Game 29 Preview: Flyers look to snap long losing streak in St. Louis


Tuesday night, the effort was there for the Flyers. Everything was clicking and they seemed poised to grab a win over the Islanders. The glorified skills competition strikes again.

That was only the beginning of a week that looks daunting on paper for the Orange and Black. Next up is the St. Louis Blues.

The last time the Flyers won a game in St. Louis, the current Blues coach was their head coach. Ken Hitchcock was behind the Flyers bench for a 5-2 win in December 2005. Particularly, St. Louis has been a place where goal-scoring has not come easy. In the last two seasons, the Flyers two games in St. Louis ended in 1-0 shootout losses.

The opening face-off is set for 8 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Blues Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 28 10 14 24 Vladimir Tarasenko 27 16 11 27
Jake Voracek 28 1 14 15 Alexander Steen 28 10 14 24
Wayne Simmonds 28 7 8 15 David Backes 28 7 7 14
Brayden Schenn 26 6 6 12 Colton Parayko 26 5 9 14
Scott Laughton 28 3 6 9 Kevin Shattenkirk 18 4 10 14
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, E Last 5 Games: 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, E
Claude Giroux has really been the most consistent forward on the Flyers this season. He turned in another strong game on Tuesday and continues to be the driving force behind both scoring and creating chances.
Vladimir Tarasenko is one of the NHL's rising stars. He's skilled, shifty and boy, can he score. The Russian winger, who is set to turn 24 in three days, is third in the NHL in goals this season with 16.
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 1 Brian Elliott
6-3-2, 1.99 GAA, .937 SV% 4-2-2, 2.36 GAA, .909 SV%

Michal Neuvirth nearly earned the Flyers two points by being excellent in relief of a shaky Steve Mason on Tuesday. Neuvirth's 1.99 GAA ranks second in the NHL and he leads the league with a .937 save percentage.

Blues backup Brian Elliott gets the start for St. Louis. Hitchcock noted that "it's his turn" in the goalie rotation, so he will be in net. Elliott is 6-3-0 with a 2.12 GAA and three shutouts in his career against the Flyers.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Mark Streit, Sam Gagner, Andrew MacDonald, Vincent Lecavalier, Luke Schenn

Left Wing Center Right Wing
12 Michael Raffl 28 Claude Giroux 10 Brayden Schenn
24 Matt Read 14 Sean Couturier 17 Wayne Simmonds
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 93 Jake Voracek
20 R.J. Umberger 21 Scott Laughton 25 Ryan White
15 Michael Del Zotto 3 Radko Gudas  
55 Nick Schultz 82 Evgeny Medvedev  
23 Brandon Manning 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Andrew MacDonald played well on Tuesday, but with Radko Gudas returning from suspension, the veteran defenseman will be a healthy scratch on Thursday. The rest of the Flyers lineup remains the same.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (23rd, T-18th on road), Blues (T-24th, 29th at home) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (19th, 15th on road), Blues (2nd, 6th at home)
  • The Flyers split the two games against the Blues last season. They claimed a 3-1 win at home over the Blues on March 5, with Michael Del Zotto, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl scoring goals. They fell, 1-0, in a shootout in St. Louis on March 12 with Brian Elliott and Steve Mason each getting shutouts.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Blues
    • Jake Voracek – 23 games, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points
    • Wayne Simmonds – 16 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points
    • R.J. Umberger – 33 games, 11 goals, 9 assists, 20 points
    • Michal Neuvirth – 2 games, 1-1-0, 4.00 GAA, .857 SV%
  • Milestone Watch: Wayne Simmonds needs one assist to reach 100 as a Flyer and one point to reach 300 for his career.

Where to Watch
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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

Go to top button