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Flyers trying to ruin Gaudreau's homecoming

The Flyers will be trying to ruin Johnny Gaudreau's homecoming Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Gaudreau, the Calgary Flames' 21-year-old left winger who is among the NHL's top rookies, grew up in South Jersey, rooted for the Flyers, and attended Gloucester Catholic High. He is expected to be a Calder Trophy finalist in the rookie-of-the-year competition, and he is third on the Flames with 44 points _ 15 goals and 29 assists.

The speedy and diminutive Gaudreau, who had two assists in this year's All-Star Game, will be a challenge for the Flyers' defense.

"He's one of those players who is real skilled," Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn. "Everyone knows he's not the biggest guy, but he's one of those guys who finds a way to get it done. He shows size doesn't really matter. He's obviously really, really fast with good hands, and his hands and smarts are better than most."

The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Gaudreau, known as "Johnny Hockey," is elusive and difficult to check.

"Small guys like that are tough to hit," Schenn said. "The biggest thing is to try to control him. Guys like him…and Marty St. Louis are tough to hit. It's more just trying to contain them and have a good stick on them."

Calgary, which has five more points than the Flyers, is battling Los Angeles and San Jose for third place in the Pacific Division _ and an automatic playoff spot. All three teams have 70 points.

Breakaways. The Flyers can move to within four points of idle Boston for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. After Tuesday's games, the Bruins will have two games in hand on the Flyers. The teams meet Saturday afternoon in Boston….The Flyers are 18-8-5 at home, and 9-17-6 on the road. Calgary is 17-12-3 at home and 16-13-1 on the road.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.