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Flyers shoot for rare victory against Sharks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will take aim at their first win against San Jose in over 13 years, as they visit the Sharks for Monday's interconference clash at SAP Center.
Philadelphia is 0-8-3 with a pair of ties in the last 13 encounters in this series and hasn't beaten the Sharks since a 4-3 home victory on Dec. 21, 2000. The Flyers' last road win in this series was back on Nov. 5, 1999.
The Flyers struggled to a 6-7-2 record in January, but the club picked up its second win in three games on Saturday when it downed the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0. The road victory came after Philadelphia opened its three-game tour of California with Thursday's 5-3 loss at Anaheim.
Philly was outshot by a wide 35-13 margin against the Kings, but Flyers goaltender Steve Mason stole the victory by recording his second shutout in three games. Mason recorded his third shutout of the season with the 35-save performance.
Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds tallied his 100th career goal and added an assist against his former team, while Claude Giroux also had a multi-point night after lighting the lamp on a third-period power play. Giroux has four goals and six assists over his last eight games.
Simmonds, who leads the Flyers with 18 goals this season, halted a five-game goal-scoring drought on Saturday.
"L.A. is a big team, they like to grind it out. They got pucks deep. They have big bodies and they play a physical game," said Simmonds. "I think we matched them hit for hit today. I think the last few games have been a test for the character in our dressing room. I think we have done a good job."
The Flyers played Saturday without defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who is dealing with a foot injury. The veteran blueliner is questionable for Monday.
Philadelphia, which is currently with Detroit for the eighth seed in the East, is 13-13-5 as the visiting team this season. The Flyers will host Colorado and Calgary on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, to complete their pre-Olympic break schedule.
The Flyers are also tied with Columbus for third place in the Metropolitan Division, but the Blue Jackets hold the current tiebreaker due to having played one less game.
The Sharks hope to continue their mastery of the Flyers to record a second straight win on Monday.
San Jose had lost three straight in regulation before edging the visiting Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. It was the seventh win in 10 games for the Sharks, who are in second place in the Pacific Division.
Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton all scored in the shootout to give the San Jose the victory on Saturday. Pavelski also lit the lamp in regulation.
"It always feels good to win, especially when you lose a few in a row," Pavelski said. "When we play our game, we know what we want to accomplish in here."
Antti Niemi stopped 29-of-30 shots through regulation and overtime. He turned aside 1-of-2 Chicago attempts in the shootout to help secure the extra point.
Saturday's test was the first part of a four-game homestand for the Sharks, who boast a superb 20-3-3 record as the host this season. San Jose will welcome Dallas on Wednesday before playing its final tilt before the Winter Olympics on Friday against Columbus.
02/03 11:36:38 ET