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Flyers head to Nashville, looking to get back on track

The road trip rolls on.

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Philadelphia Flyers v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

After a nice little two-day break, the Flyers are back at it again tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Flyers are looking to show some of this brand new resilience as a team that they’ve been talking about, and bounce back well from their first loss of the season to the Panthers on Wednesday.

They’re not alone, though, in their desire to get things on track with this game. The Predators picked up wins in their first two games of the season, but then dropped the next four, including their very last game, which saw them blow a 3-1 lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and allow four goals in the third period alone. The Flyers aren't really in a position to start thinking about any team looking like an easy one to pull out a win over, but they’ve got a team struggling a bit at the moment, and we’ll see what they can do with that.

Players to watch

1. Lucas Sedlak

The newest addition to the Flyers’ lineup—a waiver claim from the Avalanche on Wednesday—has joined the team, gotten a bit of practice time in rotating in on the fourth line (with Tanner Laczynski, who’s seen his minutes steadily cut since the first two games), and looks primed to make his debut with the team in short order. The Flyers have really been struggling to find the right mix of players in their bottom-six, and they’re hoping that Sedlak is going to be the one to step in and make a difference. He’ll have his work cut out for him as far as getting adjusted though—after all, he hasn’t played a regular season NHL game in three years—but we’ll see what he can do.

2. Travis Konecny

After a somewhat disappointing 2021-22 season, Konecny’s kicked this one off in a big way. He’s leading the team in scoring with a cool four goals and six points in his first four games, and where consistency lacked last season, he’s sure found it again here, and he’s showing well in a depleted lineup that desperately needs the still healthy skill players to deliver. It’s been fun seeing him get back to old form, and while we don’t expect him to keep scoring at exactly this clip all season, he’s doing some really remarkable work, and establishing a strong overall process, to boot. And can he keep his scoring tear rolling? We’re thrilled to see.

3. Zack MacEwen

In what feels like a surprising turn of events, if we’re being completely honest, is the return and resurgence of Zack MacEwen. He had a somewhat middling training camp, was waived and assigned to the Phantoms to start the season, and then called back up to play on the fourth line, and ultimately promoted to the second line to play alongside James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Frost. And credit to him—he didn’t show a whole lot in his first game back, but he’s gotten things trending in the right direction over the last bit here, bringing a bit more jump and offensive flash. It remains to be seen if he’ll be a longer term fit for that line, when they get a few more healthy bodies back, but it will be interesting to see what he’s able to do with this chance, in the meantime.

Two big questions

1. Are they going to be able to rebound?

Resilience has become something of a buzz word for the Flyers to start this season, and for good reason—they came back from deficits in each of their three wins, and have seemingly broken out of that old tendency to get down on themselves after falling behind, and letting the game spiral out of their control, and that’s a real step in the right direction. But they’ve got a new challenge ahead of them tonight: to see if they can rebound from a tough loss (and do it while working with what’s been, on the whole, a somewhat lackluster or flawed process). Regression was going to come for them sooner or later, and tonight is our first chance to see if they’ll be able to right the ship and get back to winning, or if Wednesday’s performance against the Panthers was them coming down to earth, and more indicative of what we should expect from them this season.

2. Can the power play keep rolling?

It’s gotten a bit lost in the shuffle of everything else going on with the team, but the Flyers have sneakily gotten back to having a somewhat productive power play—something it feels like we haven’t been able to say in a long time. They’ve gotten a goal on the power play in each of their first four games, including a very nice one at the very tail end of Wednesday’s loss (really, with two seconds left on the clock), which was their nicest yet. There’s still some work to do, but they’re trending in the right direction, and we’re eager to see if they’re able to keep the ball rolling into tonight’s game.

We’ve got a slightly later one on deck tonight, with puck drop set for 8:00, and you can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.

Forwards

Farabee-Hayes-Konecny

van Riemsdyk-Frost-MacEwen

Laughton-N. Cates-Allison

Deslauriers-Sedlak- J.Cates

Defense

Provorov-DeAngelo

Sanheim-Braun

Seeler-Zamula

Goalies

Hart

(Sandstrom)

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