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Flyers-Oilers: Game 58 Preview

12-8-2016_FlyersvsOilers_3rd_credKateFrese-5

(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Fresh off another loss that hurt their playoff chances, the Flyers return to the ice in a virtual must-win game against the Edmonton Oilers.

The last time these two teams met, goals came at a frantic pace, but times have changed for the Flyers, who have to deal with the NHL's leading scorer at the moment in Thursday night's meeting in Edmonton.

The opening face-off is set for 9 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Oilers Leaders GP G A P
Jake Voracek 57 14 33 47 Connor McDavid 57 18 45 63
Claude Giroux 57 12 29 41 Leon Draisaitl 57 21 29 50
Wayne Simmonds 57 23 17 40 Jordan Eberle 57 11 21 32
Brayden Schenn 54 16 19 35 Milan Lucic 57 11 20 31
Ivan Provorov 57 5 18 23 Patrick Maroon 57 20 8 28
 
Player to Watch
40 Jordan Weal 97 Connor McDavid
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, E Last 5 Games: 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, +1
 
He hasn't put anything on the scoresheet yet, but one of the Flyers better players over the last two games has been Jordan Weal. Looking to make the most of his call-up, Weal should be one to watch again on Thursday night.
 
When opposing the Oilers, you always have to account for Connor McDavid. The NHL's points leader is averaging over a point per game and had a goal and assist against the Flyers in December.
 
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 33 Cam Talbot
9-6-1, 2.63 GAA, .897 SV% 28-16-7, 2.36 GAA, .920 SV%

It looks like the Flyers are riding the Michal Neuvirth train. Neuvirth will make his third straight start, even after starting on Wednesday night in Calgary. Neuvirth did have a solid game in Calgary despite the loss, making 20 saves on 22 shots.

The Oilers are expected to start Cam Talbot in goal on Thursday. Talbot has put together a strong season with 28 wins, easily setting a new career high.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Travis Konecny, Michael Del Zotto, Dale Weise, Nick Schultz

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
19 Jordan Weal 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
12 Michael Raffl 25 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 13 Roman Lyubimov
Defense    
32 Mark Streit 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
9 Ivan Provorov 47 Andrew MacDonald  
3 Radko Gudas 23 Brandon Manning  
Goalie    
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-11th, T-10th on road), Oilers (T-11th, 19th at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (18th, 23rd on road), Oilers (14th, 8th at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Oilers
    • Dec. 8, 2016 - The Flyers claimed a 6-5 win over the Oilers in Philadelphia. The Oilers scored the first goal in the first period with Leon Draisaitl cashing in. Connor McDavid scored on the power play to make it a 2-0 game before the Flyers erupted for three goals in 1:12 by Mark Streit, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Claude Giroux. A shorthanded goal by Andrei Sekera tied the game going to the third. The Oilers got goals from Benoit Pouliot and Oskar Klefbom to open up a two-goal lead five minutes into the third, but the Flyers rallied again for two goals by Jake Voracek and Giroux to even the score. Finally, with 1:29 left in the third, Michael Raffl scored the game-winning goal to help extend the Flyers winning streak to seven at the time.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Oilers
    • Claude Giroux - 10 games, 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points
    • Jake Voracek - 19 games, 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points
    • Wayne Simmonds - 19 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points
    • Michal Neuvirth - 4 games, 1-3-0, 3.04 GAA, .924 Sv%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Brayden Schenn will play in his 400th game tonight.

Where to Watch
TV: CSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

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