Preview: Flyers at Coyotes (Game 55)

Updated: February 10, 2018 at 4:23 pm by Wes Herrmann

The Philadelphia Flyers will look for their third straight win tonight when they take on the league’s worst Arizona Coyotes on the road at 8 p.m. The game marks the first in two nights on a Western Conference road swing for the Flyers.

The Coyotes have won just 13 games this year, but their latest victory did come in their last contest, a 4-3 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild Thursday night. However, the possibility of trading assets at the trade deadline is more prominent on management and fan’s minds at this point of the year.

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: NBCSP

LISTEN: 97.5 The Fanatic

PUCK DROP: 8 P.M.

Line Combinations: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi confirmed that Brian Elliott will start in goal tonight. The former Blue has been in net for the past two wins, but could have given the net to Michal Neuvirth with the Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow. Last game, coach Dave Hakstol swapped Valtteri Filppula and Nolan Patrick for matchup reasoning. Logically, that means Patrick will return to the second line to start the game tonight, but it’s something worth monitoring.

Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny

Jake Voracek – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds

Jordan Weal – Scott Laughton – Michael Raffl

Jori Lehtera – Valtteri Filppula – Dale Weise

Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere

Robert Hagg – Andrew MacDonald

Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott

Arizona: Coyotes Line Combinations

When you first look at the Coyotes’ lines, you think the team is much better than it was last season. Derek Stepan, Nicklas Hjalmarsson and Jason Demers are all veterans the team brought in over the summer. Then you see former Flyer Zac Rinaldo in the top six and Arizona’s record starts to make sense. On the bright side, there are players capable of scoring in this lineup like rookie Clayton Keller, who has 37 points in 54 games. Plus, the Coyotes do not have any injuries.

Brendan Perlini – Derek Stepan – Clayton Keller

Zac Rinaldo – Max Domi – Christian Fischer

Richard Panik – Christian Dvorak – Josh Archibald

Jordan Martinook – Brad Richardson – Nick Cousins

Oliver Ekman-Larson – Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun – Nicklas Hjalmarsson

Alex Goligoski – Luke Schenn

Antti Ranta

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

These teams may not play often, but the Coyotes are pretty familiar with the Flyers. Nick Cousins and Luke Schenn played in Philly within the last couple of years, and Derek Stepan was a longtime Ranger. Even head coach Rick Tocchet was an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins just last spring. That familiarity may help in a rare matchup.

I don’t think anyone would be prepared to say this at the beginning of the season, but this could be a trap game for the Flyers with the NHL’s second best, Vegas Golden Knights on the schedule tomorrow. The New York Islanders & Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes all picked up points last night. Philly, at the bare minimum, has to keep pace in the Metropolitan Division and can’t overlook the lowly Coyotes tonight.

Arizona has struggled to score goals all season, but they do have a couple of players that have burnt Philly often in the past. Derek Stepan has 31 points in 34 career games against the Flyers and Max Domi has 4 in 5 games. There’s always the way-too-common former Flyer that scores against his old team to worry about in this one, too.

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