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Flyers visit Canadiens in search of two more crucial points

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

After a back-and-forth contest on Tuesday night ending in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Rangers in the seven-game “gauntlet” finale, the Philadelphia Flyers are in Montréal this evening to take on Nick Suzuki and the Canadiens.

The Flyers and Rangers combined for a wild seven goals in the third period, but Adam Fox ended it moments into the overtime period.

The Flyers might’ve not gotten the win, but more importantly, they got a point. Points are everything for the Flyers right now, even if it’s only one. Entering Thursday, Philadelphia remains third in the Metropolitan Division with 82 points. The streaking Capitals sit just one point back of the Flyers as the two will meet in game 82 on April 16.

“I don’t need to address it with the team,” head coach John Tortorella said. “I trust our hockey club.”

Owen Tippett has been on fire as of late and the red-headed speedster will turn on the jets against the Habs tonight.

Tippett potted his 26th goal of the season on Tuesday for his 10th point in eight games. His 258 shots lead the team as well as being tied for the team-lead with four game-winning goals.

Tippett’s linemate and Flyers leading scorer Travis Konecny is having a historic season of his own.

Konecny set a career-high 63 points with his goal and assist against the Rangers on Tuesday. In his last 17 games, TK’s registered 21 points off of nine goals and 12 assists.

Despite another year with no postseason appearance, the Canadiens roster is bolstered with a plethora of firepower from their younger players. Montréal escaped Denver on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche with goals by Joel Armia and Nick Suzuki.

Suzuki sits just one goal shy of reaching the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. On the year, the 24-year-old has 67 points off of 29 goals and 38 assists.

Defenseman Mike Matheson is having the best season of his career. He has hit a career-high 48 points off of 10 goals and 38 assists, with the 38 helpers also being a career-high.

The Flyers’ penalty kill, or power kill, has been a topic of success all year long. Despite having the most shorthanded goals in the league with 15, the Flyers’ PK has begun to fall.

Philadelphia killed two of three Rangers power plays on Tuesday but allowed a goal on the man advantage to Mika Zibanejad.

On the year, the Flyers’ rank third in the NHL on the PK at 84.1%. Over the last 10 games, their penalty kill is at 65.4% with opponents going 9-for-26 on the power play.

Philly’s power play is a complete opposite of the PK, however.

The power play remains last in the NHL with a 13.4%. Not far behind them are the Pittsburgh Penguins who sit 31st at 14.4%.

Montréal’s special teams both sit near the bottom of the NHL, respectively. The Habs’ power play ranks 25th in the league at 17.5%. They’ve allowed a league-worst 11 shorthanded goals, which is a stat the Flyers should keep an eye on this evening. On the other side, Montréal’s penalty kill ranks tied for 23rd at 76.5%, scoring five shorthanded goals.

PHI Record: 36-27-10, 82 pts, 3rd in Metropolitan

MTL Record: 27-32-12, 66 pts, 8th in Atlantic

When: 7:00pm ET

Where: Bell Centre, Montréal, QC

Broadcast Info: NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic

Last Game PHI: 3/26/24, 6-5 OTL at NY Rangers

Last Game MTL: 3/26/24, 2-1 W at Colorado

PHI Goalie: Samuel Ersson (21-14-7, .895 SV%, 2.75 GAA, 3 SO)

MTL Goalie: Cayden Primeau (7-7-2, .919 SV%, 2.85 GAA, 2 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

#74 Owen Tippett – #48 Morgan Frost – #11 Travis Konecny

#86 Joel Farabee – #21 Scott Laughton – #10 Bobby Brink

#71 Tyson Foerster – #25 Ryan Poehling – #15 Denis Gurianov

#62 Olle Lycksell – #14 Sean Couturier – #89 Cam Atkinson

#8 Cam York – #6 Travis Sanheim

#50 Adam Ginning – #23 Ronnie Attard

#5 Egor Zamula – #77 Erik Johnson

#33 Samuel Ersson

#32 Felix Sandström

Scratches: #9 Jamie Drysdale, #18 Marc Staal, #19 Garnet Hathaway, #24 Nick Seeler, #27 Noah Cates, #44 Nicolas Deslauriers

Injuries: #55 Rasmus Ristolainen

MTL Projected Lineup

#22 Cole Caufield – #14 Nick Suzuki – #20 Juraj Slafkovský

#11 Brendan Gallagher – #15 Alex Newhook – #40 Joel Armia

#17 Josh Anderson – #71 Jake Evans – #56 Jesse Ylönen

#55 Michael Pezzetta – #36 Colin White – #49 Rafaël Harvey-Pinard

#8 Mike Matheson – #21 Kaiden Guhle

#72 Arber Xhekaj – #58 David Savard

#47 Jayden Struble – #54 Jordan Harris

#30 Cayden Primeau

#35 Sam Montembeault

Scratches: #26 Johnathan Kovacevic, #70 Tanner Pearson

Injuries: #89 Joshua Roy

News and Notes

– All-time, the Flyers are 82-94-30 against the Canadiens with 11 overtime losses.

– Just a few days after learning that Flyers goaltending prospect Alexei Kolosov was heading to North America, fellow Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov was terminated by his KHL club CSKA Moscow with thoughts that he could be on his way to Philadelphia.

– Defensemen Jamie Drysdale, Nick Seeler, and Rasmus Ristolainen continue to make significant progress as the three d-men could return from injuries before the end of the regular season.

– Tonight will be a reunion of sorts between the two head coaches as John Tortorella coached Montreal head coach Martin St. Louis during the latter’s playing days with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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