We’re right back at it, folks! The Flyers gutted out a shootout win over the Sabres on Tuesday, and tonight they’re back in action against the Capitals, hoping to find some momentum to keep rolling. We saw the Capitals just this past Sunday when, you may remember, they dealt the Flyers a pretty tough 3-1 loss. They’re still plugging along well, as they picked up an overtime win over the Devils on Tuesday, and are still holding on to that second place spot in the division. Which is just to say that they’re going to, once again, prove a formidable opponent for the Flyers. It can’t just be beating up on the Sabres forever.
Players to watch
Patrick has had a bit of an up and down season so far, that we know, but he picked up the shootout winner in Tuesday’s game, and that was a real high point. There may well be something to the idea that an injection of confidence into his game could serve him well, and this might just do the trick. We’ve been looking to see more jump from him on a more consistent basis, and it will be interesting to see how he builds on Tuesday’s performance.
After coming in in relief of Carter Hart for the second and third period of Tuesday’s game, Elliott’s slated to get the start for tonight’s game. He had a solid enough showing against the Sabres, and the Flyers, in need of wins, are leaning on Elliott while Hart works through whatever issue he’s battling right now. But they’re also playing something of a dangerous game, because of his age, in risking overworking Elliott. He seems okay so far, but the workload is certainly something to keep an eye on.
Two big questions
Can the power play keep rolling?
The Flyers picked up a power play goal on Tuesday, what a time to be alive. The power play has been a weak spot for just about the whole of the season, but they have been finding some better results recently, even if it still has been a bit sporadic. There’s a level of streakiness that we can accept in a power play, it can come with the territory, but the Flyers are still beyond that. But with a goal in their back pocket from their last game, they’re in a good spot to keep building on that good work, they just have to, well, do that.
Can the 5-on-5 process keep improving?
We touched on this in our takeaways from Tuesday’s game, but it sure does seem like the Flyers can only put up solid underlying shot numbers against the Sabres, and against every other team, it’s a bit of a crapshoot. And it goes without saying that this is something that they would like to see improve, so every game after one positive showing by the numbers turns into a question of response. Will the process finally get back to trending upward? And can the Flyers work on limiting those ugly, ugly breakdowns? Here’s hoping.
Puck drops at 7:00 tonight, and you can check out the projected lineup below:
van Riemsdyk - Couturier - Farabee
Laughton - Hayes - Konecny
Lindblom - Giroux - Voracek
Andreoff - Patrick - Aube-Kubel
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Sanheim - Braun
Hagg - Gustafsson