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Flyers-Red Wings: Game 26 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Thanksgiving is considered the point in the schedule that many teams use as a benchmark. The teams that are in the playoff picture at Thanksgiving, usually a little past the quarter-point of the schedule, are the ones most likely to make the playoffs.

The Flyers reached that mark with a 13-7-5 record through 25 games, sitting in the second wildcard spot with a four-point lead on Montreal, tied with Carolina for the first wildcard and one point back of Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Flyers are also closing out a busy month of November with two games remaining in a 16-game schedule. They have points in 12 of 14 games so far with a 8-2-4 record so far and their 20 points in the month is the second-most in the NHL and tops in the Eastern Conference.

It starts with the Flyers annual Black Friday game, this year against the Detroit Red Wings, who enter the game coming off a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and with just one goal in their last three games. They have also lost seven straight games and have a 3-9-2 record this month.

Game time is at 4 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Detroit Red Wings GP G A P
Travis Konecny 25 8 16 24 Anthony Mantha 25 12 11 23
Sean Couturier 25 7 11 18 Tyler Bertuzzi 27 10 12 22
Claude Giroux 25 8 10 18 Dylan Larkin 27 6 10 16
Oskar Lindblom 25 9 7 16 Andreas Athanasiou 25 5 9 14
Jake Voracek  25 6 10 16 Filip Hronek 25 5 8 13
Player to Watch
11 Travis Konecny 72 Andreas Athanasiou
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 5 A, 5 P, -2 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 3 A, 3 P, -4
Travis Konecny continues to be one of the Flyers most consistent players, but he has gone cold in the goal-scoring department of late. Konecny is on an eight-game goalless drought. Perhaps a visit from Detroit is what Konecny needs to end that drought. He has four career goals against the Red Wings in nine career games, including two overtime game-winners. 
Andreas Athanasiou is known for his speed, so even though he hasn't scored in five games and has just three points in that time, he is certainly dangerous in transition. Athanasiou has four career goals against the Flyers.  
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 31 Calvin Pickard
16 GP, 7-5-3, 2.54 GAA, .900 SV% 0 GP, 0-0-0, -.-- GAA, .--- SV%

The Flyers will split goalie duties between Carter Hart and Brian Elliott this weekend with Hart getting the first start on Friday afternoon against Detroit. Hart was not very busy in his last start against Vancouver, but did stop 16 of 17 shots faced in the win.

The Red Wings are going through a lot in goal. Jimmy Howard started on Wednesday with Jonathan Bernier on the shelf with the flu. Howard suffered a "mid-body injury" in the first period, forcing Bernier into action. The team called up former Flyers goalie Calvin Pickard on Thursday and he will get his first start in the NHL this season on Friday against his former team.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick

Scratches: Chris Stewart, Phil Myers

Left Wing Center Right Wing
23 Oskar Lindblom 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
28 Claude Giroux 48 Morgan Frost 11 Travis Konecny
49 Joel Farabee 13 Kevin Hayes 21 Scott Laughton
25 James van Riemsdyk 12 Michael Raffl 18 Tyler Pitlick
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 61 Justin Braun  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 8 Robert Hagg  
79 Carter Hart 37 Brian Elliott  

Lineup Notes

Shayne Gostisbehere gets back in the lineup for the Flyers after three games as a healthy scratch. Phil Myers will come out of the lineup. 

Red Wings Projected Lineup

Injuries: Danny Dekeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Trevor Daley, Anthony Mantha, Adam Erne, Mike Green

Scratches: Alex Biega 

Left Wing Center Right Wing
59 Tyler Bertuzzi 71 Dylan Larkin 14 Robby Fabbri
43 Darren Helm 51 Valtteri Filppula 11 Filip Zadina
41 Luke Glendening 81 Frans Nielsen 72 Andreas Athanasiou
67 Taro Hirose 70 Christoffer Ehn  29 Brendan Perlini
22 Patrik Nemeth 17 Filip Hronek  
21 Dennis Cholowski 20 Dylan McIlrath  
52 Jonathan Ericsson 74 Madison Bowey  
31 Calvin Pickard 45 Jonathan Bernier  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (11th), Red Wings (28th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (3rd), Red Wings (31st)
  • Recent History vs. Red Wings
    • Dec. 18, 2018 - Flyers 3, Red Wings 2 (at PHI)
    • Feb. 16, 2019 - Flyers 6, Red Wings 5 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Feb. 17, 2019 - Flyers 3, Red Wings 1 (at DET)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Red Wings
    • Claude Giroux - 23 GP, 7 G, 19 A, 26 P
    • Sean Couturier - 19 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 P
    • Jake Voracek - 36 GP, 7 G, 18 A, 25 P
    • Oskar Lindblom - 4 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P
    • Carter Hart - 3 GP, 3-0-0, 2.65 GAA, .918 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Kevin Hayes needs two goals to reach 100 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN


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