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No parties in Philly as Flyers look to stave off Golden Knights, pending 4-game losing streak

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers begin a 7-game homestand tonight with the Vegas Golden Knights first up to bat.

The following teams will be visiting the Wells Fargo Center over the next 2 weeks; Buffalo, Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Detroit, and Montreal. While Minnesota and Carolina rank high in their respective divisions, the other 4 clubs are either a few wins out of the playoffs or a few losses closer to Connor Bedard, the projected #1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft this upcoming summer.

Tonight’s game won’t be any less of a challenge than Saturday’s game. Despite Vegas and Pittsburgh being completely different teams, their special units actually rank extremely close to one another. The Flyers will face another middle of the pack power play (ranked 19th in the league) and penalty kill (18th in the league). Those are not too far off from the last foe’s numbers, as Pittsburgh sits one rank above the Golden Knights on the power play (18th) and penalty kill (17th).

Scoring won’t come easy for the Flyers either, ranking 30th in goals for per game 2.55, which is less than the Golden Knights’ goals against per game, at 2.72, good for 8th in the league. Preventing goals will equally be a challenge for Philadelphia as well, who currently allow 3.27 goals per game, which doesn’t bode well with Vegas’ 3.18 goals scored per game. The Flyers will need some goaltending heroics to win tonight.

“Sarge”, a.k.a future captain Scott Laughton is a player to watch scoring 2 goals in his last 5 games. After scoring in back-to-back games against the Rangers and Detroit, he went pointless against Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Pittsburgh. Perhaps tonight he will find himself back on the scoresheet after having success against the Golden Knights, scoring the lone goal to tie things up in an inevitable defeat earlier in the season on December 9th, 2022 at T-Mobile Arena.

However, the guy to really key in on tonight is Owen Tippett, who’s the current designated driver on this Flyers offense without Travis Konecny, or at least John Tortorella thinks so. Tippett has been heavily leaned on, receiving between 23:00-27:00 of ice time (played 27:40 vs NYR). Since then, his ice time has been skimmed back down to about 20:00-21:00.  Tippett, who’s having a career year, has 1 goal and 1 assist over his last 5 games, and is trying to find more consistency with getting shots on net, which have seesawed over the last few games; 3 SOG against Detroit and Carolina, 4 SOG vs New York, but 9 SOG vs Tampa Bay and 8 SOG vs Pittsburgh. Tortorella will want to see Owen find more ways of consistency getting the puck on net, or better yet, past the goalie.

PHI Record: 24-31-11, 59 pts, 8th in Metropolitan

VGK Record: 41-20-6, 88 pts, 1st in Pacific

Last Game PHI: 3/11/23, 5-1 L @ Pittsburg

Last Game VGK: 3/12/23, 5-3 W vs. St. Louis

When: 7:00PM ET

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia , PA

PHI Goalie: Felix Sandström (1-9-1, .888 SV%, 3.30 GAA, 0 SO)

VGK Goalie: Jonathan Quick (14-13-4, .883 SV%, 3.35 GAA, 2 SO)

PHI Projected Lineup

#86 Joel Farabee – #48 Morgan Frost – #74 Owen Tippett

#21 Scott Laughton – #49 Noah Cates – #52 Tyson Foerster

#25 James van Riemsdyk – #13 Kevin Hayes – #22 Brendan Lemieux

#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #58 Tanner Laczynski – #20 Kieffer Bellows

#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York

#6 Travis Sanheim – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen

#24 Nick Seeler – #77 Tony DeAngelo

#32 Felix Sandström

#33 Samuel Ersson

VGK Projected Lineup

#49 Ivan Barbashev – #9 Jack Eichel – #81 Jonathan Marchessault

#19 Reilly Smith – #71 William Karlsson – #16 Pavel Dorofeyev

#43 Paul Cotter – #20 Chandler Stephenson – #8 Phil Kessel

#20 Brett Howden – #53 Teddy Blueger – #22 Michael Amadio

#23 Alex Martinez – #7 Alex Pietrangelo

#3 Brayden McNabb – #27 Shea Theodore

#14 Nicholas Hague – #2 Zach Whitecloud

#32 Jonathan Quick

#30 Jiří Patera

PHI Injuries: Wade Allison (undisclosed), Sean Couturier (back), Travis Konecny (upper-body), Ryan Ellis (hip), Cam Atkinson (neck), Carter Hart (flu)

Scratches: Justin Braun

VGK Injuries: Nolan Patrick (upper-body), Robin Lehner (hip), Mark Stone (back), Logan Thompson (lower-body) , Laurent Brossoit (lower-body), William Carrier (lower-body), Adin Hill (lower-body), Keegan Kolesar (upper-body)

Scratches: Ben Hutton

News and Notes:

  • The Flyers will want to tie up the season series after dropping their first match the Golden Knights on December 9th, 2022, in a 2-1 OTL final.
  • Philadelphia’s overall record against the Vegas Golden Knights is 5-3-1, outscoring them 26-20.
  • Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier were on the ice together in non-contact jerseys durinf the Flyers’ morning skate today.

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

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