Connect with us


Flyers take on Matthews, Nylander and the Maple Leafs in search of fifth straight win

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers are putting their 4-game winning streak on the line tonight as they take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

It’s been a fantastic response by the Flyers, after losing 5 straight and stumbling into the All-Star break. During this winning stretch, they’ve taken down the Panthers, Jets, Kraken and Coyotes. Tonight will be another test as they draw Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A Look at the Leafs

Toronto sits in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, 1 point behind the 3rd place Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs have won 3 of their last 5 games and 6 of their last 10. The Maple Leafs own a stellar power play and it’s not a mystery as to why, with the likes of Auston Matthews and William Nylander shooting the puck.

The Leafs’ PP% is ranked 4th at 26.2%, a smidge behind the Oilers who deploy a power play hitting at 26.4%. Tampa Bay leads the league with an insane 30.7%. The Flyers will have to limit Toronto’s power play chances tonight if they want to stay in this game.

Looking at the Leafs’ offense as a whole up to this point, they are 6th in the league in goals for. The Leafs average 3.45 goals per game while the Flyers put up an average of 2.91. Samuel Ersson will get the start tonight and will undoubtedly be leaned on to stifle the Maple Leafs’ scorers.

Speaking of scorers, Matthews leads the league with 42 goals. The 2016 number 1 overall pick has recorded 63 points this season, which is good for 12th in the league. Matthews has 8 points in his last 5 games and recorded a point in 11 straight until the Leafs’ last game against St. Louis, a 4-1 victory.

It’s obvious the Flyers need to do their best to contain Matthews tonight but they will need to have their head on a swivel as the Leafs’ point leader this season, William Nylander, can’t be ignored. Nylander has 26 goals on the season but boasts 40 assists, good enough for 66 points. It’ll be a big test for the Flyers’ defense in Toronto tonight.

Ersson Gets the Start

Samuel Ersson is in net tonight and will surely be tested against such a high scoring team. We’ve seen Ersson stand on his head this year, making phenomenal saves and keeping the Flyers in the game. They will need another great performance tonight.

If the Flyers have one thing going for them against the Maple Leafs tonight, it‘s goaltending. Ersson owns a 2.49 GAA and a .901 SV%. The Flyers actually are 11th in goals allowed per game, allowing an average of 2.83. Even though this stat includes games started by Carter Hart, Ersson has taken the bulk of the workload since late January. The Flyers are 10 spots above the Leafs, who let up an average of 3.18 goals per game.

Flyer to Watch

Owen Tippett scored an empty-netter in the 5-3 win over the Coyotes. That was his first goal since January 18th before he was injured. I think Tippett would like to score one with a goalie in net this time and hopefully will start a streak tonight against the Leafs.

The Flyers clearly lack high end scoring talent outside of Travis Konecny, but have survived all season by getting production from the whole roster. If the Flyers want to take down the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight, they will need a collective offensive effort. Look for Tippett to get hot again.

How Can the Flyers Win?

The Flyers need to stay out of the penalty box tonight as much as possible. The Flyers are the 7th-most penalized team in the league and that does not match up well with the Leafs’ extremely efficient power play. We all know the Flyers’ penalty kill may as well be a “Power Kill”, operating at 86.3% and generating many shorthanded goals, but its a dangerous game to play when you start matching up against top 5 power-play units. The Flyers will have to play disciplined hockey tonight.

Besides staying out of the box, the Flyers are going to need to sustain pressure in the offensive zone. Ilya Samsonov will be getting the start for the Leafs. He has recored a 3.27 GAA and an .880 SV% thus far. Samsonov may not be the best but the Flyers can’t allow him to get comfortable and into a rhythm. The Flyers must apply pressure and sustain it, getting shots off and keeping Samsonov on his toes.

PHI Record: 29-19-6, 64 pts, 3rd in Metropolitan

TOR Record: 27-16-8, 62 pts, 4th in Atlantic

When: 7:00pm ET

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

Broadcast Info: NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic

Last Game PHI: 2/12/24, 5-3 W vs. Arizona

Last Game TOR: 2/13/24, 4-1 W vs. St. Louis

PHI Goalie: Samuel Ersson (15-9-3, .901 SV%, 2.49 GAA, 3 SO)

TOR Goalie: Ilya Samsonov (10-4-6, .880 SV%, 3.27 GAA, 2 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

#74 Owen Tippett – #14 Sean Couturier – #11 Travis Konecny

#86 Joel Farabee – #48 Morgan Frost – #89 Cam Atkinson

#19 Garnet Hathaway – #25 Ryan Poehling – #27 Noah Cates

#62 Olle Lycksell – #21 Scott Laughton

#8 Cam York – #6 Travis Sanheim

#18 Marc Staal– #9 Jamie Drysdale

#24 Nick Seeler – #26 Sean Walker

#5 Egor Zamula

#33 Samuel Ersson

#40 Cal Petersen

Scratches: #44 Nicolas Deslauriers

Injuries: #55 Rasmus Ristolainen, #71 Tyson Foerster

TOR Projected Lineup

#23 Matthew Knies – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitchell Marner

#59 Tyler Bertuzzi – #91 John Tavares – #88 William Nylander

#74 Bobby McMann – #11 Max Domi – #89 Nick Robertson

#29 Pontus Holmberg – #64 David Kämpf – #18 Noah Gregor

#78 T.J. Brodie – #37 Timothy Liljegren

#2 Simon Benoit – #22 Jake McCabe

#85 William Lagesson – #55 Mark Giordano

#35 Ilya Samsonov

#41 Dennis Hildeby

Scratches: #46 Alex Steeves, #75 Ryan Reaves

Injuries: 19 Calle Järnkrok, #25 Conor Timmins, #31 Martin Jones, #60 Joseph Woll

Suspended: #44 Morgan Rielly

News and Notes

– The Flyers have lost last 6 games against the Maple Leafs

– Betting Odds: Flyers +130 ML, Leafs -156 ML, O/U 6.5 Goals

– The Maple Leafs are 21-18 as the favorite this season, but the Flyers have won 50% of their games as the underdog.

Union Forge Vodka proudly serves as the Official Vodka of Flyers Nation. This partnership celebrates the unyielding spirit of Flyers fans and offers a quality spirit that perfectly compliments the team’s essence. Whether celebrating victories or showing resilience, Union Forge Vodka embodies the winning spirit of both the Flyers and their dedicated fans. Stay connected with exciting giveaways by following @unionforge and @flyersnation across all social media platforms.

More in Preview