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Flyers-Blues preview: Craig Berube, Brayden Schenn back in town

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Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers right winger Travis Konecny has put together a six-game point streak. His team hosts the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Craig Berube, the coach who was fired by Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall in 2015 and won a Stanley Cup in St. Louis in 2019, will bring his Blues to the Wells Fargo Center for a 7 p.m. matchup Tuesday.

The Blues (29-14-6), coming of Saturday’s 6-3 win in Toronto, will face a Flyers team that has played much better lately but has lost five straight. Earlier this season, they had 10- and 13-game losing streaks.

St. Louis has been on a roll since December, going 17-7-3 in that span.

The Flyers (15-25-10), who are coming off Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Carolina and will be playing on back-to-back nights, have outplayed Pittsburgh, Washington, and Carolina during significant stretches over the last three games, only to lose all three games, including two in overtime.

Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo will be facing the team he used to coach. He was fired by the Blues early in the 2018-19 season, and Berube replaced him and guided St. Louis to its first Cup.

It will be interesting to see how Flyers captain Claude Giroux performs tonight. St. Louis is one of the teams reportedly showing interest in him if he waives his no-movement clause.

Storylines

The second period could be a key tonight, based on both teams’ performances in that stanza. St. Louis has a plus-24 goal differential in the second, while the Philadelphia Flyers are minus-17.

Another storyline: This will be a homecoming for Berube and sizzling Blues center Brayden Schenn (14 goals, 27 points), who has two goals and four points in five games against his former team. The Blues have not met the Flyers since Jan. 15, 2020 in St. Louis, a 4-3 Flyers win. This is St. Louis’ first trip to Philadelphia in more than three years, when the Blues had a 3-0 win on Jan. 7, 2019.

That latter game is when goalie Jordan Binnington made his first NHL start, and it triggered a revival in which the Blues – who had the NHL’s second-worst record at the time – began their march toward winning the Stanley Cup.

Flyers’ projected lineup

Line 1: Claude Giroux centering Isaac Ratcliffe and Cam Atkinson.

Line 2: Scott Laughton centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.

Line 3: Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.

Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Max Willman and Zack MacEwen.

Defense: Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun; Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen; Keith Yandle and Nick Seeler.

Goalie:  Martin Jones. Carter Hart is still bothered by an eye infection.

Numbers Dept.

As is usually the case, the Flyers are at a huge disadvantage in specials teams.

St. Louis has the league’s second-best power play, clicking at 26.8%, and the Blues are sixth on the penalty kill (84.6% success rate).

The Flyers are 30th on the power play (14.4%), and 24th on the PK (76.2%).

In five-on-five play, the Blues are plus-20, while the Flyers are minus-20.

Who’s hot

Schenn has 15 points, including nine goals, in his last 11 games.

Konecny has points in six straight games (goal, five assists) for the Flyers.

Projected goalie matchup­­­

St. Louis will go with the struggling Binnington, who is 11-10-3 with a 3.35 GAA and .898 save percentage — far below his career numbers. He has lost three straight, compiling save percentages of .815, .800, and .850, respectively, in those games.

Jones (3.59, .897) will start for the second straight night. He is aiming for his first win since Dec. 29 in Seattle.

How to watch

NBC Sports Philadelphia at 7 p.m.

How to bet

Money line (FanDuel)

Blues: minus-220.

Flyers: plus-180.

Prediction

Blues 5, Flyers 2.

Prediction record: 15-4.

Flyers left winger Issac Ratcliffe is opening eyes in his first NHL stint 

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