Flyers-Blues: Game 54 Preview

12-21-15_FlyersvsBlues_3RD_credKateFrese-9

(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)

By Bill Minchin, Sports Talk Philly writer

The Philadelphia Flyers (26-20-7) look to rebound from a tough 1-0 overtime loss on Saturday as the host the St. Louis Blues (30-14-7) tonight. This is the second and final meeting between the two teams. Opening face off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

St. Louis is coming off a costly 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Robby Fabbri was lost for the season with an ACL injury in the game. Fabbri led the Blues victory with a hat trick in their meeting with Philadelphia earlier this season.

 
Flyers Leaders GP G A P Blues Leaders GP G A P
Jake Voracek 53 14 31 45 Vladimir Tarasenko 52 23 27 50
Claude Giroux 53 12 29 41 Kevin Shattenkirk 52 11 24 35
Wayne Simmonds 53 21 17 38 Alexander Steen 46 10 24 34
Brayden Schenn 50 16 19 34 Paul Stasny 51 14 18 32
Travis Konecny 50 7 15 22 Jaden Schwartz 48 13 19 32
 
 
Player to Watch
11 Travis Konecny 17 Jaden Schwartz
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, -1 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, -2
 
 

Travis Konecny is back in the lineup tonight after spending the last two games in the press box as a healthy scratch. Admittedly, Konecny did not have a good game in Carolina last week. Neither did the rest of the team. Mistakes will happen with veteran players and even more so with rookies. There were plenty of other players who could have just as easily been scratched after that game but Konecny somehow became the odd man out. It will be interesting to see how the youngster responds.

 
Jaden Schwartz is coming off a horrendous effort against the Penguins on Saturday. The left winger was on the ice for all of Pittsburgh's goals and finished the game  -4. While all of the talk is about Vladimir Tarasenko, and deservedly so, Schwartz is more than capable of putting points on the board. After Saturday's game, watch for him to have rebound effort tonight.
 
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth

34 Jake Allen

8-4-1, 2.84 GAA, .894 SV% 18-14-5, 2.82 GAA, .897 SV%

Michal Neuvirth gets the start again for Philadelphia, and he earned it. Neuvirth was outstanding on Saturday against the Kings. If not for his efforts the game does not end up getting to overtime. Numerous times Neuvirth bailed out his teammates after turnovers or breakdowns. 

Jake Allen will look to bounce back after allowing three goals on thirty shots in Saturday's loss. Being the number one goalie has proved to be a little too much for Allen at times this season. At times he has been outplayed by backup Carter Hutton.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Matt Read, Shayne Gostisbehere, Micheal Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
12 Michael Raffl 28 Claude Giroux 93 Jakub Voracek
11 Travis Konecny 10 Brayden Schenn 17 Wayne Simmonds
25 Nick Cousins 14 Sean Couturier 22 Dale Weise
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 13 Roman Lyubimov
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 47 Andrew MacDonald  
32 Mark Streit 3 Radko Gudas  
23 Brandon Manning 55 Nick Schultz  
Goalie    
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (9th, 8th at home), Blues (6th, 4th on the road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (18th, 10th at home), Blues (9th, 19th on the road) 
  • Philadelphia is 87-44-17 all time against St. Louis including a 50-13-10 record at home.
  • Recent History vs. St. Louis
    • 12/28/16: Robby Fabbri spearheaded a 6-3 St. Louis victory in the first game back after the Christmas break. The Flyers had leads of 1-0 in the first and 3-2 in the third but couldn't hold on. Fabbri scored once in the first and twice in the third. Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron and former Flyer Scottie Upshall also scored for the Blues. Carter Hutton stopped 17 of 20 shots to get the win. 

TV: CSN
Radio: 93.3 WMMR