The gauntlet continues as the Philadelphia Flyers will host the Minnesota Wild tonight at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:30pm.
The Flyers have now faced the Oilers, Stars and Golden Knights in their last 3 games. This young and hungry team however has not folded, going 1-1-1. In the most recent game in Vegas against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Flyers held their own and unfortunately lost the game in the dying seconds of the 3rd period. Tonight’s game against another playoff contender in the Minnesota Wild presents yet another challenge for this rebuilding Flyers squad. However, if these last 3 games are any indication, the Flyers will be ready.
Let’s take look at the Wild and how they have fared so far this season.
The Minnesota Wild are 3-2-1 on the year, identical to the Flyers. As a playoff contender this year, only 3 wins may be a disappointing start for Wild fans, but it’s still early.
- vs. Panthers (2-0)
- @ Canadiens (5-2)
- vs. Oilers (7-4)
- @ Maple Leafs (7-4)
- vs. Kings (7-3)
- vs. Blue Jackets (5-4 OT)
What’s going right for the Wild?
Minnesota is coming off of a 7-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers where former Flyer Ryan Hartman netted a hat trick and 2 assists in what ended up being a stellar 5-point night. After being eliminated in last season’s playoffs by the Dallas Stars, the Wild are looking to take that next step in contention for the Stanley Cup. It all starts with their 26-year-old star, Kirill Kaprizov. The 2015 5th round pick has cemented himself as one of the league’s top talents and that was evident in the Wild’s win over the Oilers as he recorded 3 assists to bring his point total on the year to 9. The Wild’s top line of Kaprizov, Hartman and Mats Zuccarello put up 10 points in that win alone and will have to be contained by a young Flyers defense tonight.
What’s going wrong for the Wild?
In net tonight for the Wild is Filip Gustavsson. Gustavsson has struggled so far this season, posting a 3.95 GAA and an .897 SV%. In fact, after his shutout against the Panthers, he has let up a total of 16 goals in 3 games. Gustavsson was seen as the Wild goaltender of the future after his incredible postseason performance last year where he recorded a 2.33 GAA and a .921 SV%. Clearly it’s very early in the season, and things will probably end of clicking for the Wild netminder. Let’s just hope that isn’t tonight.
Flyers looking to get back in the win column
The Flyers’ season is off to a rather surprising start. For most teams, a 3-2-1 record may be considered average, but for a team like the Flyers – filled with young players and a front office with eyes on the future – they have played very well.
It seems the Flyers can hang with anyone right now and they will surely be tested again tonight. The Flyers defense has played better than expected with Travis Sanheim leading the way and finally looking like a number 1 defender, meanwhile forwards like Travis Konecny, who has 5 goals (2 shorthanded) and 2 assists on the season, continue to generate scoring chances. The Flyers offense should fare well with Filip Gustavsson on the other side of the ice.
Emil Andrae sent to Phantoms
The Flyers sent Emil Andrae back down to Lehigh Valley where he will play top minutes and hopefully further develop his craft. The Flyers are keen on not rushing the young guys this year and if they feel one needs to be sent down in order for them to improve, they will do so. Andrae is one of the more exciting players that Flyers fans and the front office have high hopes for.
Defensemen Louie Belpedio and Victor Mete were recalled and Belpedio will see action tonight alongside Nick Seeler. Belpedio, a former Minnesota Wild player, has very limited NHL experience but played well in the preseason with the Flyers. We will get to see how he fares tonight against his former team.
Looking at tonight’s matchup, the main key to winning this game lies in the Flyers net.
Carter Hart has been off to an incredible start. With a 2.21 GAA, good enough for 13th in the NHL, and a .923 SV%, Hart has continued to keep his team in games. With the offensive talent in Minnesota, the Flyers will surely need a vintage Cart Hart performance.
PHI Record: 3-2-1, 7 pts, 2nd in Metropolitan
MIN Record: 3-2-1, 7 pts, 3rd in Central
When: 7:30 pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Broadcast Info: ESPN+, Hulu, 93.3 WMMR
Last Game PHI: 10/24/23, 3-2 L at Vegas
Last Game MIN: 10/24/23, 7-4 W vs. Edmonton
PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (3-2-0, .923 SV%, 2.21 GAA, 1 SO)
MIN Goalie: Filip Gustavsson (2-1-1, .897 SV%, 3.95 GAA, 1 SO)
PHI Projected Lineup
#74 Owen Tippett – #14 Sean Couturier – #89 Cam Atkinson
#11 Travis Konecny – #21 Scott Laughton – #71 Tyson Foerster
#86 Joel Farabee – #27 Noah Cates – #10 Bobby Brink
#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #25 Ryan Poehling – #19 Garnet Hathaway
#8 Cam York – #6 Travis Sanheim
#5 Egor Zamula – #26 Sean Walker
#24 Nick Seeler – #37 Louie Belpedio
#79 Carter Hart
#33 Samuel Ersson
Scratches: #32 Felix Sandström, #48 Morgan Frost, #98 Victor Mete
Injuries: #18 Marc Staal, #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
MIN Projected Lineup
#97 Kirill Kaprizov – #38 Ryan Hartman – #36 Mats Zuccarello
#90 Marcus Johansson – #14 Joel Eriksson Ek – #20 Pat Maroon
#17 Marcus Foligno – #23 Marco Rossi – #10 Vinni Lettieri
#16 Jujhar Khaira – #26 Connor Dewar – #21 Brandon Duhaime
#25 Jonas Brodin – #7 Brock Faber
#5 Jacob Middleton – #2 Calen Addison
#6 Dakota Mermis – #4 Jon Merrill
#32 Filip Gustavsson
#29 Marc-André Fleury
Scratched: #48 Daemon Hunt
Injuries: #12 Matt Boldy, #15 Mason Shaw, #33 Alex Goligoski, #46 Jared Spurgeon, #89 Frederick Gaudreau
News and Notes
– Betting Odds: Wild -125, Flyers +104, o/u 5.5 Goals
– The Wild are 4-9 in their last 13 games in Philly, but they are also 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Flyers.
– The Flyers won the last meeting 5-4 in a shootout on March 23rd, 2023 in Philadelphia.
– Minnesota is 1-5 in their last 6 games following a victory.
– The home team and the favorite in games between these two clubs are 4-1 in the last 5 matchups.
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