Flyers-Avalanche: Game 52 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The start to the Flyers playoff push began on Friday night in Pittsburgh and a two-goal rally and dominant third period allowed the Flyers to come away with one point in the standings. An early turnover in overtime never allowed them the chance to sniff the offensive zone.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Flyers, as it is going to be for most of the final 31 games in the regular season, and the Orange and Black get yet another challenge against a Top-10 team in the league. The Colorado Avalanche await as the Flyers make their return home.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Colorado Avalanche GP G A P
Sean Couturier 51 13 30 43 Nathan MacKinnon 49 30 42 72
Travis Konecny 48 17 26 43 Cale Makar 41 11 26 37
Jake Voracek 51 11 28 39 Mikko Rantanen 33 15 19 34
Claude Giroux 51 13 22 35 Andre Burakovsky 46 15 18 33
James van Riemsdyk  51 14 15 29 Nazem Kadri 46 17 14 31
Player to Watch
14 Sean Couturier 29 Nathan MacKinnon
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 4 A, 4 P, E Last 5 Games: 4 G, 3 A, 7 P, +4
Sean Couturier had a rough night in Pittsburgh, capped off by a turnover in overtime that eventually led to the game-winning goal. Back on home ice and once again having to face the some of the best offensive talents in the league, Couturier will have to be a central figure to the Flyers success.
Nathan MacKinnon entered the All-Star break with three goals in the previous two games. His 72 points on the season are tied for third in the NHL. Throw in his excellent speed and tremendous skill and he can change a game in an instant.
Projected Goalie Matchup
34 Alex Lyon 31 Philipp Grubauer
1 GP, 0-1-0, 4.00 GAA, .900 SV% 29 GP, 14-10-4, 2.82 GAA, .910 SV%

Alex Lyon gets his second start of the season, filling in for the injured Carter Hart, on Saturday against the Avalanche. Lyon made 36 saves on 40 shots against the Canadiens in a loss on Jan. 16. 

Philipp Grubauer gets the start for the Avalanche on Saturday in their return from the break. Grubauer won his final two starts before the break, including a 27-save shutout against San Jose.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Carter Hart (lower right abdominal, out at least seven days), Shayne Gostisbehere (knee, day-to-day), Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
25 James van Riemsdyk 28 Claude Giroux 11 Travis Konecny
49 Joel Farabee 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
21 Scott Laughton 13 Kevin Hayes 18 Tyler Pitlick
12 Michael Raffl 82 Connor Bunnaman 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 5 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 61 Justin Braun  
34 Alex Lyon 37 Brian Elliott  

Lineup Notes

The Flyers will not make any changes to the group of players in the lineup. Shayne Gostisbehere remains out for Saturday's game as he nears a return from a knee injury. The Flyers will switch line combinations at the start of the game for Saturday to match what was used in the third period in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Avalanche Projected Lineup

Injuries: Colin Wilson

Scratches: Mark Barberio

Left Wing Center Right Wing
92 Gabriel Landeskog 29 Nathan MacKinnon 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin 91 Nazem Kadri 95 Andre Burakovsky
11 Matt Calvert 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 37 JT Compher
83 Matt Nieto 17 Tyson Jost 72 Joonas Donskoi
27 Ryan Graves 8 Cale Makar  
49 Samuel Girard 6 Erik Johnson  
28 Ian Cole 16 Nikita Zadorov  
31 Philipp Grubauer 39 Pavel Francouz  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-16th), Avalanche (22nd)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-13th), Avalanche (T-20th)
  • Recent History vs. Avalanche
    • Oct. 6, 2018 – Avalanche 5, Flyers 2 (at COL)
    • Oct. 22, 2018 – Avalanche 4, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
    • Dec. 11, 2019 – Avalanche 3, Flyers 1 (at COL)
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs three points to reach 800 for his career.

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

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