Game Night: Flyers need to play better to keep streak alive in San Jose
The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to increase their point streak to seven games when they play in San Jose on Thursday night.
It won’t be easy because the Flyers are playing on back-to-back nights after traveling from Seattle, where they had an inartistic 3-2 overtime win Wednesday.
Seattle dominated the first two periods – the Flyers had problems exiting their zone — and finished with a huge advantage in shots (36-22) and shot attempts (61-39).
“We made it too hard on ourselves at different times,” said interim coach Mike Yeo, whose team committed a slew of turnovers in the first 40 minutes. “We forced ourselves to show more character than maybe we even needed. But that’s a big two points.”
The Philadelphia Flyers (13-12-5) have points in six straight games (5-0-1) after losing 10 straight. Can they continue the turnaround?
Only if they play much better than they did against the lowly Kraken.
The Flyers, who won Wednesday on Ivan Provorov’s pretty overtime goal, are 5-2-1 under Yeo.
The Sharks (16-14-1) will try to continue their offensive fireworks from Tuesday, when they outlasted Arizona, 8-7, in a shootout. Seven different players scored for San Jose, which set a season-high with seven goals.
Both teams are jockeying for wild-card spots — the Sharks are three points out in the West, while the Flyers are two points out in the East.
Here are the Flyers’ projected lines for Thursday’s matchup:
Line 1: Claude Giroux centering Oskar Lindblom and Cam Atkinson.
Line 2: Kevin Hayes centering Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny.
Line 3: Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Jackson Cates.
Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Max Willman and Zack MacEwen.
Defense: Provorov and Justin Braun; Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen; and Keith Yandle and Kevin Connauton.
Goalie: Martin Jones.
The Flyers (26th, 2.67 goals per game) and Sharks (22nd, 2,74) are near the bottom part of the league in goals scored per game. Both teams have struggled at times on defense — the Flyers are 22nd (3.13 per game) and San Jose is 18th (2.93).
The Flyers’ van Riemsdyk has points in five of his last six games, collecting five goals and seven points in that stretch. The 32-year-old left-winger had two goals to spark the win in Seattle.
Tomas Hertl has a seven-game point streak for the Sharks; he has seven goals and three assists in that span.
Projected goalie matchup
After Wednesday’s win, Yeo said he was undecided on his goalie for Thursday. But Jones played so well in the win (34 saves) that it would be a bit of a surprise if Yeo gave Felix Sandstrom his first NHL start.
Jones, who is in his first season with the Flyers, also has extra motivation, having played 327 games over six seasons with San Jose.
Carter Hart, the Flyers’ No. 1 goalie, is on the COVID-19 protocol list.
San Jose is expected to have James Reimer in the nets. Reiner, who had a maintenance day Wednesday, is 10-5-1 with a 2.29 GAA and .928 save percentage, and he has won four of his last five decisions.
How to watch
NBC Sports Philadelphia will televise the 10:30 p.m. game.
Money line (FanDuel)
Philadelphia Flyers: plus-126.
San Jose Sharks: minus-150.
Sharks 4, Flyers 2