SPORTS

NHL: 3 things to know for Sunday night

12/21/2014 12:44 EST | Updated 02/20/2015 05:59 EST
The Winnipeg Jets hope back-to-back road games can slow down the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Toronto Maple Leafs look to rebound from two straight losses. In Edmonton, the Oilers continue to spiral downward with no relief in sight.

Here are three things to know to prepare you for Sunday night:

Jets must stop Voracek, Giroux

The Jets (17-10-6) have continued to pick up points recently by going 7-1-3 over their last 11 as they finish off a four-game home stretch against the Flyers.

Offence has been the key to Winnipeg’s recent success. The Jets have outscored their opponents 35-23 during that span.

In their last two games, Winnipeg pulled off impressive victories over the Sabres (5-1) and the Bruins (2-1).

As the Leafs learned, stopping the Flyers offensive attack will be a priority for the Jets, specifically Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. Voracek had four assists to take over the NHL points lead and Giroux had two goals and two assists against the Leafs on Saturday night as the Flyers skated to a 7-4 victory.

Voracek has 42 points and leads the league with 28 assists. Giroux is three points back of his teammate in the scoring race.

Leafs face surging Hawks

The Leafs (19-11-3) hope to get off to a good start and finish strong when they visit the Blackhawks. They got first part right. Toronto stormed out to a 2-0 lead against the Flyers in the game’s first six minutes, but was overwhelmed from that point on.

It was the Leafs' second straight defeat after reeling off six consecutive victories.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 34 shots in the loss while James Riemer made one save on one shot in 10:28 of relief.

The Leafs now begin a seven-game road trip — due to the world junior tournament — against a Chicago club which has been rolling at home.

The Blackhawks (22-9-2) have won seven straight games at the United Center and have recaptured their scoring touch.

Chicago won 10 of its last 11 games before dropping a 3-2 shootout contest to Columbus on Saturday.

No clue

Can it get any uglier? We’ll find out when the Oilers face the Stars at Rexall Place. Replacing Dallas Eakins with new interim coach Todd Nelson on Monday has done nothing to ease tension in Edmonton.

The Oilers (7-20-6) lost a pair of one-goal games since dumping Eakins.

It doesn’t matter where the Oilers play these days — they still lose, especially at home.

The team has lost 10 of 11 games at Rexall Place while averaging a paltry 1.63 goals per game.

Dallas (13-13-5) isn’t off to the start it envisioned but has feasted on the Oilers in recent games. The Stars have beaten Edmonton five consecutive times by a total score of 16-5.

Dallas also enters Sunday night’s contest looking to win its fourth straight game. 

More losses will no doubt bring out more irate Oilers fans. Like this one below.

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