After the Philadelphia Flyers dispatched the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 Friday afternoon, the orange and black are now in Nashville to take on the Predators.
Tonight begins a six-game trek on the road where the Flyers will cover almost 7,000 miles over 13 days. Five of the next six opponents have winning records, so the Flyers will face stiff competition in the upcoming weeks.
The Flyers (11-12-2) go into tonight’s tilt against an injury-riddled Predators team (13-11-2). Nashville will be without its captain Shea Weber, who took a puck to the face, and world-class goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Predators are 5-5-1 in their last ten and are looking to avoid a two-game skid.
One thing the Flyers must keep in mind is the first goal. The Flyers have yet to win a game when they give up the first goal. Nashville has yet to lose in regulation – 9-0-1 – when they lead after the first and second periods.
The Flyers have taken a turn for the better on their penalty killing. The PK units have killed off the last seven power plays. The Flyers power play teams have gotten better, but could use some work. During several games, the power play has been given numerous five-on-three power plays but the orange and black could not cash in on a single one.
Steve Mason (8-8-2 with a 2.10 GAA, .933 save percentage) will get the start for the Flyers. He will be opposed by Marek Mazanec, who has put some impressive numbers thus far. Mazanec has a 2.01 GAA to complement a .934 save percentage and 5-4-0 record.
The Flyers are 7-6-3 – three ties – against the Predators. The last time the two teams clashed was February 2, 2012. The Flyers defeated the Predators 4-1.