The Flyers started their last game poorly vs. Washington, and it may have kept them from two points. Although they fought back to tie the game, force overtime and get a point out of it, their win streak was broken at four. They’ll hope to get back to their winning ways against arguably the worst team in the NHL, on paper, in the Ottawa Senators. In full rebuild mode, the Senators are a team hoping to build around young stars like Brady Tkachuk, and Thomas Chabot.
Despite the obvious concerns with the skill level on the Senators roster, they haven’t gotten off to the absolute worst start. They’re 7-10-1 for 15 points, which is tied for fourth worst in the NHL just ahead of the Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, and the offseason champion New Jersey Devils.
Ottawa has been lead by Jean-Gabriel Pageau this season, posting 15 points in 18 games. And although we scoff at plus/minus — justifiably so — he leads the NHL in that category which is astonishing given the team he plays for. The Senators are 21st in the league in goals, and one of their players leads the league in plus/minus, that’s just insane.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from a tough loss vs. the Caps, and get two points to start another back-to-back. They face Ottawa today followed by a rematch with the Islanders on Saturday, where they’ll look for revenge from a 5-3 loss in late October. This is a huge two points to get for the Flyers, given how difficult facing the Islanders will be in the second half of a back-to-back.
Players to watch for
Joel Farabee — Tuesday night was probably Joel Farabee’s worst game as a Flyer so far, so it will be interesting to see how he responds. He’s been so impressive since he was called up, and has looked fully capable of handling the NHL’s pace. That was a rough game for a kid still learning how to play in this league, and he’s in the middle of a ridiculous stretch this team is facing.
Kevin Hayes — Simply put, no excuses, Kevin Hayes has to be better for this team. He’s still been the defensively reliable center we expected him to be, but he hasn’t scored in his last eight games after scoring seven in his first ten. It hasn’t helped that Hayes has had to play on the third line of late with the injury to Scott Laughton, but at some point he has to get it going.
Carter Hart — After a sensational game vs. Washington, Hart will be back in net for the Flyers, meaning Brian Elliott will get Saturday vs. the Isles. Elliott has been fantastic this year, and will be well rested for a tough matchup with New York. Over his last five games, Hart has a save percentage of .939, breaking out of his minor cold streak to start the year.
Flyers projected lineup
JVR — Giroux — Farabee
Lindblom — Couturier — Konecny
Twarynski — Hayes — Voracek
Andreoff — Raffl — Pitlick
Provorov — Niskanen
Gostisbehere — Braun
Sanheim — Myers