Flyers-Predators: Game 7 Preview


(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to avenge a heartbreaking, yet frustrating loss just nine days ago to the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. from the Wells Fargo Center.

By Dan Heaning, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Philadelphia Flyers look to avenge a heartbreaking and frustrating loss to the Nashville Predators tonight at 7 p.m. from the Wells Fargo Center.

Just nine days ago, the Orange and Black surrendered a 5-3 lead in the third period to these same Predators. A pair of late penalties by Dale Weise and Andrew MacDonald put Nashville up two men, and eventually, three men with the goalie pulled. Scott Hartnell capitalized on the power play but head coach Dave Hakstol challenged the play was offside. The goal was upheld and the Flyers were penalized for delaying the game. The Predators eventually won the game shortly after the MacDonald minor expired.

Philadelphia will look to avoid such a wacky ending this time around, but this young season has been full of surprises, to say the least thus far.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Nashville Predators GP G A P
Shayne Gostisbehere 6 1 9 10 Filip Forsberg 6 5 4 9
Jake Voracek 6 0 10 10 P.K. Subban 6 1 6 7
Claude Giroux 6 4 5 9 Viktor Arvidsson 6 3 2 5
Wayne Simmonds 6 5 2 7 Scott Hartnell 6 3 1 4
Sean Couturier 6 4 3 7 Ryan Johansen 6 0 4 4
Player to Watch
14 Sean Couturier 9 Filip Forsberg
Last 5 Games: 4 G, 2 A, 6 P, +7 Last 5 Games: 4 G, 4 A, 8 P, +2
Sean Couturier will need to help stabilize the Flyers defense against a Predators team that exposed their penalty kill and ability to hold a lead late in Nashville. Since then, the Flyers have had insurmountable leads against the Capitals and Panthers so it’ll be key for the likes of Couturier to not only keep the Predators man advantage and top scorers at bay, but to continue his offensive chemistry with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek going.
Filip Forsberg haunted the Philadelphia Flyers dreams of winning nine days ago in Nashville. All three points the Nashville forward produced came after the Orange and Black took a 5-3 lead in the third period. His first goal sparked the resurgence, his assist on Scott Hartnell’s goal helped tied the game and his second tally ended it. If the Flyers are to avenge their loss to the Predators, Forsberg needs to be contained.
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 35 Pekka Rinne
1-1-0, 1.51 GAA, .956 SV% 3-1-1, 2.42 GAA, .919 SV%

Michal Neuvirth deservingly gets the nod. In his two starts, Neuvirth has made some spectacular saves and posted superior numbers to Brian Elliott. Neuvirth comes into the game with a lifetime record of 3-0-1 against the Predators posting a 1.44 GAA and .955 save percentage.

Pekka Rinne has been on a roll after a rocky start to the season. Rinne gave up eight goals, including five against the Flyers, in his first two games. Since then, Rinne has surrendered four markers in three contests en route to stopping 83 shots in the same span. He is 5-2-2 with a 2.91 GAA and .906 save percentage in nine career games against the Flyers.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Jori Lehtera, Brandon Manning

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
40 Jordan Weal 51 Valtteri Filppula 17 Wayne Simmonds
22 Dale Weise 19 Nolan Patrick 11 Travis Konecny
20 Taylor Leier 21 Scott Laughton 12 Michael Raffl
9 Ivan Provorov 47 Andrew MacDonald  
6 Travis Sanheim 3 Radko Gudas  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 8 Robert Hagg  
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Lineup Notes

Travis Sanheim gets back on the ice at the expense of Brandon Manning. Despite an injury scare, Wayne Simmonds is expected to suit up for the Flyers so Jori Lehtera remains in the press box.

Predators Projected Lineup

Injuries: Ryan Ellis (knee, out until January), Yannick Weber (lower body, out indefinitely), Nick Bonino (lower body, day-to-day)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
9 Filip Forsberg 92 Ryan Johansen 33 Viktor Arvidsson
22 Kevin Fiala 10 Colton Sissons 15 Craig Smith
17 Scott Hartnell 19 Calle Jarnkrok 20 Miikka Salomaki
55 Cody McLeod 89 Frederick Gaudreau 51 Austin Watson
25 Alexei Emelin 76 P.K. Subban  
59 Roman Josi 14 Mattias Ekholm  
52 Matt Irwin 2 Matt Bitetto  
35 Pekka Rinne    

Lineup Notes: Pontus Aberg and Samuel Girard are expected to be healthy scratches.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (7th, T-5th at home), Predators (6th, T-15th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (27th, T-8th at home), Predators (11th, 5th on road)
  • Recent History vs. Predators
    • Oct. 10, 2017 – Predators 6, Flyers 5
    • Dec. 19, 2016 – Predators 2, Flyers 1 (SO)
    • Dec. 4, 2016 – Flyers 4, Predators 2
  • Milestone Watch
    • Tonight will mark Dale Weise’s 400th NHL game.
    • Wayne Simmonds needs two assists to reach the 200 mark.
    • Jake Voracek needs two points to reach 500 in his career.
    • Sean Couturier needs two points to reach 200 in his career.
    • Shayne Gostisbehere needs five points to reach 100 in his career.

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

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