The Flyers 10 game win streak may have ended on Saturday in Dallas, but they’ll return home to the Wells Fargo Center tonight with another Central Division foe in front of them ... and still a six point gap between them and first place in the Metro.
While the recently-concluded win streak did serve to put a sizable gap between the Flyers and the rest of the conference — be it trailing teams in the Metro or the Atlantic — it hasn’t helped them make up much ground with the teams ahead of them. Washington, who will come to town Wednesday, are tied with the Flyers in points, while Columbus, Pittsburgh and the Rangers are all multiple games up.
So there shouldn’t be much complacency here from the Flyers, even if they aren’t playing for another win in a streak. They’ll welcome the Nashville Predators to town for the second and final meeting between the teams this year. The first meeting came in Tennessee on December 4, a 4-2 win for the Flyers. The power play was a big part of that win for Philadelphia as Wayne Simmonds scored two PP goals in the victory, while Steve Mason made 28 saves.
Since we last saw them, Nashville has gone 2-3-1 despite outshooting opponents in all but one of those contests. Their power play has been pretty ugly, converting just twice on 20 opportunities in their last six games. They’ll be without P.K. Subban tonight (and tomorrow) as he nurses a lower-body injury, so that’s some obvious good news for the Flyers.
We missed Pekka Rinne the last time these teams faced off, but he’s expected to be in goal tonight. Rinne had a phenomenal month of November, in which he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month as he compiled a .949 save percentage and a 9-1-2 record in 12 games. He’s cooled off considerably in December, however, with an .848 save percentage in six games this month.
On the Flyers side, we’ll see one lineup change as Dale Weise -- who has been a solid bottom-six play-driver this season — is benched for Boyd Gordon. The production has not been there for Weise and that’s likely Dave Hakstol’s thinking here.
Mason should get the start for the Flyers.
Tonight’s game can be seen on CSN Philly locally, or live streaming on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app. The local radio feed is on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly and 104.1 FM at the Jersey Shore. The Nashville broadcast is on FS Tennessee. NHL.tv and NHL Center Ice have you covered everywhere else, and TVA Sports has a French broadcast tonight in Canada.
- Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
- Travis Konecny - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
- Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Boyd Gordon
- Chris VandeVelde - P-E Bellemare - Roman Lyubimov
- Andrew MacDonald - Ivan Provorov
- Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere
- Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas
- Steve Mason
- Anthony Stolarz
Scratches: Dale Weise, Nick Schultz
Injuries: Sean Couturier, Michal Neuvirth, Meat Read, Mark Streit
- Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal
- Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith
- Colin Wilson - Carrie Underwood’s Husband - Viktor Arvidsson
- Kevin Fiala - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson
- Roman Jose - Ryan Ellis
- Mattias Ekholm - Petter Granberg
- Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber
- Pekka Rinne
- Juuse Saros