The Flyers shootout loss on Tuesday to Los Angeles had everything but the finish. The Kings tied the game in the final minute of regulation and the Flyers couldn’t convert in overtime or the shootout to grab the extra point.
But after one of their better efforts of the season, the Flyers can bring that confidence into a game against another tough Western Conference team. The San Jose Sharks await the Flyers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.
It’s no secret the Flyers performance has been better with Shayne Gostisbehere in the lineup. Gostisbehere got his first NHL point on the game-tying goal in Carolina on Saturday and scored his first NHL goal on Tuesday.
The Flyers top line of Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and recently added Brayden Schenn showed plenty of life as well in Tuesday’s game, finally cashing in for a goal with just under eight minutes to play.
Steve Mason also turned in a solid game on Tuesday, making 38 saves in regulation and overtime before allowing the only goal of the shootout. Mason is 3-5-3 on the season with a 3.21 GAA and .902 save percentage.
The Sharks come in with a 10-8-0 record, good for 20 total points.
San Jose is led in points by Joe Pavelski with 18 total, including a team-high 10 goals. Joel Ward, Brent Burns and Joe Thornton are each tied with 14 points. Thornton has 11 assists, good for the team lead.
Patrick Marleau trails right behind with 11 points, and has a career milestone within reach. The veteran forward's next point will be the 1,000th of his career.
In addition to Burns offensive savvy on the blue line, Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun hold down the fort in the defensive end. The Sharks allow 2.61 goals per game, but just 27.6 shots per game.
In goal, Martin Jones will get the start. Jones is 9-5-0 with a 2.25 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Line 1: Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jake VoracekLine 2: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne SimmondsLine 3: Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Sam GagnerLine 4: Michael Raffl-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Chris VandeVelde
D-Pair 1: Michael Del Zotto-Radko GudasD-Pair 2: Nick Schultz-Luke SchennD-Pair 3: Brandon Manning-Shayne GostisbehereGoalie: Steve Mason
Scratches: Vincent Lecavalier, R.J. Umberger, Ryan White, Mark Streit, Evgeny Medvedev
Where to WatchTV: CSNRadio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.