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Flyers vs. Wild: Homestand concludes against another Central Division team

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Anyone else tired of all these Western Conference teams?

Kate Frese / SBNation

The Flyers look to build off their 3-1 win over the Blackhawks on Thursday when they host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET and the game will air on NBCSP as well as broadcast on 97.5 The Fanatic.

It’s the first of a home-and-home with the Wild, as the Flyers travel to Minnesota on Tuesday to finish off yet another season series with a Western Conference foe.

Coming off a solid performance against the Blackhawks, the Flyers will look for more of the same against another playoff team from a year ago. The Wild have sputtered out of the gates so far this season, going just 6-7-2 after posting 106 points a year ago. Bruce Boudreau’s team comes in having lost three of its past four games overall.

Offensively the Wild are paced by Jason Zucker, whose hat trick was all the team needed in a 3-0 win over the struggling Canadiens on Thursday to end a three-game losing streak. Devan Dubnyk stopped all 41 shots in that one to post his first shutout of the season and should draw back in against the Flyers. He’s 2-5-1 against the Flyers in his career with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

For the Flyers it’s been all about the top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek. The trio has been one of the NHL’s most dominant lines outside of the trio down in Tampa Bay, and added seven points in the win over the Hawks. Couturier potted his 10th goal of the season in that one while Giroux and Voracek added the other goals.

In goal, Brian Elliott was outstanding against the Hawks, stopping 38 of 39 shots to earn the win. The veteran has started 10 games to Michal Neuvirth’s six in the early going, but should earn another start given the strength of his performance last time out. He’s also 9-2-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with two shutouts against the Wild in his career.

Something will give on Saturday as the Flyers’ potent power play goes up against Minnesota’s ninth ranked penalty kill. The Flyers will need to be aware with the puck on the man-advantage as the Wild are tied for the league lead with four short-handed goals already.

Projected Flyers Lines:

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Konecny - Filppula - Simmonds

Weal - Lehtera - Weise

Leier - Laughton - Raffl

Defense

Provorov - Hagg

Manning - Gostisbehere

Gudas - Sanheim

Goaltender

Elliott

(Neuvirth)