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Preview: Struggling Wild look to right the ship in Philadelphia

Maybe they can take Fletcher back with them.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The 16-27-10 Philadelphia Flyers continue their eight-game home stand as they welcome the 31-17-3 Minnesota Wild to Philadelphia for the first time since early 2019. The Flyers are coming off a 3-0 shutout loss to the Edmonton Oilers, in a game where they had chances but just couldn’t bury the good looks they had or make that final pass when needed. Meanwhile, the Wild are in the midst of a four-game losing streak after dropping their last game 5-1 to the Calgary Flames.

Do not expect to see the same boring Wild team that we have seen in years past, as the Wild rank third in goals-for per game averaging 3.67. Special teams have been an issue for the Wild this season, as they ranks 20th in both penalty kill and power play. This was evident again in their loss to the Flames, allowing two goals on the penalty kill and going 0-for-5 on the power play. The Flyers will look to take advantage of this and attempt to turn their dreadful specials teams around, at least for one game.

Flyers Projected Lines

Joel Farabee-Claude Giroux-Cam Atkinson

Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk-Derick Brassard-Gerry Mayhew

Max Willman-Patrick Brown-Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen

Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler

Carter Hart

(Martin Jones)

Wild Projected Lines

Kirill Kaprizov-Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello

Kevin Fiala-Frederick Gaudreau-Matthew Boldy

Brandon Duhaime-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno

Connor Dewar- Nico Sturm- Nick Bjugstad

Alex Goligoski-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Dmitry Kulikov

Jon Merrill-Calen Addison

Kaapo Kahkonen

(Cam Talbot)

What to Watch for

Scott Laughton has been hot of late with four goals and four assist in his last 10 games. Laughton has looked very good of late, and with everything else he contributes to the team, it is always nice when he gets rewarded. Another Flyer who has been hot lately is defenseman Travis Sanheim. Sanheim has recorded four points in his last five games and has been the Flyers best defenseman in that stretch. One of the keys to this has been his intelligent play the past few games, particularly he has been very good about picking the right times to move up with the rush and take his chances.

The Wild quietly have one of the best lines in hockey with their first line of Kirill Kaprisov, Ryan Hartman, and Mats Zuccarello. Kaprisov, last season’s rookie of the year, leads the team with 64 points, good for eighth in the NHL. Zuccarello has also been very solid this season, recording 53 points in just 44 games. Then there is the ex-Flyer, Hartman, who has really come into his own with the Wild, and has proven to be a dependable two-way player who can center that line.

Kappo Kahkonen is expected to get the start Thursday with former Flyers goalie Cam Talbot really struggling of late. Talbot has posted a 4.25 GAA and a .861 SV% in his last four games. Kahkonen has been solid this year, but also struggled his last time out, allowing five goals on 33 shots. As always, when a goalie is struggling it will be important for the Flyers to get shots on net early, have bodies in front for screens and rebounds, and not let him settle in and gain any confidence.