The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping that the third time is the charm against the Washington Capitals this week. They lost on Sunday, beat Buffalo on Tuesday, then lost to the Capitals again on Thursday night.
It’s been a rough week for the Flyers, who are beating themselves recently. It’s time for them to show what they’re made of, and that starts tonight.
Projected lines and pairs
Michael Raffl remains out with a hand injury. The forward group remains the same, with a slight tweak to the bottom two lines.
Aube-Kubel moves up to the third line, with Voracek sliding over to left wing. Lindblom moves down to the fourth line with Andreoff sliding to right wing.
Brian Elliott will get the start tonight. It’s the second straight start for Elliott, both against the Capitals.
Follow us on Twitter (@PhillyHockeyNow) and keep an eye out for lineup updates as we get closer to game time.
- The Flyers (13-8-3, 7-4-2 at home) are looking to climb back into the playoff picture.
- The Capitals (16-6-4, 8-3-2 on the road) are looking to move closer to first place.
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- The road team has won in each head-to-head matchup so far this season. The Flyers won 7-4 on February 7th and the Capitals won 3-1 on Sunday and 5-3 on Thursday night.
- This will be the third straight game that Elliott will see action in, and the fourth game in eight days. He started last Saturday in Pittsburgh, relieved Hart in Tuesday’s comeback win, and allowed four goals on 21 shots in Thursday night’s loss.
- Capitals forward Lars Eller was a late scratch on Thursday night due to a family matter.
What to watch for
1. Vigneault turns to Elliott again
Brian Elliott is a great backup goalie. However, he could be getting ridden too hard in March. Carter Hart is struggling, but Elliott may not be capable of starting as many games as he is this season.
Elliott has been solid and starting him in tonight’s game isn’t a stretch. However, it could quickly become a problem for the aging Elliott with the five-games-in-seven-days stretch starting on Wednesday. We’ll see how he handles tonight and, more importantly, how Hart bounces back after a bit of a break.
2. Can Flyers stop beating themselves?
There is a lot going wrong for the Flyers recently. Whether it be bad turnovers, not being able to clear the zone, missed assignments, or poor goaltending, the Flyers are beating themselves. It’s frustrating to watch and can only go on for so long before something needs to be changed.
The Flyers need to figure things out and show what they really are.
3. Top-six forwards remain intact
The Flyers have been struggling recently, but there haven’t been many changes up front. Since Konecny returned to the second line with Laughton and Hayes, the top two lines haven’t changed.
The top line of JVR, Couturier, and Farabee was put together out of necessity after the COVID pause. They played extremely well together but may lose their magic soon. If the Flyers put themselves in a hole again and need a spark, the line shuffle could begin.
The Flyers and Capitals are set for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images