Preview: Blackhawks at Flyers

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[December 03, 2016]  The Philadelphia Flyers have dominated the Chicago Blackhawks at home since opening the doors to the Wells Fargo Center. After falling short in a contest in the building's first season (1996-97), the Flyers vie for their 13th straight home regular-season win over the Blackhawks when the clubs meet on Saturday afternoon.

Captain Claude Giroux capped a "pretty special" 24 hours on Thursday, following up proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Ryanne, by scoring in overtime to complete his 18th career two-goal performance in a 3-2 victory over Ottawa. The 28-year-old Ontario native has collected three goals and two assists in his past four games overall and 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in career contests versus Chicago - including a three-assist performance in a wild 7-4 setback at the United Center on Oct. 18. Veteran Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal in that contest and added his team-leading 12th this season at 1:31 of overtime on Thursday as the Blackhawks posted a 4-3 victory over New Jersey to extend their home winning streak to 12 games (10-0-2). Chicago hasn't been as dominant when it takes its show on the road, losing three of its last four to fall to 6-5-1 for the season.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, NHL Network, WGN (Chicago), CSN Philadelphia

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (16-6-3): Chicago has opted to take a cautious approach with the ailing back of captain Jonathan Toews, who will miss his fifth straight game on Saturday. "At this point, with the amount of games left in the season, it's not something (you want) to continuously deal with, if you're going to aggravate it and it's going to keep coming back to haunt you," Toews told the Chicago Sun-Times of the injury he sustained on Nov. 23 in San Jose. "So it's tough right now to pull back and do less than you know you can, but in the long run, you're trying to make sure you get back to 100 percent." Toews likely is headed to injured reserve to free up a roster spot for defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who has been sidelined six weeks while rehabbing an apparent shoulder injury.

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ABOUT THE FLYERS (12-10-3): Perhaps the sight of the Blackhawks can spur on struggling Matt Read, who tallied twice in the first meeting but has just three points - all assists - in his last 13 games overall. Fellow forward Jakub Voracek hasn't been shy about contributing on the offensive end, capping a two-assist performance by setting up Giroux on the winning goal on Thursday as the Flyers matched a season high with the third straight victory. Voracek, who has one goal and four assists in the past three games, set up a pair of tallies in the first meeting with Chicago to increase his point total to 19 (five goals, 14 assists) in 25 career encounters.


1. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane, who has tormented Philadelphia since netting the 2010 Stanley Cup-clinching goal, recorded a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) in the first meeting this season.

2. The Flyers have scored first in just nine of 25 games this season.

3. The Blackhawks are 1-for-18 on the power play in their last eight games.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 5, Flyers 3

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