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Flyers-Coyotes: Game 42 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The first game of 2020 for the Flyers went a lot like their last of 2019. A little too much, in fact. The Flyers allowed four first-period goals for the second straight game. They trailed 5-2 to Vegas and were able to claw their way back to within a goal with nearly an entire period to go. A late 6-on-3 gave the Flyers a golden opportunity to get the game tied, and they were unable to do so, falling to 1-3-0 on the six-game road trip.

That has made Saturday's game that much more important. The losses on the road trip to San Jose, Los Angeles and Vegas have not really been as close as the scores would indicate -- a 5-3 loss to LA and a 5-4 loss to Vegas -- and the Flyers need to respond with a road effort that not only gets them back in the win column, but helps boost the numbers on the road. They take on the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night in the final game on the West coast.

Game time is 8 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Arizona Coyotes GP G A P
Travis Konecny 38 12 24 36 Nick Schmaltz 43 7 26 33
Jake Voracek 41 8 25 33 Clayton Keller 43 10 20 30
Sean Couturier 41 12 21 33 Christian Dvorak 43 10 15 25
Claude Giroux 41 13 17 30 Carl Soderberg 43 12 13 25
Ivan Provorov  41 9 15 24 Phil Kessel 43 9 14 23
 
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 81 Phil Kessel
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, +3 Last 5 Games: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, E
 
Claude Giroux has scored goals in back-to-back games and is on a current five-game points streak. Even with the recent string of points, Giroux still ranks fourth on the team with 30 points on the season, showing that the other top players continue to contribute.
 
Phil Kessel's numbers this season have been down, but he certainly made an impact in the game against the Flyers in early December. Since scoring two goals against the Flyers, Kessel has just three goals and three assists in 13 games. 
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 32 Antti Raanta
28 GP, 13-9-3, 2.52 GAA, .908 SV% 19 GP, 8-8-2, 2.76 GAA, .918 SV%

By the numbers, Thursday's start was not a good one for Carter Hart, as he made 28 saves on 33 shots in the loss. That said, Hart was excellent in the final two periods after receiving virtually no help in front of the net in the first period. Hart will once again be in goal for the Flyers on Saturday, looking for his first win on the road since Nov. 1.

Antti Raanta has received a bulk of the starts since Darcy Kuemper went down with injury. Raanta has won his last two starts, making 38 saves on 39 shots against St. Louis on Dec. 31 and stopping 26 of 28 shots against Anaheim on Thursday.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)

Scratches: Robert Hagg (healthy), Chris Stewart (healthy), Mikhail Vorobyev (healthy)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk 13 Kevin Hayes 11 Travis Konecny
49 Joel Farabee 21 Scott Laughton 18 Tyler Pitlick
10 Andy Andreoff 12 Michael Raffl 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 61 Justin Braun  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 5 Phil Myers  
Goalie    
79 Carter Hart 37 Brian Elliott  

Lineup Notes

Nicolas Aube-Kubel returns to the lineup and Andy Andreoff will be back in the lineup as well. Both Chris Stewart and Mikhail Vorobyev come out. 

Coyotes Projected Lineup

Injuries: Niklas Hjalmarsson, Darcy Kuemper

Scratches: Michael Grabner, Kyle Capobianco 

Left Wing Center Right Wing
91 Taylor Hall 18 Christian Dvorak 83 Conor Garland
9 Clayton Keller 34 Carl Soderberg 8 Nick Schmaltz
67 Lawson Crouse 21 Derek Stepan 81 Phil Kessel
13 Vinnie Hinostroza 15 Brad Richardson 36 Christian Fischer
Defense    
23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson 55 Jason Demers  
6 Jakob Chychrun 33 Alex Goligoski  
42 Aaron Ness 46 Ilya Lyubushkin  
Goalie    
32 Antti Raanta 31 Adin Hill  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (13th), Coyotes (14th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (14th), Coyotes (6th)
  • Recent History vs. Coyotes
    • Nov. 5, 2018 - Flyers 5, Coyotes 2 (at ARI)
    • Nov. 8, 2018 - Flyers 5, Coyotes 4 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Dec. 5, 2019 - Coyotes 3, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Coyotes
    • Claude Giroux - 17 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 P
    • Shayne Gostisbehere - 8 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P
    • Kevin Hayes - 11 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 P
    • Sean Couturier - 15 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 P
  • Milestone Watch
    • Shayne Gostisbehere needs two points to reach 200 for his career.

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

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