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Flyers-Wild preview: Philly faces Fleury and explosive Minnesota   



Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers

If Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher had a crystal ball, he wouldn’t have traded Ryan Hartman to Dallas in 2019 for Minnesota native Tyler Pitlick.

If Fletcher had kept the feisty Hartman and he would have developed into the type of player he is with the Minnesota Wild this season, his deal to acquire him and conditional fourth-round pick for an aging Wayne Simmonds would have been spectacular.

That deal was made just before the trade deadline in February, 2019. Four months later, Hartman was dealt again.

With the Flyers, Hartman had two goals and six points in 19 games.

The Flyers are sorry they hardly got to know him.

Then again, Hartman, who is centering Minnesota’s top line, wouldn’t be as dominating with the Flyers as he is with Wild wingers Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov (36 goals, 81 points) and Mats Zuccarello (19 goals, 67 points).

Hartman, 27, a first-round pick of Chicago’s (30th overall) in 2013, is second on the Wild with 27 goals and fourth with 50 points. Both are career highs. By far.

The visiting Flyers (21-34-11) will face the explosive Wild (40-20-4) on Tuesday, and Minnesota native Noah Cates will make his NHL debut for Philadelphia.


Can the Flyers end their five-game road trip with stunning victory? The Flyers are 1-3 and have been outscored, 19-15, on the trip.

Minnesota will be attempting win its seventh straight. The Wild overcame a late 4-3 deficit and defeated the host Flyers, 5-4, on March 3. Hartman has six shots and a goal in that win.

Flyers’ projected lineup

Line 1:  Joel Farabee centering James van Riemsdyk and Cam Atkinson.

Line 2: Kevin Hayes centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.

Line 3: Morgan Frost centering Cates and Owen Tippett.

Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Hayden Hodgson and Zack MacEwen.

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

Goalie:  Martin Jones.

Numbers Dept.

The Flyers have the NHL’s worst power play (13.2%), while the Wild are No. 19 (20.36%).

Minny’s biggest advantage is its offense. The Wild are averaging 3.62 goals per game (fourth in the NHL); the Flyers are averaging just 2.59 (30th).

Who’s hot?

For Minnesota, Kaprizov has six goals and two assists over his last six games.

Farabee has a career-high five-game point streak, during which he has three goals and four assists.

Projected goalie matchup­­­

Jones (3.38 GAA, .901 save percentage) will get the start because Carter Hart (3.04 , .909) has a nagging injury. Jones will face recently acquired Marc-Andre-Fleury (2.93, .908), who beat Columbus in OT, 3-2, in his only appearance for the Wild.

How to watch

NBC Spots Philadelphia+, 8 p.m.

How to bet

Money line (FanDuel)

Flyers: plus-240.

Wild: minus-300.


Wild 4, Flyers 2.

Prediction record: 24-8.

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