Flyers-Avalanche: Game 73 Preview

Needing response from Tuesday collapse, Flyers take on Avalanche

There was no more disheartening loss than the Flyers defeat on Tuesday at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That said, the loss was deserved, as the end result reflected the play on the ice.

Even so, being 1:04 from escaping with two points when every point counts is crushing and that's the Flyers challenge as a four-game road trip continues on Thursday night.

The Flyers head into snowy Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche, where they have not won a game since 2002.

The opening faceoff is set for 9 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Avalanche Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 69 20 41 61 Matt Duchene 71 29 27 56
Brayden Schenn 70 24 27 51 Nathan MacKinnon 72 21 31 52
Wayne Simmonds 72 25 25 50 Gabriel Landeskog 66 18 30 48
Jakub Voracek 63 10 39 49 Tyson Barrie 69 13 34 47
Shayne Gostisbehere 54 16 23 39 Carl Soderberg 73 12 35 47
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 92 Gabriel Landeskog
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 2 A, 4 P, -1 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, +3
Claude Giroux has two goals in his last two games, but that's not the reason for the pick. There seemed to be no player more dejected with the way Tuesday's game ended than Giroux. As the captain, these are the moments where Giroux must be the leader of the response. If he can deliver a big game, his teammates should follow suit.
With both Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene out of the lineup, a lot of the Avalanche offense falls on Gabriel Landeskog. The captain has done his part lately, with three goals and five points in his last five games.
Goalie Matchup
35 Steve Mason 1 Semyon Varlamov
18-16-9, 2.56 GAA, .918 SV% 26-18-3, 2.66 GAA, .917 SV%

Steve Mason makes his third straight stop after nearly carrying the Flyers to wins in both games of a back-to-back. His performance in Tuesday's shootout loss was particularly notable, 51 saves on 53 shots in regulation and overtime.

Semyon Varlamov has been one of the strongest goaltenders in the NHL of late. He has wins in four of his last five starts, allowing one goal or less in three of them. He has also made at least 27 saves in each of the last five games.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Chris VandeVeldeEvgeny Medvedev, R.J. Umberger, Jordan WealMichael Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 89 Sam Gagner
93 Jake Voracek 52 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
21 Scott Laughton 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
47 Andrew MacDonald 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
55 Nick Schultz 32 Mark Streit  
23 Brandon Manning 3 Radko Gudas  
35 Steve Mason    

The Flyers will use the same lineup as the previous two games on Thursday night.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (17th, 10th on road), Avalanche (11th, 3rd at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-19th, 14th on road), Avalanche (9th, 11th at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Avalanche
    • Nov. 10, 2015 – The Flyers suffered a 4-0 loss to the Avalanche in Philadelphia. Jarome Iginla struck for the game's first goal just 57 seconds into the game. Matt Duchene added two goals in the second period in the first 3:44 of the second period. Cody McLeod capped the scoring with a power-play goal at 2:04 of the third. Reto Berra made 25 saves in the shutout win. Michal Neuvirth stopped 36 of 40 Colorado shots.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Avalanche
    • Sam Gagner – 41 games, 15 goals, 24 assists, 39 points
    • Claude Giroux – 7 games, 5 goals, 1 assist, 6 points
    • Mark Streit – 10 games, 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points
    • Steve Mason – 16 games, 6-7-3, 3.05 GAA, .903 Sv%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Jake Voracek needs 5 goals to reach 100 as a Flyer.
    • Sean Couturier needs 3 assists to reach 100 in his career.
    • Claude Giroux needs 4 points to pass Reggie Leach for 12th all-time in Flyers history.

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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