Game 18 Preview: Flyers attempt to snap losing streak against Wild


If the Flyers couldn't get up to play on Wednesday in New York, perhaps an earful from the coach and GM and an emotional pre-game ceremony will do the trick.

After a pitiful effort in a 2-0 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday, the Flyers return to the ice on Thursday to face the Minnesota Wild at Wells Fargo Center.

Prior to the game, Eric Lindros and John LeClair will be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. with the game following.

The Flyers 2-0 loss on Wednesday marked the second time this season Jake Voracek didn't record a point, snapping a 10-game streak.
Voracek's linemate Claude Giroux somehow managed to play after being ruled out just a day before with a lower-body injury. Giroux believed he could play better than Wednesday's effort.
In the wake of Wednesday's loss, the third straight for the Flyers, it will be interesting to see if they decide to shuffle any lines. The Flyers top line of Giroux, Voracek and Brayden Schenn has been good, but the remaining three lines continued to struggle.
Additionally, the Flyers defense suffered another loss as Michael Del Zotto left Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury. The Flyers could get one of Andrew MacDonald or Luke Schenn back for Thursday's game. MacDonald is more likely to return.
After making several phenomenal saves in a losing effort on Wednesday, Steve Mason returns between the pipes. Mason is 3-6-1 with a 2.94 GAA and .914 save percentage.
The Wild were hovering around .500 for the season before a three-game winning streak brought their record to 10-7-0 entering Thursday's game.
Minnesota is led by Zach Parise and Jason Pominville, each tied for the team lead with 12 points.
Parise has six goals, which trails only Nino Niederreiter, who has eight goals on the season.
Minnesota doesn't necessarily have a true goal scorer, but several players capable of putting up points. Thomas Vanek, Mikael Granlund and Justin Fontaine are up front as potential scorers. On the blue line, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon make up Minnesota's strongest offensive pair.
In goal, Darcy Kuemper will get the start. Kuemper is 8-5-0 with a 2.03 GAA and .914 save percentage.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (6th, 2nd at home), Wild (28th, T29th on road) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th, T-8th at home), Canadiens (2nd, 7th on road) 
  • The Flyers split the season series against Minnesota in 2013-14. The Flyers suffered a 2-0 loss in Minnesota on Dec. 2. On Dec. 23, the Flyers claimed a 4-1 win at home.
  • Milestone Watch: R.J. Umberger needs one assist for 200 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Michael Raffl, Luke Schenn, Michael Del Zotto, Jason Akeson

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: R.J Umberger-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Vincent Lecavalier
Line 3: Wayne Simmonds-Sean Couturier-Matt Read
Line 4: Zac RinaldoScott Laughton-Chris VandeVelde

D-Pair 1: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 2: Braydon Coburn-Nick Schultz
D-Pair 3: Andrew MacDonald-Carlo Colaiacovo

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is the Managing Editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.