Flyers vs. Canadiens preview: Oh, right, there's a game today

omg why did you make our players run into the glass le boooooooooooo le booooooooooooo - USA TODAY Sports

So, like...are the Flyers still in the race? For now, sure, but if they want to be by the end of the night they're going to have to win three straight games for the first time this season.

Alright then. So after what was a pretty damn boring trade deadline till around 2:30 or so, but one of ultimately little long-term consequence for the Flyers (Adam Hall and Steve Mason, you guys!), we turn our attention back to the happenings on the ice, where somehow the Flyers do still have a small if existent chance at the playoffs. But if they want to further that chance, they need pretty much every win they can get, and at home on the first game of a back-to-back, tonight would be a nice place to start.

Habs_red_mediumFlyers_orange_medium
Montreal Canadiens (23-7-5, 51 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (15-17-3, 33 pts)
7:30 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
TV: CSN Philly, RDS, TSN | Radio: 93.3 WMMR
Get the Montreal perspective at Eyes On The Prize

Though of course, the Flyers haven't won three games in a row all season. And then there's the fact that the Canadiens went from being kinda crappy last year to kinda really good this year. They're second in the Eastern Conference behind only Pittsburgh, and by almost every significant measure -- wins, goals, possession metrics -- they've been fantastic. So, y'know, winning is easier said than done, and all that.

Despite the lack of remotely notable names on it, the Flyers' defense has actually held up OK in recent games, allowing five total goals to two pretty damn solid offensive teams in wins over the Bruins and Capitals. They might be getting another boost this evening: via Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post, Nicklas Grossmann was wearing a regular-contact jersey today, though he was also seen skating after practice (a sign of a possible scratch) as well so who knows. But he'd help.

In terms of forwards, Tye McGinn is likely going to be back in the lineup following Max Talbot's injury last Sunday. He'll probably slide right into Talbot's spot on the third line with Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo. That line looked good the other night, so it'd be cool if they did it again. Rest of the lineup should be same as usual.

As for Montreal? Again, they're a fine team. They've won three in a row. Having P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov be your two best defensemen is alright, and they've got a number of great forwards in the top half of their lineup in guys like Max Paccioretty, Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec. Oh, and Carey Price is a Vezina candidate this year, so that's fun. You can kinda see how they ended up being good, I guess.

The Flyers apparently didn't run lines today in practice, but here's what they were yesterday (sans Grossmann), also via Isaac:

Read - Giroux - Voracek
Hartnell - Schenn - Simmonds
McGinn - Couturier - Rinaldo
Gagne - Fedotenko - Knuble

Timonen - Gervais
Schenn - Lauridsen
Gustafsson - Huskins

Adam Hall isn't here yet, so I'm not penciling him in at the moment. And no word as of this writing on whether newcomer Jay Rosehill will be in the lineup, though it doesn't sound like it.

Here were Canadiens' lines last game, via EOTP:

Ryder - Plekanec - Gionta
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Galchenyuk - Eller - Prust
Moen - Halpern - Armstrong

Gorges - Subban
Markov - Emelin
Boullion - Beaulieu

Again, not sure if they'll be any different today. Their biggest deadline acquisition was Davis Drewiskie, so we'll see if he slots into that third pair there.

Ilya Bryzgalov and Carey Price in net. I know you're shocked.

Questions to Answer:

  1. P.K. Subban's gonna do something that makes us wish the Flyers had tried to trade for/offersheet him, isn't he?
  2. If Jay Rosehill is in the lineup, does he do anything remotely of note? If he's not, and Tye McGinn is, how does he look replacing Max Talbot in the lineup?
  3. Defense. After a surprisingly good weekend, is this the day it falls apart?
  4. After a couple of days of rest, and following some generally solid play for him of late, can Ilya Bryzgalov outduel Carey Price?
  5. The Flyers got something from almost every line last Sunday. Who sticks out this time?
  6. Sean Couturier is (a) still a Flyer and (b) is on a two-game point streak following his recent scoring drought. Make it three?

Puck drop at 7:30. Habs EOTP preview here, where at least one of their commenters is afraid of being stabbed by a Flyers fan tonight because apparently that's a thing. Gamethread will be up at 6:45. Go Flyers.

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