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Preview: Flyers cross the border to take on Maple Leafs

The Flyers are attempting to stop Auston Matthews in his journey to a first 60-goal season.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers are once again on a long losing streak, but at least on this one, we have the chance to take a semi-extended look at the young players aiming for a roster spot next season. The Flyers are in Canada tonight to take on the playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs.

There are six games left in the Flyers' season. The misery is slowly but surely coming to an end. We all get to sigh relief and focus on the draft lottery when it’s all said and done. However, there are still games, and their opponent tonight is the best team on the remaining schedule.

The Maple Leafs are entering the game with a record of 50-26-6, including a streak of 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. They are 28-8-2 on home ice and 2-0 in the season series to add more fuel to the fire, with both victories coming by a three-goal margin (3-0 and 6-3).

Over the last five games, rookie Michael Bunting leads the team in points with seven, while Mitch Marner leads in goals (3) and the captain, John Tavares, leads in assists (5). In the season, Auston Matthews—the league leader in goals with 58—leads the team in points with 102. It’s the first season with over 100 points in his career, and my gut tells me there are plenty more of those to come. Marner is second on the team with 94.

The projected starting goalie for the Leafs in tonight’s matchup is Jack Campbell. He has a record of 29-9-5 with a 2.71 goals against average. Additionally, he has a .912 save percentage with four shutouts on the year.

The Flyers keep losing, and their draft stock keeps rising. They enter tonight on a five-game losing streak with a record of 2-8-0 in their last 10 games. Their overall season record is 23-42-11, second to last in the Eastern Conference. They are four points behind the New Jersey Devils for second to last in the Metropolitan Division.

Cam Atkinson continues to lead the Flyers in points with 50 points, but since he is out with a lower-body injury and his seven-game pointless streak is intact, his lead could be taken over by Travis Konecny, who sits second with 47 points. Rookie Bobby Brink has two assists in four games and has played some relatively strong hockey in his first handful of games in the NHL. Noah Cates has five points in 10 games including three goals, and he too has played some strong hockey. Other young players like Ronnie Attard and Egor Zamula are also getting some quality time to show their talents at the NHL level as well.

The projected starting goaltender for the Flyers tonight is Martin Jones, who owns a record of 10-16-3 and a goals against average 3.51 goals against average. He also has a .898 save percentage, which he’s trying to amend tonight against a tough matchup.

The Maple Leafs are a tough opponent for any team, but the Flyers and their young guns will have to be up in the challenge. It’s going to be a big test, but it’s one that will build character and provide lots of experience for those that haven't had to go up against a threat like Matthews and company.

Projected Lineup

Noah Cates - Kevin Hayes - Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk - Scott Laughton - Bobby Brink

Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Owen Tippett

Oskar Lindblom - Nate Thompson - Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov - Travis Sanheim

Egor Zamula - Kevin Connauton

Keith Yandle - Ronnie Attard

Martin Jones

(Carter Hart)