getting past the Flyers, who have gotten just two goals from their bottom three lines during a 1-7-1 streak in their last nine.
Flyers: Jakub Voracek. Playing on a line with star center Claude Giroux, Voracek is second in the league in scoring with 32 points (9g, 23), just one behind leader Sidney Crosby. The 25-year-old’s season has included a 10-game point streak from Oct. 22 – Nov. 15, and 10 multiple-point games over the first 19 games of the season. Against the Sharks, the former Blue Jacket has two goals and three assists in 14 games.
Goals per game: 2.64 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.64 (15th)
Power play: 23.8 percent (4th)
Penalty kill: 82.9 percent (13th)
Goals per game: 2.65 (15th)
Goals-against per game: 3.09 (26th)
Power play: 22.2 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 73.8 percent (30th)
Tye McGinn – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl – James Sheppard – Matt Nieto
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn – Scott Laughton – Wayne Simmonds
Zac Rinaldo – Sean Couturier – Matt Read
R.J. Umberger – Chris VandeVelde – Pierre-Edouard Bellmare
Nicklas Grosmann – Mark Streit
Nick Schultz – Braydon Coburn
Luke Schenn – Andrew MacDonald
Steve Mason (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (lower body) and Troy Grosenick (head) are out.
Flyers: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots) is out.
Tonight is one of two meetings between the Sharks and Flyers. San Jose visits Wells Fargo Center on March 28.
Last season the teams split two games, with the Flyers winning at SAP Center on Feb. 3, 5-2, and the Sharks rolling in Philly on Feb. 27 in the first game after the Olympic break, 7-3.
All-time, the Sharks are 15-14-4 against the Flyers, and own a 12-1-2 mark since the start of the 2002-03 season.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks reassigned defenseman Matt Tennyson to Worcester earlier on Tuesday.
*Joe Thornton scored his first NHL goal against Philadelphia’s Garth Snow on Dec. 3, 1997 with Boston.
*Logan Couture’s first NHL game was on Oct. 25, 2009 at Philadelphia.
*After going their first 22 games without a shorthanded goal, the Sharks have scored while a man down twice in their last three games.
*Jakub Voracek has posted at least a point in every game this season in which the Flyers have not been shut out (19 of 23).
*Claude Giroux enters tonight’s games in sixth place in the NHL in scoring with 27 points (7g, 20a). He has at least a point in 17 of 23 games.
*The Flyers have lost eight straight shootouts.
*The Sharks are 9-2-2 when they score first, 2-8-2 when allowing the first goal.
*The Sharks’ are 5-for-18 on the power play in their last five games (27.8 percent).
*The Flyers’ league-worst penalty kill is just 23-for-35 over the last nine games (65.2 percent).
*The Flyers’ first-ever game was on Oct. 11, 1967 at the California Seals, a 5-1 loss.
“We’ve got to put something together. It’s one game. We’ve played one game well before, and then played five [bad] ones. We’ve got to figure out how to put some good games together.” – Logan Couture