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



Flyers Penguins

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to win the final game of a three-game set in Pittsburgh tonight. The Flyers and Penguins split the first two games. The Penguins won 5-2 on Tuesday night before the Flyers’ great come-from-behind victory on Thursday night.

The Flyers (12-5-3, 6-3-1 on the road) are looking to keep their lead over the Penguins (12-9-1, 8-2-0 at home) in the East Division.

Projected lines and pairs

Alain Vigneault was forced to make some last-minute changes on Thursday night with Joel Farabee being added to the NHL COVID Protocol list. The lines looked a bit weird, but they worked.

Farabee is still on the NHL COVID Protocol list and will miss Saturday’s game.

James van RiemsdykSean CouturierJakub Voracek
Scott LaughtonKevin HayesTravis Konecny
Oskar LindblomClaude GirouxNicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor BunnamanNolan PatrickMichael Raffl

The defensive pairs may look a bit different. Phil Myers is doubtful for Saturday’s game after taking a late hit on Thursday night. If he can’t go, Erik Gustafsson will draw back into the lineup.

Ivan ProvorovShayne Gostisbehere
Travis SanheimJustin Braun
Robert Hagg – Erik Gustafsson

Brian Elliott will get the start again in Pittsburgh, with Carter Hart slated to start Sunday night against the Capitals.

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 3-1-0 against the Penguins this season.

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  • Brian Elliott is 6-1-0 on the season with a .926 SV% and 2.15 GAA.
  • Sean Couturier is riding an eight-game point streak. He has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in that span.

Three Things To Watch

1. Can these lines work again?

When the Flyers lines were revealed prior to Thursday night’s game, they looked a bit suspect. Claude Giroux on the third line with Oskar Lindblom and Nicolas Aube-Kubel was probably the most intriguing of the lines in terms of the unknown factor. That had never been a line in the past, but it didn’t matter as Giroux willed the Flyers to a win on Thursday night.

The second line, in particular, had a good game on Thursday night. They didn’t score a goal, but the reunited trio of Laughton, Hayes, and Konecny brought back their chemistry from last season. The line can get in on the forecheck and create some chaos.

Having Giroux on the third line isn’t ideal, but if it works, it works.

2. Gustafsson in for Myers?

Phil Myers may need to miss Saturday’s game with an injury, meaning that Erik Gustafsson will likely take his place in the lineup.

The forward lines weren’t the only thing that looked a bit odd on Thursday. The defensive pairs had Justin Braun on the top unit with Ivan Provorov. It worked, however, and those pairs could stick together with a Robert Hagg – Erik Gustafsson third pair.

Hopefully, Myers has a minor injury and can play, but it didn’t look great.

3. Closing out the series

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

The Flyers said that they are treating this series like a mini playoff series. That may be a good thing for the Penguins since they didn’t make the playoffs last season.

Kidding aside, this is an important game and series for the Flyers. They either take two of three in Pittsburgh or go one for three due to their defensive breakdowns on Tuesday. It’s not going to get easier for the Flyers, who play three of their next four against the Washington Capitals.

The Flyers and Penguins are set for a 1:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images

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