Flyers-Lightning: Game 20 Preview


(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A five-game homestand comes to an end on Saturday afternoon, and for the Flyers, it will certainly be a challenge.

Nevermind that the Flyers have lost the last two games to teams trailing them in standings after reeling off three straight wins and points in six straight games. The Flyers have struggled to find the net since, and that has them in danger of a record below .500 on the homestand that started with two wins.

The opponent in this final game of the homestand is the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team atop the Eastern Conference standings and they bring a wealth of scoring into Philadelphia.

Game time is at 1 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Tampa Bay Lightning GP G A P
Claude Giroux 19 7 15 22 Brayden Point 19 12 10 22
Jake Voracek 19 5 12 17 Nikita Kucherov 19 7 14 21
Sean Couturier 19 7 5 11 Yanni Gourde 19 8 19 13
Wayne Simmonds 19 7 3 10 Steven Stamkos 19 6 10 16
Oskar Lindblom 19 5 5 10 J.T. Miller 19 5 10 15
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 21 Brayden Point
Last 5 Games: 3 G, 5 A, 8 P, +5 Last 5 Games: 4 G, 1 A, 5 P, -5
Claude Giroux scored three goals and had eight points on the three-game winning streak. Since then, he has been held off the scoresheet in the last two games. The two-game slide has a chance to snowball here, and it's up to the captain to lead his team.
For all the offensive talent and All-Star ability that the Lightning have, it is not Steven Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov leading the team in scoring. Brayden Point has 12 goals and 22 points to lead the team. He had gone three straight games without a point before Thursday, when he scored three power-play goals for a natural hat trick within 91 seconds of game play. 
Goalie Matchup
33 Cal Pickard 70 Louis Domingue
3-1-1, 4.33 GAA, .865 SV% 4-2-0, 3.36 GAA, .890 SV%

With Michal Neuvirth still on the shelf and Brian Elliott back on the injured list after leaving Thursday's game, Cal Pickard is in the No. 1 slot again. Despite a high GAA and poor save percentage, Pickard does have three wins this season.

The Flyers aren't the only team dealing with an injury in net. Andrei Vasilevskiy is out "for a while" with a fractured foot. That moves backup Louis Domingue into the spotlight. Domingue did win his first start filling in for the injured Vasilevskiy on Thursday, but also has poor numbers despite the record.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Michael Raffl, Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Andrew MacDonald, Jori Lehtera

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 11 Travis Konecny
23 Oskar Lindblom 19 Nolan Patrick 93 Jake Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk 40 Jordan Weal 17 Wayne Simmonds
22 Dale Weise 21 Scott Laughton 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
9 Ivan Provorov 8 Robert Hagg  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 26 Christian Folin  
6 Travis Sanheim 3 Radko Gudas  
33 Cal Pickard    

Lineup Notes

Radko Gudas is expected to return to the lineup after missing Thursday's game with an illness. Other than that, the rest of the lines remain the same. 

Lightning Projected Lineup

Injuries: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ondrej Palat, Anton Stralman

Scratches: Danick Martel, Cameron Gaunce, Slater Koekkoek

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 J.T. Miller 91 Steven Stamkos 86 Nikita Kucherov
37 Yanni Gourde 21 Brayden Point 9 Tyler Johnson
17 Alex Killorn 71 Anthony Cirelli 7 Mathieu Joseph
73 Adam Erne 13 Cedric Paquette 24 Ryan Callahan
5 Dan Girardi 77 Victor Hedman  
81 Erik Cernak 27 Ryan McDonagh  
55 Braydon Coburn 98 Mikhail Sergachev  
70 Louis Domingue    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-29th, 31st at home), Lightning (T-5th, 3rd on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th, 29th at home), Lightning (3rd, T-13th on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Lightning
    • Dec. 29, 2017 – Flyers 5, Lightning 3 (at TB)
    • Jan. 25, 2018 – Lightning 5, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
    • March 3, 2018 – Lightning 7, Flyers 6 (F/SO) (at TB)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Lightning
    • Claude Giroux – 32 GP, 4 G, 28 A, 32 P
    • Ivan Provorov – 6 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P
    • Jake Voracek – 23 GP, 5 G, 14 A, 19 P
    • Cal Pickard – 1 GP, 0-0-1, 2.93 GAA, .925 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs one point to reach 700 for his career. 
    • Giroux also needs three assists to pass Brian Propp for 2nd all-time in Flyers history.

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

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