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Flyers-Oilers preview: Philly hopes to build off hard-earned win

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Travis Sanheim, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Travis Sanheim and the Philadelphia Flyers will host the high-scoring Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Flyers played with physicality, scored the game’s first goal, and dominated the opening period en route to a hard-earned 2-1 win over Washington on Saturday.

They will try a similar formula Tuesday when they host the high-scoring Edmonton Oilers.

In that win, which snapped a six-game losing skid, the Flyers built a 2-0 first-period lead and held off the Capitals

Getting off to a good start has not been one of the Flyers’ strengths this season. They have allowed opponents to score first 30 times, and Philly has just three wins in those games (3-24-3).

The Oilers (29-21-3), of course, revolve around standout centers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who anchor a power play that is third in the NHL and clicks at 26.5%. Edmonton is ninth in the NHL, averaging 3.26 goals a game.

The Flyers (16–26-10) will be trying to sweep the season series over Edmonton. Philly, sparked by Cam Atkinson’s two goals, beat the Oilers in Edmonton, 5-3, on Oct. 27. That made the Flyers 3-1-1 under Alain Vigneault.

Yeah, it was a while ago.

Storylines

Can the Flyers build off a rare win? They have just three victories in their last 22 games. That said, they have been highly competitive in their last five games, all against strong opponents.

Edmonton should have more urgency. Unlike the Flyers, the Oilers are in the thick of a playoff race. They are tied with Dallas for the final Western Conference wild-card spot, though the Stars have a game in hand.

Flyers’ projected lineup

Line 1: Claude Giroux centering Joel Farabee and Atkinson.

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

Line 3: Derick Brassard centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.

Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Isaac Ratcliffe and Zack MacEwen.

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

Goalie:  Carter Hart.

Numbers Dept.

Expect a high-scoring game. The Flyers are 25th in the NHL in goals allowed (3.40 per game), while the Oilers are 23rd, surrendering 3.23 per game.

Edmonton has allowed eight power-play goals over the last six games. The Flyers have just three PP goals in their last 39 chances.

Who’s hot

Veteran center Derek Ryan has four goals over the last two games for Edmonton.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim has four points and is plus-3 over the last five games. He and Rasmus Ristolainen are playing like the Flyers’ No. 1 pairing.

Projected goalie matchup­­­

Edmonton’s Mikko Koskinen (18-8-2), who has a great record despite poor stats (3.13 GAA, .901 save percentage) is expected to get the call and face Hart (2.90, .911), who is coming off a strong performance against Washington – and his first win since Feb. 1.

How to watch

NBC Sports Philadelphia at 7 p.m.

How to bet

Money line (FanDuel)

Oilers: minus-164.

Flyers: plus-136.

Prediction

Oilers 4, Flyers 3.

Prediction record: 16-5.

PHN Extra: What can the Flyers get in return for Claude Giroux?

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