Fresh off a wild win against the Rangers on Sunday afternoon, the Flyers look to keep their winning ways going against the hapless Canadiens on Tuesday night. The Flyers also made a couple moves off the ice, including the anticipated move for a goalie and an unanticipated move to call up one of their top prospects, but more on that in a minute.
Alex Lyon stopped 25 of 26 shots in relief of the injured Michal Neuvirth to earn his first career win in the Flyers’ 7-4 win in New York on Sunday. Claude Giroux added a goal —the 200th of his fantastic career— and two assists as the Flyers won their second-straight to maintain their hold on third place in the Metropolitan.
While the Flyers have surged into playoff contention in 2017-18, it’s been the opposite for the Canadiens. It’s been a hard fall for a club that won the Atlantic Division a year ago, and almost nothing has gone right this season. Montreal has lost three-straight and owns just 51 points, tied for second from the bottom in the Eastern Conference ahead of only the pathetic Sabres.
The Habs are 29th in scoring and are on the wrong side of the top ten in goals allowed despite the presence of all-world goaltender Carey Price in net. Montreal has the league’s seventh-best power play, but they’ve been plagued by a team shooting percentage (7.5%) far below the league average (9.1%).
Montreal is reeling and the Flyers should take advantage as the Habs are just 8-19-1 on the road so far this season. If the Flyers can stay disciplined and stay out of the penalty box and avoid the Montreal power play, they should be able to pick up more important points in the playoff race.
Projections back the Flyers in this one, with Hockeyreference heavily favoring the Flyers (62%).
The Lyon doesn’t sleep tonight
With Michal Neuvirth injured, and out “weeks not days” according to GM Ron Hextall, it’s Alex Lyon’s crease for a hot second. Despite the Flyers’ acquisition of Petr Mrazek from Detroit late Monday night, it’s unlikely Mrazek will be ready to suit up for this one so Lyon likely gets a chance to add his second NHL win before giving way for the bulk of games to Mrazek.
Lyon was great in relief in New York and bailed out his teammates on a few occasions while the game was still in the balance in the latter part of the second period and into the third. His movement was good and he showed the ability to get post-to-post and controlled his rebounds enough not to get into too much trouble. The former Yale standout has been great in two relief appearances (30 saves on 31 shots) but allowed seven goals on 45 shots in his two starts.
Jake Voracek vs. Montreal
Voracek has gone cold with just two points in his last five games and there’s not many teams he likes to see more on the schedule than Montreal. The NHL’s assist leader has been a thorn in the Canadiens’ side in his career. He’s got 23 points in 23 games against Montreal, including 18 helpers. Look for Voracek to break out of a bit of a cold spell with a big showing in this one.
Oskar gets the call!
In case you were pages deep in Flyers goalie trade rumors, the team has recalled forward Oskar Lindblom from Lehigh Valley. The Flyers also activated goalie Anthony Stolarz and sent him off to Lehigh Valley.
As for Lindblom it’s his first cup of coffee in the NHL and he’s had a nice season in the AHL with 34 points in 54 games (16G) and represented the Phantoms in the AHL All-Star game in late January.
Lindblom is a prospect many fans have had their eyes on as he’s grown his game both overseas and in his first AHL season this year. He’s a skilled forward that is good along the boards and has finishing touch. The 21-year-old is best suited for a top-9 role given his skating, so it’ll be interesting to see where —if at all— he slots into the lineup.
The move could mean the Flyers are sending out a forward in a potential deal for a goalie or are just looking for a spark somewhere along the lineup and think that Lindblom is ready for the opportunity. Also given the Flyers’ murky injury updates, something could be up with a forward forcing the Flyers to bring up a body like Lindblom here.
The Flyers’ (subject to change) lineup:
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
Voracek - Patrick - Weal
Raffl - Laughton - Lindblom
Lehtera - Filppula - Weise
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Hagg - MacDonald
Manning - Gudas