Flyers-Canadiens: Game 28 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

How things have changed for the two franchises that face off on Thursday night since their last meeting. When the Flyers last faced the Montreal Canadiens, it was Game 6 of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Flyers emerging victorious, 3-2, to claim the series. 

Since then, the Flyers never regained the run to success they had in that season. Montreal didn't fare much better, finishing a distant fourth in the North in the regular season in 2020-21, but then going on a playoff run right to the Stanley Cup Final. Since then, they have also struggled and made wholesale changes to the front office.

The two teams meet on Thursday, as the Flyers try to continue to climb back in the standings and build on their three-game winning streak. 

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Montreal Canadiens GP G A P
Claude Giroux 27 10 14 24 Nick Suzuki 30 6 12 18
Cam Atkinson 27 12 7 19 Tyler Toffoli 26 5 12 17
Sean Couturier 27 6 10 16 Jonathan Drouin 24 5 11 16
Travis Konecny 27 5 10 15 Josh Anderson 25 7 6 13
Derick Brassard 18 4 7 11 Christian Dvorak 27 5 7 12

Players To Watch 12-16

Cam Atkinson had quite the game on Tuesday. On top of a hat trick, he also added an assist for a four-point game, had seven shots on goal, and was a plus-5. Atkinson can also score in bunches and the puck seemed to find him in the last game. Watch for him in this game as well.  
The Canadiens have struggled this season, but Nick Suzuki remains a key piece to their future. The 22-year-old is the team's leading scorer with 18 points. He also has two of his six goals on the season in the last five games.
Goalie Matchup 12-16

Carter Hart gets the start again on Thursday. Hart made 26 saves in the 6-1 win on Tuesday, picking up his second straight win. This is Hart's first game against the Canadiens since the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In that series, Hart had two shutouts.

Cayden Primeau gets the start for the Canadiens. He is the son of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau and grew up locally in Voorhees, NJ, and attended Bishop Eustace High School. Primeau has made just two starts this season, allowing eight goals total in the two games. Primeau has just eight career starts, posting a 2-5-1 record with a 3.85 GAA and .883 save percentage.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 12-16

Flyers Scratches: Ryan Ellis (injury), Joel Farabee (injury), Nate Thompson (injury), Derick Brassard (injury), Morgan Frost (COVID protocol), Nick Seeler (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 12-16
Canadiens Scratches: Brendan Gallagher (illness), Sami Niku (illness), Tyler Toffoli (injury), Josh Anderson (injury), Christian Dvorak (injury), Joel Edmundson (injury), Sam Montembeault (healthy), Joel Armia (healthy), Chris Wideman (healthy)
Lineup Notes
  • Flyers: Jackson Cates was called up to take the place of Morgan Frost, who entered COVID protocol on Tuesday. To this point, the Flyers do not have any other players in COVID protocol and the rest of the lineup will remain the same.  
  • Canadiens: There is one possible change to the lineup for Montreal. Jake Evans will be a game-time decision, but for now is expected to play.    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (27th), Canadiens (30th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (15th), Canadiens (29th)
  • Recent History vs. Canadiens
    • Jan. 16, 2020 – Canadiens 4, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
    • Nov. 30, 2019 – Flyers 4, Canadiens 3 (F/OT) (at MTL)
    • Nov. 7, 2019 – Flyers 3, Canadiens 2 (F/OT) (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Canadiens
    • Travis Konecny – 11 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 P
    • Claude Giroux – 36 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 P
    • Sean Couturier – 27 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 19 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 39 GP, 16 G, 9 A, 25 P
    • Carter Hart – 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.84 GAA, .913 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Travis Konecny needs one goal to reach 100 for his career.
    • Claude Giroux needs two assists to reach 600 for his career.
    • Giroux also needs two points to pass Bill Barber for second on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
    • Cam Atkinson needs four assists to reach 200 for his career.

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

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