Flames (10-8-0) at Flyers (8-8-3)
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV– NBCSP; radio–97.5 FM.
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull; @samdonnellon.
KEY PLAYERS: South Jersey’s own Johnny Gaudreau returns home healthier than ever as the Flames highest scorer with 26 points (8-18, +3). Injured for last season’s matchup here, Gaudreau spoke after a morning skate Friday of the “excitement’’ of “playing in front of childhood friends and the kids I grew up playing hockey with,’’ in addition to immediate and extended family in the area. “I think everyone enjoys coming back to their hometown and playing in front of people who really care about you and support you,’’ he said. Another familiar face of course will be 45-year-old Jaromir Jagr. The former Flyer — among many, many other teams — has a goal and four assists in the nine games he has played in so far, with a plus-4 rating. That, by the way, is better than the output generated by anyone on the Flyers second through fourth lines during that span. And yet, from the second period on, the Flyers are outshooting opponents this season by 66 shots (223-157).
THINGS TO KNOW: Calgary was blown out in Detroit 8-2 Wednesday night. The Red Wings scored four times in the opening period. “I don’t think we were prepared to play,’’ said Flames head coach Glen Gulatzan. “We were light on our sticks which was evident in the goals scored.’’ The Flames were without goaltender Mike Smith, who chose to sit it out and rest an upper body injury incurred during the Flames 7-4 victory in St. Louis on Monday. Smith has started 16 of the Flames first 18 games. He practiced Friday and is expected to man the net today. The Flyers had Friday off after Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Calgary. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald may return to the lineup for the first time since blocking a puck four weeks ago. Wayne Simmonds scored a hat trick Opening night, the first in Flyers history to do so. His scoreless streak is now at 11 games.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Flyers have a 35-31-4 advantage over Calgary all time. They are 19-13-2 against the Flames at home. The teams split last year, the Flyers winning 5-3 here on Nov. 27, the Flames winning 3-1 in Calgary on Feb. 15.
Tuesday: 7 p.m. vs. Vancouver.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. at New York Islanders.
Friday: 4 p.m. vs. New York Islanders