Back so soon? Yes, indeed! After dishing out a pretty decisive win over the Capitals last night, the Flyers are back home tonight and facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes. In case you hadn’t heard, the Flyers picked up their seventh consecutive win, and pulled three points ahead of the Penguins in the standings and within one point of first place in the division. And, with a win tonight (and a Capitals loss to the Rangers), they could move into that first position. *eyes emoji*
The Hurricanes are continuing on their tough stretch here, as they’ve lost their last three in a row and have slipped to sixth in the Metro. They’re still only three points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand, but it’s certainly been an uphill battle for them, of late. And, of course, we’re hoping the Flyers can take advantage of that.
Three players to watch
1. Carter Hart
With Brian Elliott having gotten the start last night in Washington, Hart gets the call tonight against the Hurricanes. He had a decent showing in his last game against the Rangers—he still let in three goals, but he didn’t really look like he was playing poorly. And, what’s more, he’s at a ,929 save percentage over his last five games. So, as the Flyers are on a hot streak, so too is Hart playing quite well. And, with tonight still being a big game against a divisional opponent even if they aren’t directly battling them in the standings right now, they’ll still need him to be on.
2. Travis Konecny
Konecny scored two goals last night... well, technically only one, the second one the officials decided wasn’t conclusive, but we know in our hearts that that puck was over the goal line (and Braden Holtby seemed to know it in his heart too).
But, in any event, Konecny was buzzing last night, and we’re hoping that he can carry some of that jump over into tonight’s game. He was getting some good chances, and all we have to say is “more of that, please.”
3. Joel Farabee
Okay, for real now. We’ve got a real recall for Farabee now, with James van Riemsdyk set to miss some time with a broken hand. He’ll slide back into the Flyers’ lineup for tonight and likely be expected to get right back into the swing of playing big minutes for the team.
Two big questions
1. Can the Flyers weather the storm?
We know by now the style of play that the Hurricanes are going to bring—they’re going to generate a lot of chances and try their best to make things difficult on Hart. We shouldn’t necessarily expect that the Flyers are going to come out of this one with an advantage in the shot share (but if they do, that would be fun!). And this all just means that on top of having to break through with their own chances, they’re going to have to play a bit of a dirtier defensive game—that is, blocking more shots and getting in lanes at least in hopes of keeping those chances the Hurricanes generate from making it on net. The Canes are going to pepper them with chances, and the Flyers will just have to make sure that they don’t get burned.
2. And can they keep their energy up?
Obviously back to backs aren’t awesome, especially when you’re playing a rested team and also had to travel (even if it’s a relatively short distance) after your game the night before, and all of this is something that’s going to be working against the Flyers tonight. So, with all of that considered, we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if the Flyers are at least able to keep a decent level of energy in this one. If they start to lose a bit of steam in the third, we’d understand, but they’ve got to be able to hang to start this one, at the very least.
Puck drops at 7:00 tonight, and you can check out the projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Farabee - Hayes - Konecny
Laughton - Grant - Pitlick
Raffl - Thompson - Aube-Kubel
Provorov - Niskanen
Sanheim - Myers
Hagg - Braun
Can the Flyers take advantage of a depleted roster and bank two more super important Metro Division points? Brian LeBlanc of Canes Country previews what we’re going to see from the Hurricanes when they hit the ice at The Farg tonight.