Flyers shooting for four straight in empty arena matchup
Intern head coach Mike Yeo and his 11-12-4 Philadelphia Flyers head into Montreal to take on the 6-21-3 Canadiens.
This is the first of three meetings between these two teams, the other two taking place on March 13th and April 21st. You can catch tonight’s game at 7:00 PM on NBCSP.
Carter Hart will get the start in goal tonight against the Canadiens. Hart is coming off an impressive 6-1 blowout win at home against New Jersey, where he saved 26 of 27 shots. He currently has a 7-8-3 record on the season with a 2.80 GAA and .915 SV%.
Hart has been phenomenal since the start of the season for the Flyers. We’re finally starting to see the offense wake up and give this kid some breathing room. Over their last five games, the Flyers have scored at least four goals in four of them.
- COL: 7-5 L
- NJD: 3-0 L
- VGK: 4-3 W
- ARI: 5-3 W
- NJD: 6-1 W
Morgan Frost was pulled early in the first period Tuesday against New Jersey for COVID protocol reasons. He was not at practice Wednesday and won’t be with the team in Montreal.
The Flyers are still without Derick Brassard, who remains day-to-day with a hip injury. Jackson Cates was called upon December 9th, right before the Vegas game, the same day they put Joel Farabee on IR. With Frost out, Oskar Lindblom takes his spot with Giroux and Cam Atkinson on the second line.
Expect Cates to suit up and play on the fourth line tonight.
Cates signed with the Flyers out of the University of Minnesota last season, scoring 0G-1A in four games with the big club. Noah Cates, Jackson’s brother, was the 137th pick (5th round) by the Flyers in 2017, so there’s a family connection there.
Projected Line Up vs. the Montreal Canadiens
Scott Laughton – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Claude Giroux – Cam Atkinson
Max Willman – Kevin Hayes – James van Riemsdyk
Jackson Cates – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Kevin Connauton
Needs to be a W
Montreal hasn’t been excellent this year. They’re 0-6-1 in their last seven games and haven’t scored more than three goals since November 27th against Pittsburgh. Yes, Montreal is always a tough place to go and play in, but after going on this nice little run here, losing to a 6-21-3 team would be such a Flyers thing to do.
Max Willman has looked good as the third-line wing the past couple of games. He picked up his first career assist on Atkinson’s third goal of the game Tuesday night. It’s nice seeing Willman starting to pick up the NHL game; he’s a fun player.
Since AV was let go, the Flyers’ power play has converted at a 36.4% pace, good for fourth-best in the league during that span. They surprisingly had zero power-play opportunities against the Devils on Tuesday, despite putting up six goals.
The Flyers are a combined 3-for-6 on the power play in the two road wins against Vegas and Arizona. Yeo has said Darryl Williams, the PP coach for now, has stressed quick plays and aggressiveness on the PP. Montreal is 14 for their last 18 on the penalty kill in their previous five games, so it’ll be interesting to see what special teams unit can keep up the momentum.
As always, tonight’s odds are brought to you by Parx Sportsbook, the official gambling partner of The Liberty Line. Flyers are +100 to win in regular time right on Parx.
Pierre LeBrun tweeted that there will be no fans in the arena tonight. My co-host Danny Diemer actually made a pretty good point to me as I type this. It’s going to be pretty hard for a team that is winless in their last seven games to create energy in an empty building. I’ve mentioned before how big of an advantage it is playing in that building as the home team. Now, they don’t have that.
Mandatory Credit: Flyers Twitter - Zack Hill - Flyers PR