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Flyers vs. Penguins game 6 preview: Looking to pull off the unthinkable

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Can they really do it again?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, didn’t think I’d be doing another one of these this season. Alright, let’s regroup.

The Flyers staved off elimination with a game five win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to force a game six back in Philadelphia. Now, they look to force a game seven in this wild season. The first two home games of this series went just about as poorly as possible, losing 5-1 and then getting shutout 5-0 in game four. They’ll need to figure things out at home if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Sean Couturier ended up being the biggest story of game five. The Selke Trophy finalist (man does that feel good to say) scored the game winning goal, despite having his minutes limited due to his injury suffered in practice before game four. Couturier will most likely see a slight bump in minutes from game five at the very least, so it will be interesting to see how that affects the game.

Michal Neuvrith of course, being the other top storyline. The injury-riddled backup goalie made the necessary saves to boost the Flyers to a season saving win, and will most likely get the nod as they try to stay alive yet again. Neuvirth did look shaky at times, including the two goals he allowed. One a wraparound that somehow, someway, snuck between his pad and the post, and a five hole goal. If the Flyers extend this series to seven, I have to imagine Neuvirth plays a gigantic role in that feat.

Claude Giroux finally got on the goal sheet in the game five victory, backing up his bold statement that the Flyers would indeed be back for game six. The captain had his best regular season of his career, if that goal can open the floodgates for his playoff performance, it becomes a game changer in this series.

Lineup changes were made before game five inserting Robert Hagg and Dale Weise into the lineup. By no means do I think that these were the right decisions (Hagg should be in, not for Sanheim), but considering the Flyers win, I can’t see Dave Hakstol going away from these moves. With that being said, if either of these two can make a difference in game six, it should go a long way for the Flyers in their hopes of heading back to Pittsburgh.

According to our very own Maddie Campbell, the Flyers worked on wraparound plays quite a bit in practice, which one would assume to be in response to the three wraparound goals they’ve given up in this series. For some reason they’ve struggled with this, and they can’t afford to have it happen again. What I’m hoping also comes out of this practice, is more of a behind the net offensive strategy from the Flyers. With how many players they have who are strong on the puck and also possess great vision, it seems like a no-brainer to implement this strategy. I’d especially like to see this with the Nolan Patrick line.

I wish I could give a prediction of some sorts for this game, but at this point your guess is as good as mine. Just when you think the season is over, and there’s no hope, the Flyers survive. I’ve joked (well...half-joked) about wanting the season to just end and for us to get blown out so the coach gets fired, but honestly? It’d be nice to see them give the back to back champs a run for their money in round 1 and force a game seven. Because once you reach game seven, ANYTHING goes. So let’s get wild, and force game seven.

Flyers Projected Lines

Forwards

Giroux - Filppula (Couturier?) - Voracek

Raffl - Patrick - Konecny

Laughton - Couturier - Simmonds

Read - Lehtera - Weise

Defense

Provorov - MacDonald

Hagg - Gostisbehere

Manning - Gudas

Goalie

Neuvirth