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Flyers-Blues: Game 81 Preview

1-7-2019_FlyersvsBlues_2ndedit_2_credKateFrese-34

(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

There are just two games left on the Flyers schedule, including one final game away from home which the Flyers will play on Thursday.

Just like on Tuesday, there is a lot at stake for the opponent. Dallas had a chance to clinch a playoff spot in Tuesday's game and did convincingly. The St. Louis Blues lost in a shootout on Wednesday night to Chicago, moving them to within a point of the Central Division lead with two games to play for all three teams locked in the battle for the title. Nashville and Winnipeg both sit one point ahead and both will be in action on Thursday night as well, leaving a lot of room for shuffling in the standings with this game.

Game time is at 8 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P St. Louis Blues GP G A P
Claude Giroux 80 21 61 82 Ryan O'Reilly 80 27 47 74
Sean Couturier 78 32 42 74 Vladimir Tarasenko 74 32 32 64
Jake Voracek 76 20 45 65 Brayden Schenn 70 15 36 51
Travis Konecny 80 23 25 48 David Perron 55 22 22 44
James van Riemsdyk 64 26 20 46 Tyler Bozak 71 13 24 37
 
Player to Watch
93 Jake Voracek     10 Brayden Schenn
Last 5 Games: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, -6 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 3 A, 3 P, -1
 
Jake Voracek has just three points in the last nine games since a six-game points streak where he picked up 12 points. 
 
It hasn't been the best season for former Flyer Brayden Schenn, who has just 15 goals, his lowest total since scoring 18 with the Flyers in 2014-15. Schenn does have a goal against his former team already this season in St. Louis' 3-0 win over the Flyers in January.
 
Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott 50 Jordan Binnington
25 GP, 11-10-1, 2.81 GAA, .912 SV% 30 GP, 22-5-1, 1.85 GAA, .928 SV%

Brian Elliott makes what could be his final start as a Flyer against his former team in St. Louis. Elliott has started just two games since March 11, allowing seven goals to Toronto on March 15 and three goals to Washington on March 24, both losses.

The Blues rookie sensation in goal has been Jordan Binnington. Binnington's storybook season starts against the Flyers on Jan. 7, when he made his first NHL start and made 25 saves in a shutout win. He has made 27 starts since, winning 21 of them, including posting four more shutouts. He has won six of his last seven starts, allowing three goals or less in all seven starts.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Justin Bailey, Andrew MacDonald, Cam Talbot

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk 21 Scott Laughton 93 Jake Voracek
23 Oskar Lindblom 19 Nolan Patrick 38 Ryan Hartman
12 Michael Raffl 44 Phil Varone  
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 6 Travis Sanheim  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 61 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 3 Radko Gudas 5 Sam Morin
Goalie    
37 Brian Elliott    

Lineup Notes

Corban Knight cleared waivers and is expected to be sent to the Phantoms after the road trip is completed. He will not play in Thursday's game. The Flyers will dress seven defensemen with Justin Bailey also coming out of the lineup. Knight did skate in place of Nolan Patrick during the morning skate and there has been no update yet as to why Patrick was not on the ice. It's assumed it was maintenance for now, but there is always a chance there is a different reason he did not skate.

Blues Projected Lineup

Injuries: Sammy Blais, Joel Edmundson

Scratches: Mackenzie MacEachern, Robby Fabbri, Michael Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 90 Ryan O'Reilly 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
17 Jaden Schwartz 70 Oskar Sundqvist 57 David Perron
 7 Patrick Maroon 21 Tyler Bozak 18 Robert Thomas
12 Zach Sanford 49 Ivan Barbashev  20 Alex Steen
Defense    
29 Vince Dunn 27 Alex Pietrangelo  
19 Jay Bouwmeester 55 Colton Parayko  
4 Carl Gunnarsson 41 Robert Bortuzzo  
Goalie    
50 Jordan Binnington    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-22nd, 28th on road), Blues (15th, 21st at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (25th, T-24th on road), Blues (7th, T-25th at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Blues
    • Jan. 7, 2019 - Blues 3, Flyers 0 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Blues 
    • Shayne Gostisbehere - 5 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P
    • Claude Giroux - 15 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P
    • Travis Konecny - 5 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 P
    • Brian Elliott - 6 GP, 5-1-0, 2.30 GAA, .918 SV%

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

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