Having proved they can go toe-to-toe with the league’s best away from home, the Philadelphia Flyers (8-7-1) return to the Wells Fargo Center to host the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights (13-3-1).
Head coach John Tortorella reiterated Friday that the Flyers are ‘rebuilding’, but that the rebuild does not come at the cost of the current cupboard of young players learning how to win. In particular, Tortorella singled out the Flyers’ ability to survive momentum swings in Carolina on Wednesday, and praised how they “ate pucks” (30, to be exact) to find a way to win.
The Flyers are 2-2-1 in their last five games against the Golden Knights, and lost 3-2 earlier in the season on Oct. 24. Adin Hill (2-0-0) and Logan Thompson (1-0-0) are undefeated in their careers against Philadelphia, and Vegas is 6-5-0 in their history against the Flyers.
Carter Hart was the first goalie off the ice Friday afternoon, so it appears he’s in line for the start on Saturday.
Flyers game time
Saturday’s Flyers game should begin shortly after 1 p.m.
The Flyers are on a season-high three-game win streak, and have outscored their opponents 13-6 over this period. The Golden Knights are a similar team to the Carolina Hurricanes, in that they play an extremely well-structured and detail-oriented game. Vegas doesn’t have game-breaking offensive stars, but it would be unwise to sleep on studs like Jack Eichel and Mark Stone.
Tortorella said after practice Friday that Bobby Brink would not play against the Golden Knights, and wouldn’t confirm whether or not Marc Staal (IR) would return to the Philadelphia Flyers lineup on Saturday. Provided Egor Zamula was benched for the entirety of the third period in Carolina, it would come as no surprise to see him join Brink as a healthy scratch for at least one game.
Expected Flyers Lines
Tyson Foerster – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett – Morgan Frost – Cam Atkinson
Joel Farabee – Ryan Poehling – Scott Laughton
Nicolas Deslauriers – Noah Cates – Garnet Hathaway
Cam York – Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler – Sean Walker
Marc Staal – Louie Belpedio
Expected Golden Knights Lines
Ivan Barbashev – Jack Eichel – Jonathan Marchessault
Michael Amadio – Brett Howden – Mark Stone
Pavel Dorofeyev – William Karlsson – Paul Cotter
William Carrier – Nicolas Roy – Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez – Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore – Brayden McNabb
Ben Hutton – Zach Whitecloud
Flyers Special Teams
Flyers power play: 7.55%, 30th
Flyers penalty kill: 80.39%, 14th
Golden Knights power play: 24.14%, 9th
Golden Knights penalty kill: 86.79%, 5th
Flyers Game Notes
Sean Couturier leads the Philadelphia Flyers in career scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights, with four goals, five assists, and nine points in eight games. Travis Konecny is a close second with two goals, six assists, and eight points in 10 games.
With their wins against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, the Flyers moved up to 4-4-0 against Pacific Division teams this year.
With his win against the Hurricanes, Carter Hart is three wins from tying former Flyers goaltenders Roman Cechmanek and Bob Froese for the fifth-most wins in franchise history (102).
Owen Tippett has scored a goal in each of his last four games (4G, 1A, 5 pts) and now has 11 points in 16 games this season.
How to Watch the Flyers Game
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR