The Philadelphia Flyers (38-25-14) could not be more desperate for a victory when they head to the Pepsi Center to take on the Colorado Avalanche for the second game of a back-to-back (41-27-8). Similar to the Flyers, the Avs are in the midst of a dogfight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, currently sitting two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the second wild-card position. With both franchises in dire need of two points, Wednesday night’s showdown will very much have a playoff feel to it.
Being in separate conferences, Colorado and Philadelphia only meet on two occasions a season. The Avalanche took the first game in Philadelphia; however, the Flyers are 40-25-14-6 all-time against the Avs.
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Line Combinations: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Jake Voracek
Jordan Weal– Valtteri Filppula – Wayne Simmonds
Jori Lehtera – Scott Laughton – Matt Read
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost – JT Compher – Alexander Kerfoot
Matthew Nieto – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau
Gabriel Bourque – Dominic Toninato – Mark Alt
Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth – Erik Johnson
Anton Lindholm – Samuel Girard
Three Storylines to Watch
Wednesday night’s game will showcase two Hart Memorial Trophy candidates in Claude Giroux and Nathan MacKinnon. Both individuals have 92 points on the season and are tied for the fourth-most points in the entire National Hockey League. Giroux and MacKinnon can put their respective teams on their backs and carry them to victory, leading them to be the key players to watch tonight. Surprisingly, Mackinnon has been held pointless in his last two games.
It would be in Philadelphia’s best interest to put an end to their contest against Colorado in regulation time. The Flyers have not been successful in extra hockey this year, recording 14 losses after regulation, the most in the NHL.
What this game comes down to, as well as every other contest here on in, is obtaining points. In a tight race for the playoffs, the Flyers have both the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers breathing down their necks. Coming out of Colorado without any points is merely not an acceptable option at this point.