Flyers-Habs preview: 2 teams in draft-lottery race
The Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens, strong contenders for the top pick in the draft lottery, will meet at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday night.
Both teams have played better lately, but don’t have a lot to show for it.
Montreal (15-35-8), which has 38 points in 58 games, is favored to win the lottery. The Canadiens have a 16.6% chance to get the top pick, according to tankathon.com
The Flyers (18-30-10), who have 46 points in 58 games, have the fifth-best chance at 8.5%. But they have gotten closer to the bottom of the pack by losing 23 of their last 28 games.
Center Shane Wright is expected to be the No. 1 overall draft pick.
With about six weeks left in the regular season, Seattle (12.1%), Arizona (10.9%) and Buffalo (9.7%) also have better odds than the Flyers, who are favored to beat the Habs on Sunday.
This is just the second meeting between the teams this season. The Canadiens ended a seven-game losing streak and scored a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Flyers on Dec. 16.
The Flyers have played teams tough. They have been ahead, tied for trailing by one goal in the third period of 21 of their last 23 games, but have just five wins in those instances. Can they put the finishing touches on a weak opponent like Montreal?
The Habs are allowing a league-worst 3.79 goals per game. Holy Ken Dryden!
Travis Konecny says the Flyers “have an opportunity to rewrite the end of the season and finish strong — instead of sitting back and pouting about what happened throughout the year.”
Both teams are playing on back-to-back nights. The Flyers are coming off a 3-1 loss in Carolina, while Montreal dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to visiting Seattle.
Flyers’ projected lineup
The lines will all look different tonight compared to Saturday:
Line 1: Derick Brassard centering Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson.
Line 2: Claude Giroux centering Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny.
Line 3: Kevin Hayes centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.
Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Oskar Lindblom and Zack MacEwen.
Defense: Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun; Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen, Keith Yandle and Cam York.
Goalie: Carter Hart.
Giroux, who will be playing in his 999th career game, needs one point to get to the 900 mark.
Nick Suzuki leads the Habs with 41 points (14-27) but is minus-17.
The Habs actually have a worse PP (12.7%, 31st) than the Philadelphia Flyers (13.7%, 30th).
For Montreal, LW Artturi Lehkonen has six goals and eight points over his last six games.The Habs, however, announced before the game he has an upper-body injury.
Atkinson has four goals over his last seven games for the Flyers.
Projected goalie matchup
Hart (2.94 GAA, .912 save percentage) will face Sam Montembeault (3.63, .897), who is starting for the second straight night. Surprised Cayden Primeau (4.88, .866), the pride of Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken, didn’t get the call.
How to watch
NBC Sports Philadelphia at 7 p.m.
How to bet
Money line (FanDuel)
Flyers 4, Canadiens 2.
Prediction record: 21-6.