Flyers-Golden Knights: Game 5 Preview

3-12-2018_FlyersvsGoldenKnights_3rd_credKateFrese-14

(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Saturday afternoon marks the Flyers second game on home ice this season and it doesn't seem like it could be any worse that Tuesday's home opener. It's not quite a distant memory yet, but the Flyers were able to put the embarrassing loss behind them with a win in Ottawa.

In just their fifth game of the season, they wrap up the season series with the Vegas Golden Knights, a team struggling out of the game with losses in four of their first five games.

Game time is set for 1 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Vegas Golden Knights GP G A P
Jake Voracek 4 2 6 8 Jonathan Marchessault 5 2 4 6
Claude Giroux 4 1 5 6 William Karlsson 5 0 4 4
Wayne Simmonds 4 3 1 4 Reilly Smith 5 2 0 2
Radko Gudas 3 0 4 4 Erik Haula 5 1 0 1
Scott Laughton 4 3 0 3 Max Pacioretty 5 1 0 1
 
Player to Watch
17 Wayne Simmonds 81 Jonathan Marchessault
Last 5 Games: 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, +1 Last 5 Games: 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, +4
 
Wayne Simmonds is off to a solid start in the 2018-19 season with three goals in four games, including two in the Oct. 4 opener against Vegas. In three games against Vegas, he has three goals. The Flyers top power play unit was able to strike for two goals in Ottawa and Simmonds came close to another one. If the Flyers get opportunities on the power play, Simmonds will be heavily involved as usual.
 
Through all of the struggles for Vegas, Jonathan Marchessault has picked up where he left off a season ago. His six points lead the team and he is part of a dangerous top line with tons of scoring potential.
 
Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott 29 Marc-Andre Fleury
1-2-0, 4.69 GAA, .869 SV% 1-3-0, 3.95 GAA, .846 SV%

Brian Elliott gets back between the pipes for the Flyers on Saturday. His last game was one to forget, allowing eight goals on 48 shots, despite making several difficult saves. Don't let the numbers fool you. He's been better than that, but he can't be left out to dry like he was in his last start on Tuesday.

There have been plenty of early-season struggles for Marc-Andre Fleury as well. Fleury was pulled in the second period of the season opener against the Flyers after allowing five goals. He managed a win in a shootout before losing his next two starts as well, but the .846 save percentage is alarming.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick, James van Riemsdyk, Michal Neuvirth, Corban Knight

Scratches: Christian Folin

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
23 Oskar Lindblom 40 Jordan Weal 11 Travis Konecny
21 Scott Laughton 24 Mikhail Vorobyev 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 15 Jori Lehtera 22 Dale Weise
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
6 Travis Sanheim 3 Radko Gudas  
8 Robert Hagg 47 Andrew MacDonald  
Goalie    
37 Brian Elliott    

Lineup Notes

Based on the Flyers lines at practice on Friday, Jordan Weal will slot in and take Nolan Patrick's spot on the second line. Travis Konecny also left Friday's practice with an injury after taking a shot from Ivan Provorov off the foot, but with no firm injury update, assume for now that he's in. Obviously, a lot could change with that on Saturday morning up until warmups. The key is that the Flyers don't have an extra forward, so a call-up would be needed if Konecny can't go.

Golden Knights Projected Lineup

Injuries: Alex Tuch, Paul Stastny

Scratches: Tomas Hyka, Brad Hunt

Left Wing Center Right Wing
81 Jonathan Marchessault 71 William Karlsson 19 Reilly Smith
67 Max Pacioretty 56 Erik Haula 92 Tomas Nosek
40 Ryan Carpenter 21 Cody Eakin 24 Oscar Lindberg
28 Will Carrier 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 75 Ryan Reaves
Defense    
3 Brayden McNabb 6 Colin Miller  
27 Shea Theodore 5 Deryk Engelland  
15 Jon Merrill 22 Nick Holden  
Goalie    
29 Marc-Andre Fleury    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-10th, T-7th at home), Golden Knights (T-26th, T-18th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (29th, 27th at home), Golden Knights (T-26th, T-20th on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Golden Knights
    • Feb. 11, 2017 – Flyers 4, Golden Knights 1 (at VGK)
    • Mar. 12, 2018 – Golden Knights 3, Flyers 2 (at PHI)
    • Oct. 4, 2018 – Flyers 5, Golden Knights 2 (at VGK)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Golden Knights
    • Claude Giroux – 3 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 P
    • Sean Couturier – 3 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P
    • Wayne Simmonds – 3 GP, 3 G, 0 A, 3 P
    • Brian Elliott – 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2.02 GAA, .920 SV%

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

Video Preview