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Flyers-Canadiens: Game 60 Preview

2-8-2018_FlyersvsCanadiens_batch2_credKateFrese-7
(Kate Frese/SB Nation)
By Rob Riches, Sports Talk Philly staff 

There's no such thing as a convenient time for injuries to mount. And when you're a team looking to extend a point streak to nine games, you'll have to shake things up to have a chance to do that.

The Flyers changed several things up on Monday, acquiring Petr Mrazek from Detroit and recalling Oskar Lindblom from Lehigh Valley. Lindblom replaces Wayne Simmonds, who will be sidelined from 2-3 weeks, while Mrazek provides stability in net for the next few weeks as Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott recover.

Off the heels of an exciting 7-4 win against the Rangers on Sunday, the Orange and Black have a chance for points in their last nine games. That opportunity comes against the Montreal Canadiens, who six just six points away from the Eastern Conference's basement. This will be the second of three meetings this month between the Flyers and Habs, as they move through their season series pretty quickly.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Montreal Canadiens GP G A P
Claude Giroux 59 20 49 69 Max Pacioretty 58 16 19 35
Jake Voracek 59 11 54 65 Brendan Gallagher 58 21 13 34
Sean Couturier 59 29 30 59 Alex Galchenyuk 58 12 22 34
Shayne Gostisbehere 55 10 35 45 Jonathan Drouin 53 9 20 29
Wayne Simmonds 59 20 17 37 Jeff Petry 58 8 19 27
 
Player to Watch
11 Travis Konecny 11 Brendan Gallagher
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 5 A, 7 P, +3 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, -5
 
When the Flyers and Canadiens last met on Feb. 8, Travis Konecny was an absolute force, earning the second multi-goal effort of his career with the opening goal in the 2nd period and an insurance marker in the 3rd. He's earned four goals and nine points over his last six games, and torched the Rangers with three points on Sunday. Konecny's been playing confidently all season, and continues to provide a secondary scoring threat.
 
Also, keep an eye out for Oskar Lindblom in his NHL debut, where he's expected to figure into the third line. In 54 American League games this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Lindblom has 16 goals and 34 points, and represented the Phantoms at the AHL All-Star Classic.
 
When healthy, Brendan Gallagher's always a threat in the offensive zone, and has earned points in four out of his last five games. Despite a rough year for the Canadiens -- one that sees them currently tied with Ottawa for second-last in the Eastern Conference -- Gallagher's three goals away from tying his season-high.
 
Goalie Matchup
49 Alex Lyon 31 Carey Price
1-1-0, 3.27 GAA, .895 SV% 15-22-5, 2.98 GAA, .904 SV%

It's no surprise that Alex Lyon's looked shaky in his limited action so far this season -- completely expected from a guy who's been tossed from the frying pan into the fire -- but he was nothing short of phenomenal in the Flyers' 7-4 win on Sunday. He made 25 saves on 26 shots in relief of an injured Neuvirth, earning his first professional win. Despite the Mrazek trade, he'll earn the start tonight.

It's been quite a rough year for Carey Price, between injuries setting him back and a cavalcade of misfortune for the Tricolore. He's winless in his last four games, and is just six losses away from tying his career-high. Nonetheless, he'll still give the Canadiens a chance for two points when he's between the pipes.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth, Wayne Simmonds

Scratches: Taylor Leier, Mark Alt

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 11 Travis Konecny
40 Jordan Weal 19 Nolan Patrick 93 Jakub Voracek
54 Oskar Lindblom 21 Scott Laughton 12 Michael Raffl
15 Jori Lehtera 51 Valtteri Filppula 22 Dale Weise
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
8 Robert Hagg 47 Andrew MacDonald  
23 Brandon Manning 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
49 Alex Lyon    

Lineup Notes

With Wayne Simmonds out for 2-3 weeks, Jordan Weal will slide up to the second line, and Oskar Lindblom will take over on the third line. Petr Mrazek will serve as a backup.

Canadiens Projected Lineup

Injuries: Ales Hemsky, Andrew Shaw, Shea Weber

Scratches: Jakub Jerabek, Jacob de la Rose, Byron Froese

Left Wing Center Right Wing
67 Max Pacioretty 92 Jonathan Drouin 62 Artturi Lehkonen
41 Paul Byron 14 Tomas Plekanec 11 Brendan Gallagher
27 Alex Galchenyuk 24 Phillip Danault 54 Charles Hudon
20 Nicolas Deslauriers 49 Logan Shaw 43 Daniel Carr
Defense    
22 Karl Alzner 26 Jeff Petry  
45 Joe Morrow 8 Jordie Benn  
53 Victor Mete 21 David Schlemko  
Goalie    
31 Carey Price    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (8th, T-19th at home), Canadiens (7th, 11th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (28th, 29th at home), Canadiens (26th, 30th on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Canadiens
    • Feb. 8, 2018 - Flyers 5, Canadiens 3 (at PHI)
  • Milestone Watch
    • Sean Couturier remains one goal away from 100 in his career.
    • Shayne Gostisbehere sits at four assists from 100 in his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philly
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

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