No team has more goals than the Philadelphia Flyers, and they may have just found a new source of offense.
The Minnesota Wild would like to discover more than one, particularly when playing at home.
The Western Conference's lowest-scoring club takes on the league's highest-scoring team when Minnesota hosts Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
The Flyers' 78 goals are tops in the league and are a big reason they are tied atop the East standings with Washington. They've scored at least five goals in eight games, something Minnesota has done only once.
The Wild have 46 goals -- only New Jersey and the New York Islanders have fewer -- and have failed to score more than two in seven consecutive home games.
While Minnesota (10-7-2) does not have a player with more than seven goals, Philadelphia (14-6-2) has four. The leader is Claude Giroux with 12 -- five in the last six games -- as the right winger continues to show why the Flyers drafted him in the first round in 2006.
James van Riemsdyk was Philadelphia's first-round pick the following year, but he failed to score through 17 games this season after netting 15 goals as a rookie in 2009-10. That drought ended Monday and his goal was the game-winner with 12:18 to play in a 3-2 victory over Montreal.
A healthy scratch in four games earlier this month, van Riemsdyk has four points in the past three games.
"The last three games or so, when I got back in the lineup, I felt a lot better," he said. "I was playing without that pressure and not squeezing the stick as much. It makes it easier. It drives you crazy. If you ask my parents and brothers, they'd probably say I wasn't fun to be around recently. It feels good to get that one there."
While the 21-year-old van Riemsdyk looks to build off his first goal, it's unclear if 22-year-old rookie Sergei Bobrovsky will return to the net. Since Bobrovsky was lifted after allowing four first-period goals in an 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, veteran Brian Boucher has started the last two games and won both.
Boucher, though, has lost five of his last six starts against Minnesota while posting a 3.70 goals-against average.
Then again, opposing goalies have had little trouble at the Xcel Energy Center lately. The Wild have scored 12 goals in their last seven games there. The Flyers have totaled 13 in their last three road games.
However, Minnesota has mostly played very well on defense, allowing 47 goals -- second-fewest in the West. One of its rare poor efforts at that end came in the team's last game, a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Though his club had won six of eight before that defeat, coach Todd Richards is concerned about Minnesota continuing to have at least one very bad period. The club gave up three goals in the second against the Rangers, getting outshot 17-4.
Even though the Wild won their previous three games, they were outshot 18-3 in the second period at Detroit, 16-2 in the third against Anaheim and 16-6 in the first at Tampa Bay.
"It's something that we talk about, and we have to correct it," Richards said. "Answers for it? Right now, I don't know."
Martin Havlat has two goals and six assists during a five-game point streak for Minnesota, which won both meetings with Philadelphia last season after losing the previous four.
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