Eflin, Phillies look for first win of the 2018 Grapefruit League campaign
Flyers Climb Standings, Beat Sens 5-3

Flyers-Senators: Game 62 Preview

  2-3-2018_FlyersvsSens_2nd_credKateFrese-9

(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

The Philadelphia Flyers are in search for an elusive fifth-straight win and their first victory over the Ottawa Senators this season in a Saturday afternoon tilt.

By Dan Heaning, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Locked in a division race, the Philadelphia Flyers need to keep pace with their rivals as they search for a fifth-straight win in a Saturday afternoon clash with the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Center at 2 p.m.

Philadelphia has won four games in a row four times since its six-game win streak following the 10-game winless period. The elusive fifth-straight win will have to come against a team the Flyers have yet to beat this season in the Senators.

It's been a tough go for the squad from Canada's capital. The Senators seemingly went all in with the Matt Duchene trade and went bust. Now they've dealt Derick Brassard and there are rumors Erik Karlsson may be on the move along with a few other players.

With the trade deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. EST, many eyes on this game may be if Karlsson, Mike HoffmanZack Smith, or Jean-Gabriel Pageau are pulled from action because of a trade.

For the Flyers, who are chasing the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals for better playoff positioning, every game is important. With the New Jersey Devils not far behind the Orange and Black, any slip-up may put the team in a bad position for the postseason. Maintaining their hold on third place or moving up to the first or second spot is paramount for Philadelphia and losses to teams like Ottawa can put those goals in jeopardy. 

Despite the rash of injuries the Flyers have suffered recently, they cannot afford to drop this matinee tilt. The injuries have shifted the lines up and that has resulted in the team needing to rely more on goaltending and defense. Petr Mrazek played well in his Flyers debut and will need to continue that play to avoid dropping a contest against a non-playoff team.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Ottawa Senators GP G A P
Claude Giroux 61 21 51 72 Mark Stone 51 19 35 54
Jake Voracek 61 13 55 68 Erik Karlsson 55 5 37 42
Sean Couturier  61 29 32 61 Mike Hoffman 60 16 23 39
Shayne Gostisbehere 57 10 39 49 Matt Duchene 46 12 16 28
Wayne Simmonds 59 20 17 37 Ryan Dzingel 58 16 11 27

 

Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 61 Mark Stone
Last 5 Games: 3 G, 5 A, 8 P, +5 Last 5 Games: 1 G, 6 A, 7 P, +3
 
Claude Giroux has 14 points in his last eight games. With 21 multiple-point games, the man is nearly unstoppable this season. He's been held pointless in only 18 contests and never longer than two game-stretches at a time. With these numbers, the Flyers can bank on Giroux producing offensively.  
 
As the trade deadline approaches, one name that hasn't emerged as available for the Ottawa Senators is Mark Stone. Instead, the notion coming from Canada's capital is how to get him re-signed. It's not hard to see as Stone is a point-per-game player and has 18 points in his last 13 games. He's already matched his point totals from last season and only needs ten to match his career high. Since Stone and Matt Duchene play on different lines, the Flyers will need strong defensive play again to keep the Senators' top players from beating them.
 
Goalie Matchup
34 Petr Mrazek 41 Craig Anderson
9-7-3, 2.80 GAA, .911 SV% 17-19-5, 3.23 GAA, .902 SV%

Petr Mrazek had a fine start to his Flyers career with a 19-save effort in a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mrazek didn't have a lot of work in the win but he made a variety of crucial and fantastic saves in the win. The key for the goalie will be bringing that same level of netminding game-in, game-out. He will need to be solid again versus the Senators who, despite their struggles this season, have a collection of talented forwards like Matt Duchene.

It's been a struggle for the Ottawa Senators and Craig Anderson this season. After a great season last year for Anderson despite the personal troubles his family endured, Anderson's numbers have plummeted to some of the worst in his career this season. Anderson has gone from a 15 goals-saved above average last year to a -15 goals-saved above average this year. His team is markedly worse so it's not all the 37-year-old goaltender's fault. Regardless, Anderson is still capable of stealing a single game.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Brian Elliott is recovering from core muscle surgery and will be out for five-to-six weeks. Michal Neuvirth is out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury. Wayne Simmonds is out for two-to-three weeks with an upper-body injury. Travis Konecny's status is unknown.

Scratches: Mark Alt

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 12 Michael Raffl
40 Jordan Weal 19 Nolan Patrick 93 Jake Voracek
54 Oskar Lindblom 21 Scott Laughton 20 Taylor Leier
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    
34 Petr Mrazek    

Lineup Notes: 

Senators Projected Lineup

Injuries: Chris Wideman is out four-to-six months with a torn left hamstring. Alexandre Burrows is serving a 10-game suspension.
 
Left Wing Center Right Wing
68 Mike Hoffman 95 Matt Duchene 9 Bobby Ryan
15 Zack Smith 44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 61 Mark Stone
56 Magnus Paajarvi 19 Nick Shore 23 Marian Gaborik
18 Ryan Dzingel 89 Max McCormick 10 Tom Pyatt
Defense    
29 Johnny Oduya 65 Erik Karlsson  
74 Mark Borowiecki 5 Cody Ceci  
67 Ben Harpur 72 Thomas Chabot  
Goalie    
41 Craig Anderson    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (7th, 2nd on road), Senators (27th, 23rd at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (28th, 23rd on road), Senators (29th, 30th at home)
  • Recent History vs. Senators
    • Feb. 3, 2018 - Senators 4, Flyers 3 (SO) (at PHI)
    • Oct. 26, 2017 - Senators 5, Flyers 4 (at OTT)
    • March 28, 2017 - Flyers 3, Senators 2 (at PHI)
  • Milestone Watch
    • Shayne Gostisbehere will play in his 200th game today.
    • Sean Couturier is one goal away from the 100th of his career. 

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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