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Flyers prepare for season finale against Bedard-hopeful Blackhawks

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

At long last, the 2022-23 season for the Philadelphia Flyers will come to a close tonight when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

It’s been a trying prior 81 games, and I’m sure tonight will be another contest that features a lot of physical, head-scratching, hard-to-watch-but-can’t-look-away hockey as we’ve seen all year long.

The Flyers enter tonight’s game on a rare high after defeating Columbus 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night. Owen Tippett scored twice, including the game-winner, while Joel Farabee set a new single-season career-high in points with a goal and James van Riemsdyk chipped in with his 300th career NHL tally.

Before that game, the Flyers had dropped 7 straight contests, including a 5-3 matchup on Easter Sunday to Boston that resulted in the Bruins’ NHL record-breaking 63rd win of the season backed by David Pastrňák’s 15th career hat trick, the second-most among active players (Alex Ovechkin – 30).

Chicago, meanwhile, has lost 11 of their last 13 games, which included a 6-game losing streak they snapped just last week. The Blackhawks have positioned themselves well in the race for top 2023 NHL Draft prospect Connor Bedard, as they sit in a tie for 30th place with the Anaheim Ducks and are just one point ahead of the aforementioned Columbus Blue Jackets, who maintain last place with a game in hand in Chicago and Anaheim.

The Flyers are locked into 26th place no matter what happens in tonight’s game or across the league, meaning they have the 7th-best odds at the first pick in the draft. Philadelphia has a 6.5% chance of getting the first pick and 6.9% chance of getting the second pick, while they have a 44.4% chance of picking where they will finish, per Tankathon.

With that being said, it’s game 82. Let’s sit back, relax, and try to enjoy one final Flyers victory this season before summer comes. It’s a long way until October.

PHI Record: 30-38-13, 73 pts, 7th in Metropolitan

CHI Record: 26-49-6, 58 pts, 8th in Central

Last Game PHI: 4/11/23, 4-3 OTW vs. Columbus

Last Game CHI: 4/11/23, 5-2 W at Pittsburgh

When: 8:30pm ET

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

PHI Goalie: Felix Sandström (2-12-3, .879 SV%, 3.72 GAA, 0 SO)

CHI Goalie: Alex Stalock (9-15-1, .910 SV%, 2.93 GAA, 2 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

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

#86 Joel Farabee – #48 Morgan Frost – #11 Travis Konecny

#25 James van Riemsdyk – #21 Scott Laughton – #57 Wade Allison

#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #58 Tanner Laczynski – #22 Brendan Lemieux

#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York

#6 Travis Sanheim – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen

#24 Nick Seeler – #61 Justin Braun

#32 Felix Sandström

#79 Carter Hart

CHI Projected Lineup

#90 Tyler Johnson – #19 Jonathan Toews – #17 Jason Dickinson

#24 Anders Bjork – #89 Andreas Athanasiou – #53 Buddy Robinson

#14 Boris Katchouk – #16 Jujhar Khaira – #15 Joey Anderson

#26 Austin Wagner – #58 MacKenzie Entwhistle – #52 Reese Johnson

#82 Caleb Jones – #4 Seth Jones

#44 Wyatt Kaiser – #5 Connor Murphy

#28 Andreas Englund – #22 Nikita Zaitsev

#32 Alex Stalock

#34 Petr Mrázek

PHI Injuries: Cam Atkinson (neck), Sean Couturier (back), Ryan Ellis (hip)

Scratches: Tony DeAngelo, Kieffer Bellows

CHI Injuries: Colin Blackwell (groin), Philipp Kurashev (shoulder), Taylor Raddysh (groin), Cole Guttman (shoulder)

Scratches: Jarred Tinordi, Ian Mitchell

News and Notes

– The Blackhawks announced earlier Thursday that longtime captain Jonathan Toews will play his last game with the team tonight, as he will not be tendered an new contract offer this offseason.

– Chicago won the first game of the season series back on January 19th at Wells Fargo Center, defeating Philadelphia by a 4-1 score.

– Tony DeAngelo will be a healthy scratch for a 5th consecutive contest, casting further doubt about his future with the Flyers.

– Felix Sandström will have a chance to secure his first career road in win the NHL tonight.

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

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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