Flyers need to step up at home

OTTAWA _ If the Flyers are going to make a run at Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference titles, they need to play much better at home in the season’s last two-plus months.

They will get that chance starting Tuesday against visiting Winnipeg, beginning a stretch in which they play eight of 10 games at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers are just 11-7-3 at home; they are a league-best 18-7-2 on the road.

Only two NHL teams _ Phoenix (24 points) and Columbus (19) _ have fewer home points than the Flyers (25).

As the second half starts, the Flyers (29-14-5) are only three points behind the first-place New York Rangers (31-12-4) in the division and conference. The teams meet Sunday afternoon in New York.

The Rangers are 3-0 against the Flyers this season.

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The Flyers are hopeful veteran right winger Jaromir Jagr can return to the lineup soon after being bothered by nagging groin injuries in the season’s first half. The team will give updates Monday on Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk, who have been sidelined with concussions.

The Flyers will hold their first post-all-star break practice Monday in Voorhees at 2 p.m. Practices are free and open to the public.

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Claude Giroux, the Flyers’ all-star center, will be honored as the city’s top athlete during Monday’s Philadelphia Sportswriters Association’s banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill. Flyers legend Bernie Parent will be among the guest speakers.

The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., with cocktails at 5 p.m. For ticket info, go to

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After Sunday’s All-Star Game, Ryan Sutter reiterated he wants to stay in Nashville. Will the Predators honor that request, or will they deal him before the Feb. 27 trade deadline because they fear he will sign elsewhere after becoming a free agent on July 1?

Stay tuned.

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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.