Flyers-Canadiens: Game 18 Preview

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Long before John Tortorella took his place behind the Flyers bench, he was already well-known to the Flyers faithful. Sure, Tortorella has a reputation that has followed him everywhere in his coaching career, but back in 2004, he was on the opposing bench as the Flyers fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.

One of the key members of that 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa team was Martin St. Louis, now the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. For the first time, the longtime student of the game, who emerged to stardom under Tortorella in Tampa, goes up against his former bench boss. 

The Montreal Canadiens are off to a modest start this season under St. Louis. An 8-8-1 record through 17 games is certainly much improved from their last place finish in the league standings in 2021-22. The Flyers, meanwhile, are showing signs of improvement in the process of late, but after finding ways to win on the back of their netminder, they are finding ways to lose. They carry a five-game losing streak into Saturday’s game in Montreal.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPMontreal CanadiensGPGAP
Travis Konecny1771219Nick Suzuki17111021
Kevin Hayes1741317Cole Caufield179716
Joel Farabee173710Kirby Dach1741115
Tony DeAngelo173710Sean Monahan17369
Owen Tippett12448Christian Dvorak17358

Owen Tippett scored the lone goal for the Flyers on Thursday in Boston and has a three-game points streak entering Saturday’s game.

Nick Suzuki scored a goal and added an assist against Columbus on Thursday. In the last four games, Suzuki has three multi-point games.

Carter Hart is expected to start for the Flyers. Hart was solid despite taking the loss in Boston on Thursday, making 28 saves on 32 shots. Hart has lost four straight starts dating back to Nov. 10.

Jake Allen starts for Montreal. Allen made 34 saves in a loss to New Jersey on Tuesday. Allen has faced at least 30 shots in seven of his last eight starts.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Scratches: Sean Couturier (injury), James van Riemsdyk (injury), Cam Atkinson (injury), Wade Allison (injury), Travis Konecny (injury), Egor Zamula (healthy)

Canadiens Scratches: Jonathan Drouin (injury), Joel Armia (injury), Chris Wideman (healthy), Jordan Harris (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Travis Konecny is the latest to join the injured list. After leaving Thursday’s game, Konecny is out for Saturday’s game and returned to Philadelphia for further evaluation, per Chuck FletcherKieffer Bellows is likely to re-enter the lineup in Konecny’s place.
  • Canadiens: Mike Matheson makes his season debut. Jordan Harris comes out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (27th), Canadiens (28th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (26th), Canadiens (11th)
  • Recent History vs. Canadiens
    • April 21, 2022 – Flyers 6, Canadiens 3 (at MTL)
    • March 13, 2022 – Canadiens 4, Flyers 3 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Dec. 16, 2021 – Canadiens 3, Flyers 2 (F/SO) (at MTL)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Canadiens
    • Ivan Provorov: 15 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P
    • Kevin Hayes: 21 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 P
    • Rasmus Ristolainen: 25 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P
    • Carter Hart: 6 GP, 2-2-2, 2.84 GAA, .916 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network