After gaining a point but dropping both games on the road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers return home to battle the Minnesota Wild for the first time this season.
In both games last season, extra time was needed to determine a winner. It was Matt Boldy who factored in on all of Minnesota’s goal in a 3-2 overtime victory on Jan. 26. Tyson Foerster’s second NHL goal in the games final six minutes helped the Flyers to an eventual 5-4 shootout victory on Mar. 23.
Both teams would like to get this one done in regulation if possible.
The Flyers largely outplayed both Dallas and Vegas during their last two games. However, small mistakes against better competition ended in losses in both games. It’s part of the learning experiences that John Tortorella has been talking about. This team, with a lot of younger players, will be learning and making mistakes in real time throughout the season. It’s about growing from them and figuring out what situations they can be aggressive in and when they need to hang back.
A prime example of that is Cam York’s turnover that led to the game-winning goal in the final moments of the loss to Vegas. Tortorella wasn’t mad that York tried to make a play to create offense because that is what the Flyers are trying to do as a team. It was when he did it and where he was on the ice when it happened. It’s the willingness to want to make something happen that is encouraging.
There will be some changes to the lineup tonight. Emil Andrae has been sent to the AHL in order to develop more. It was a likely scenario to happen and one that Tortorella had eluded to before the game against Vegas. It was down to whether or not trial by fire at the NHL was the right thing. In the end, more development and playing time with the Phantoms was the best decision. In his place, Louie Belpedio and Victor Mete have been recalled. The former will play his first game since Apr. 2021.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Owen Tippett – Sean Couturier – Cam Atkinson
Travis Konecny – Scott Laughton – Tyson Foerster
Joel Farabee – Noah Cates – Bobby Brink
Nicolas Deslauriers – Ryan Poehling – Garnet Hathaway
Cam York – Travis Sanheim
Egor Zamula – Sean Walker
Nick Seeler – Louie Belpedio
The Wild are in the midst of a three game road trip and will play back to back games starting with this matchup against the Flyers. While they haven’t had trouble scoring goals, they haven’t been able to keep them out of their own net either. They’ve given up four or more goals in five of their six games to start the season. They’ve been on the losing end of three of those games, two of them seeing seven goals hit the back of their net.
Goaltending has clearly been a problem for both Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson. Fleury has given up seven goals and has a .868 SV% in two games. Gustavsson has let in 16 goals after an opening season shutout. He has a .897 SV% in four games. Thankfully the team is also getting scoring from multiple players to make up for the goaltending.
Joel Eriksson Ek is off to a strong start, leading the Wild in goals (5) and points (9). Mats Zuccarello is also hot to start the year. He has a five game point streak that has him tied for the team lead in points. His two goals are tied for third. And while he only has two goals as well, Kirill Kaprizov is the third Wild player with nine points on the season. He has registered a point in four of Minnesota’s five games and is coming off a three-assist performance in a 7-4 win over Edmonton.
Wild Projected Lineup
Kirill Kaprizov – Ryan Hartman – Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Johansson – Joel Eriksson Ek – Patrick Maroon
Marcus Foligno – Marco Rossi – Vinni Lettieri
Brandon Duhaime – Connor Dewar – Jujhar Khaira
Jonas Brodin – Brock Faber
Jacob Middleton – Dakota Mermis
Jon Merrill – Calen Addison
Where, When, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 7:30 PM
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Radio: 93.3 WMMR
Live Stream: FuboTV
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