Preview: Ride the Lightning

The Lightning are 0-4-1 in their last five, giving up 4+ goals in each; it’s a chance for the Flyers to take advantage of a flailing playoff team.

Does anyone remember when the Flyers beat the Lightning—in Tampa—earlier this year? That wasn’t a mirage, right?

Well, here’s another opportunity to do the same. The Lightning’s playoff position remains safe (barring an insane run by the Ottawa Senators which, hey, who knows, though that 5-0 loss to Chicago last night’s a bad look), and nobody will believe they’ve lost their touch until they see it. Still, letting up 4+ goals in five consecutive games, and getting absolutely taken apart in a 6-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday is not how you want to start the last month before the playoffs. Add in a handful of injuries—most concerningly to Victor Hedman, who left Sunday’s game after crashing into the boards—and the Lightning have looked vulnerable for the first time in a while.

The Flyers, meanwhile, snapped their four game losing streak with a 3-1 win against a sputtering Red Wings team on Sunday, tying them with the St. Louis Blues in the standings (cool!). The Flyers played well against the Red Wings, mostly controlling play and outshooting them 36-26. It was the first game with new acquisition Brendan Lemieux, the first game without Patrick Brown and Zack MacEwen, and a game where James van Riemsdyk was still a Philadelphia Flyer.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. from Tampa.

Players to Watch

Joel Farabee

Holy smokes, was Farabee flying against the Red Wings! He had four shots on goal and was all over the offensive zone. He didn’t manage to score, but that sort of play driving has been missing most of the season for him, and it was great to see him buzzing around again. Once again, his energy here points to a big year next season with a proper, full off season of training.

Noah Cates

With his goal against the Red Wings, Cates now has ten on the season and 27 points overall. He’s had an effective rookie campaign, all while adapting to the center position. His defensive play continues to impress, and Cates always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Scott Laughton

Scooty Loots had his 500th NHL game against the Red Wings, and capped it with an empty net goal to send the Flyers home with the W. Laughton was hungry for it, too: six shots on goal. It would be nice for him to build on that offensive outing and put some more pucks on net against the Lightning.

Tanner Jeannot

If the Lightning were willing to give up Cal Foote and oodles of draft picks for this guy, he must be worth watching! Right?