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Flyers and Canucks fight to evade 4-game losing streaks

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

It’s a tale of two different stories for the clubs competing tonight, but both will play to avoid extending their losing streaks to 4.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ skid began February 11th, losing to Nashville in overtime to a 2-1 score. Since then, they’ve lost twice to the Seattle Kraken. The first match was close, ending in a 4-3 score in favor of the Kraken after the Flyers let their foot off the gas despite a strong start in the first. The second match up was much less than a game, with the Kraken overwhelming the Flyers the most of the night, beating them to a 6-2 score in Seattle.

Things began to go sour for Vancouver on February 11th as well, getting a whooping by the Detroit Red Wings, ending 5-2 in Detroit’s favor. They had a rematch 2 days later, but the results still favored the Red Wings, cruising to a 6-1 victory against the Canucks. Their most recent lost came to the sturdy New York Rangers, losing by a 6-4 margin.

So why mention that they have different stories if their most recent play could be looked at as quite similar? Well, the Canucks this year have been really good at scoring, but terrible at preventing it. They rank 11th on the power play, and 12th in goals for. However, on the penalty kill? Dead last – 32nd in the league, and 31st in goals against across the league.
A different story in Philadelphia is led by John Tortorella, who prioritizes “sound hockey” a.k.a a game that will not over-prioritize scoring goals. Despite this, the Flyers rank 21st on the penalty kill, not the best, but not necessarily the worst. Their overall goals against is more impressive, sitting at 18th in the league, which is impressive considering the current defensive core that’s guarding lord and savior Carter Hart. Things get uglier when it comes to the offense department, ranking 32nd on the power play, and 27th overall in goals for at 2.68 goals per game.
But lately, the Canucks haven’t been scoring goals, producing only 7 goals over 3 games, averaging 2.33 goals per game, which is an entire goal below their overall rating of 3.31 goals per game. It will be interesting (and funny) to watch the worst powerplay unit in hockey (the Flyers!) go up against the worst penalty kill in hockey (Canucks). The Canucks’ power play has gone 2/9, and their penalty kill has gone 4/8 over their last three games. The Flyers’ power play has gone 1/3, and the penalty kill at 3/5.

PHI Record: 22-24-10, 54 pts, 7th in Metropolitan

VAN Record: 21-30-4, 46 pts, 6th in Pacific

Last Game PHI: 2/17/23, 6-2 L at Seattle

Last Game VAN: 2/15/23, 6-4 L vs New York Rangers

When: 10:00pm ET

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (16-16-9, .911 SV%, 2.85 GAA, 1 SO)

VAN Goalie: Artūrs Šilovs (0-1-0, .815 SV%, 5.11 GAA, 0 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

#13 Kevin Hayes – #49 Noah Cates – #74 Owen Tippett

#25 James van Riemsdyk – #48 Morgan Frost – #11 Travis Konecny

#86 Joel Farabee – #21 Scott Laughton – #57 Wade Allison

#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #38 Patrick Brown

#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York

#6 Travis Sanheim – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen

#24 Nick Seeler – #77 Tony DeAngelo

#61 Justin Braun

#79 Carter Hart

#33 Samuel Ersson

VAN Projected Lineup

#96 Andrei Kuzmenko – #40 Elias Pettersson – #72 Anthony Beauvillier

#34 Phil Di Giuseppe – #9 J.T. Miller – #6 Brock Boeser

#92 Vasily Podkolzin – #18 Jack Studnicka – #8 Conor Garland

#81 Dakota Joshua – #88 Nils Åman – #15 Sheldon Dries

#43 Quinn Hughes – #74 Ethan Bear

#86 Christian Wolanin – #2 Luke Schenn

#61 Riley Stillman – #57 Tyler Myers

#31 Artūrs Šilovs

#60 Collin Delia

PHI Injuries: Sean Couturier (back), Ryan Ellis (hip), Tanner Laczynski (upper-body), Zack MacEwen (jaw), Cam Atkinson (neck)

Scratched: Felix Sandström, Kieffer Bellows, Olle Lycksell

VAN Injuries: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (lower-body), Tanner Pearson (hand), Thatcher Demko (groin) Ilya Mikheyev (ACL), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Curtis Lazar (lower-body), Travis Dermott (undisclosed)

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs

News and Notes

– The Flyers need a “full 60 effort”, with their last two losses appearing to be an issue of energy and attention to details on the ice.

– Despite being one of the best in the league at scoring, the Canucks have struggled to score against other lowly clubs like Detroit, giving the Flyers an opportunity to get back into the swing of things in the offensive zone.

–  The Canucks have gone 3-5-1 since Rick Tocchet has replaced Bruce Boudreau, a fan and player favorite around the league.

– After the 2nd period of the 6-2 loss to Seattle on Thursday, John Tortorella used Kevin Hayes-Morgan Frost-Wade Allison as his 4th line, and even used Nicolas Deslauriers on the top line with Noah Cates and Owen Tippett.

Broadcast Info: TV – NBC Sports Philadelphia, Radio – 97.5 The Fanatic

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