In one of the strangest seasons in recent memory, the Flyers with a win today and losses by Pittsburgh and Washington, can tie for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Need we remind you again, this team also lost ten consecutive games at one point this season. Now, against an Ottawa team that just traded Derek Brassard to the Penguins and will most likely ship out Erik Karlsson in the final few days before the trade deadline, the Flyers can’t afford to let off the gas pedal.
The Flyers are 8-0-2 in their last ten and have still not lost in regulation since the Eagles won the Super Bowl, oh by the way you heard the Eagles won the Super Bowl, right?
This season however, the Flyers will look to break their slump vs. Ottawa, having lost the first two games against them this season. Both of those games were one goal losses, one in a shootout, one in regulation. Now would be the most opportune time to break the losing streak and come up with two huge points in the playoff chase.
Petr Mrazek will most likely make his second consecutive start as a Flyer, coming off a solid performance against Columbus on Thursday night. In six career games vs. Ottawa, Mrazek has been dominant. He’s posted a 1.92 GAA with a .939 save percentage, and if the Flyers get more of that today, they’re well on their way to a win. He and the rest of the team will face either Mike Condon or Craig Anderson, both with similar numbers on the season, hovering around the .903 save percentage mark.
1. Nolan Patrick’s point streak/goal streak
As the Flyers look for win number five in a row, Nolan Patrick looks for game number five in a row with a point, and possibly fourth straight with a goal. The second overall pick has been lighting it up over the past couple of games, and is proving all the naysayers wrong. His jump to the first powerplay unit, and second line promotion have done wonders for the 19 year old. Keep in mind, one of his eight goals on the season did come against Ottawa earlier this year.
2. Oskar Lindblom on the second line?
We saw this later in Thursday night’s game, but we could see it a whole lot more today. Oskar Lindblom was moved up to the second line with Patrick and Voracek and the line posted an 80 CF% in their five minutes of 5-on-5 ice time. Lindblom looks as though he’s been NHL ready all season, (probably because he has been but ya know it’s whatever) so why not put him on a deadly looking second line?
3. Can the power play improve?
Yes, they did score last game late on the power play, but overall they struggled going one for five. The impact of Simmonds gone for 2-3 weeks definitely hurts, but the Patrick power play goal late does give some hope for the next few weeks. Should they get an early shot on the man advantage early in this one, it would be nice to see them bury one quick to boost confidence.
Flyers Projected Lines
Giroux - Couturier - Raffl
Lindblom - Patrick - Voracek
Leier - Laughton - Weal
Lehtera - Filppula - Weise
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Hagg - MacDonald
Manning - Gudas
Stats courtesy of hockey-reference and Natural Stat Trick