Flyers-Oilers: Game 63 Preview

Flyers welcome McDavid, Oilers looking to keep winning ways rolling

The Flyers could not have asked for a better start to the six-game homestand, taking the first three contests as the calendar turns to March.

Their first meeting of March comes against one of the NHL's most highly-touted rookies. Connor McDavid makes his first trip to Philadelphia, as the Edmonton Oilers play their final game against the Flyers this season.

The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Oilers Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 59 17 37 54 Taylor Hall 65 20 34 54
Jakub Voracek 60 10 38 48 Leon Draisaitl 55 16 28 44
Wayne Simmonds 62 23 20 43 Jordan Eberle 52 20 19 39
Brayden Schenn 60 21 21 42 Benoit Pouliot 55 14 22 36
Shayne Gostisbehere 44 12 23 35 Teddy Purcell 61 11 21 32
 
Player to Watch
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 97 Connor McDavid
Last 5 Games: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, +3 Last 5 Games: 2 G, 2 A, 4 P, +2
 
After three games off the scoresheet since his 15-game points streak ended, Shayne Gostisbehere picked up an assist in the Flyers win over the Flames on Monday. In a match that already features one extraordinary rookie talent, Gostisbehere may find the spotlight in his own right.
 
Connor McDavid scored the only two goals for Edmonton in their 2-1 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, continuing his strong return since he suffered an injury against the Flyers on Nov. 3. Since his return on Feb. 2, he hasn't missed a beat, scoring seven goals and adding 12 assists for 17 points in 15 games.
 
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 33 Cam Talbot
16-7-4, 2.22 GAA, .927 SV% 14-22-4, 2.60 GAA, .915 SV%

It's Michal Neuvirth again for the Flyers. The netminder makes his seventh start in the last eight games. With the exception of a rough night in Carolina, Neuvirth has remained steady in net for the Flyers.

Already familiar with the Flyers from his days as the Rangers backup, the Oilers turn to now starter Cam Talbot. Talbot is 2-2-0 in his career against the Flyers, but has stellar numbers, with a 1.26 GAA and .957 save percentage.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Brandon Manning, R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Jake Voracek, Michael Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 89 Sam Gagner
21 Scott Laughton 52 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
Defense    
47 Andrew MacDonald 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
55 Nick Schultz 32 Mark Streit  
82 Evgeny Medvedev 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
30 Michal Neuvirth    

The Flyers lineup remains the same as it did on Monday with Evgeny Medvedev in for Brandon Manning

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (13th, T-16th at home), Oilers (27th, 18th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (23rd, 22nd at home), Oilers (18th, T-23rd on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Oilers
    • Nov. 4, 2014 – The Flyers defeated the Oilers, 4-1, at Wells Fargo Center. Jake Voracek scored twice in the first period and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored early in the second to open a 3-0 lead. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the lone goal for the Oilers in the second before Luke Schenn answered with a goal at 12:01 of the second. Steve Mason made 35 saves in the win.
    • March 21, 2015 – The Flyers fell to the Oilers in overtime, 5-4, in Edmonton. The Flyers opened a 3-1 first-period lead with two goals by Claude Giroux and one from Ryan White before the Oilers rallied to tie the game in the final 3:45 of the period. The Flyers trailed, 4-3, going to the third before Michael Raffl tied the game 46 second into the period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-winner at 2:46 of overtime for his second of the game.
    • Nov. 3, 2015 – The Flyers suffered a 4-2 loss in Edmonton. After Connor McDavid left with injury, the Flyers carried a 2-1 lead into the third with goals from Ryan White and Scott Laughton. The Oilers struck for three goals in the third getting goals from Matt Hendricks, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Michal Neuvirth made 45 saves in the loss.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Oilers
    • Claude Giroux – 8 games, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points
    • Scott Laughton – 1 game, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point
    • Sam Gagner – 6 games, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points
    • Michal Neuvirth – 3 games, 1-2-0, 2.70 GAA, .938 Sv% 

Where to Watch
TV: CSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.