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Flyers at Penguins: Projected lines, game notes, and three things to watch on Thursday night



Flyers Penguins

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to bounce back in the second of a three-game set in Pittsburgh tonight. The Flyers lost to the Penguins 5-2 on Tuesday night and the teams will finish out the set on Saturday afternoon.

The Flyers (11-5-3, 8-5-2 on the road) are looking to move back up the standings. The Penguins (12-8-1, 8-1-0 at home) are just behind them and the Islanders for the final playoff spots in the East Division.

Projected lines and pairs

Alain Vigneault kept his cards close to his chest when speaking to the media on Thursday. He stressed the importance of keeping players fresh as the Flyers begin another three-games-in-four-days stretch.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel was the healthy scratch on Tuesday night. He’ll likely return to the lineup, but it could be a few different players coming out.

Here is the best guess at projected lines and pairs for the Flyers against the Penguins. Joel Farabee will miss tonight’s game after being placed on the NHL COVID list.

James van RiemsdykSean CouturierTravis Konecny
Claude GirouxKevin HayesNolan Patrick
Oskar LindblomScott LaughtonJakub Voracek
Michael RafflConnor BunnamanNicolas Aube-Kubel

The defensive pairs could also be switched up after an abysmal performance on Tuesday night.

Ivan ProvorovShayne Gostisbehere
Travis SanheimJustin Braun
Robert HaggPhilippe Myers

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

Keep an eye out for updates as we get closer to game time. Follow us on Twitter (@PhillyHockeyNow).

Game Notes

  • The Flyers are 2-1-0 against the Penguins this season. The two wins came in the Flyers’ first two games of the year.
  • The Flyers have been able to avoid losing streaks so far this season. They haven’t lost more than two games in a row and are 4-0-0 after a regulation loss this season.

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Three Things To Watch

1. How does the lineup look?

As mentioned above, we’re going in dark as far as the Flyers lineup is concerned. Vigneault said that there are several moving parts that will be decided around game time.

The only line that played well on Tuesday night was the top line. They should stick together, but the bottom three lines could be thrown into a blender. The lines had a different look in the third period on Tuesday and they could look even more different if Nolan Patrick and Scott Laughton are both at center.

Things on defense aren’t exactly clear, either. Most of the Flyers defensemen had bad games on Tuesday night. We’ll see who gets rotated out if Vigneault wants to continue doing that.

2. Looking for a bounce-back effort

The Flyers have not lost a game this season following a regulation loss. They’ve had three back-to-back losses after falling in overtime or the shootout, but not after their four regulation losses this season.

They’ll turn to Brian Elliott in net to get back in the win column. He has been great this season for the Flyers and hopefully that can continue tonight.

3. Who replaces Farabee?

One line – hell, one player – scored both of the Flyers goals on Tuesday night.

Joel Farabee had two goals for his third multi-goal game of the season. He had six shot attempts (four on goal) and was credited with five hits. He’s been thriving on a line with Sean Couturier, who has been riding a streak of his own.

Unfortunately, Farabee will miss tonight’s game after being added to the NHL COVID Protocol list. The Flyers will need someone to replace his production in the lineup.

Farabee added to NHL COVID Protocol list, will miss game vs. Penguins

They could still keep the top-pair duo together:

Sean Couturier extended his scoring streak to a career-high seven games with an assist on Farabee’s first goal on Tuesday night. He led the Flyers with seven shots on goal in the game. Couturier is sixth on the team with 12 points despite playing in just nine games.

James van Riemsdyk had an assist on Tuesday to extend his point streak to five games. He also has points in 12 of his last 13 games. He leads the Flyers in points (26) and is tied with Farabee with 10 goals.

The Flyers and Penguins are set for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop on Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images

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