Flyers vs. Capitals: Projected lines, game notes, and three things to watch
The Philadelphia Flyers are back home after embarking on a five-game road trip. And they’re back home in front of some fans!
The Flyers went 3-2-0 on their road trip, sweeping the two-game set in Buffalo and going 1-2-0 in Pittsburgh. Saturday’s loss was a disappointing end to the series against the Penguins, but the Flyers will have a chance to get back on track tonight at home.
The Capitals (13-6-4, 6-3-2 on the road) are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, but were shut out 5-0 by the Bruins on Friday night. The Flyers (12-6-3, 6-2-2 at home) could pass Washington in point percentage with a regulation win tonight.
Projected lines and pairs
The Philadelphia Flyers are back to having a mostly full forward group available to them. Joel Farabee was removed from the COVID Protocol list for Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh.
Michael Raffl, however, will miss time with a hand injury. He did not play much in the third period on Saturday. Connor Bunnaman will return to the lineup in his place.
James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier -Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Claude Giroux – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor Bunnaman – Nolan Patrick – Jakub Voracek
Philippe Myers missed Saturday’s game after taking a late in in Thursday’s game but will return tonight. Erik Gustafasson will also re-enter the lineup for Robert Hagg.
Here is our best guess at the defensive pairs tonight:
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Phil Myers
Erik Gustafsson – Justin Braun
Carter Hart will be between the pipes for the Flyers after Brian Elliott started two straight.
Follow us on Twitter (@PhillyHockeyNow) and keep an eye out for lineup updates as we get closer to game time.
- The Flyers beat the Capitals 7-4 in their only meeting this season. It was the Flyers’ final game before their break in action due to COVID.
- Carter Hart made 33 saves on 37 shots in the Flyers’ 7-4 win in Washington.
- Hart is 6-4-3 with one shutout, a .893 SV%, and 3.49 GAA on the season.
Get In The Game With Online Sports Betting
- The Flyers went 4-0-1 (including round-robin action) against the Capitals last season. They have won five straight against Washington.
- The Flyers have scored power-play goals in back-to-back games for the first time since February 21st and 24th. They went three games between that with no power-play goals.
- The Flyers have not lost after a regulation loss this season.
- The Capitals have not scored a power-play goal in their last four games. They are 1-for-15 over their last six games.
- Tom Wilson was suspended for seven games and will miss all three games against the Flyers this week.
Three Things To Watch
1. Welcome back, fans!
The Flyers got their first taste of playing in front of fans this week in Pittsburgh. However, playing in front of a home crowd is going to be a different animal.
There were only a limited number of tickets sold for the game, but Flyers fans will be sure to make noise throughout the contest. Hopefully, the Flyers will be able to feed off of that energy as other teams have done with fans in the stands.
2. Will the lineup shuffle continue?
Alain Vigneault was forced to shuffle up his lines for Thursday’s game without Farabee, and then he made a minor change on Saturday with Farabee back. Voracek went from the third line on Tuesday, to the top line on Thursday, all the way to the fourth line on Saturday.
The Flyers have all of their top-nine forwards healthy, with Raffl having to miss time with a hand injury.
Myers is returning on defense, however, after missing a game. Gustafsson is also cycling back in for Hagg. The pairs could look a bit different than they did previously.
3. Set the tone in series opener
The Flyers don’t play three straight against the Capitals like they did in Pittsburgh, but they have three games this week against Washington. They play tonight, Thursday, and Saturday, with a game against the Sabres on Tuesday night.
After losing two of three to the Penguins, the Flyers need to pick up at least five points in the four games this week. They should be able to beat the Sabres and the Capitals at least once. If they can pick up a point in another game, that’d be their low target. Ideally, they’ll sweep all four games or take two of three from Washington.
The Flyers and Capitals are set for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop on Sunday night.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images