After a hard fought shootout loss on Saturday in Tampa, the Flyers will look to bounce back for the second half of this Sunshine state back-to-back against the Florida Panthers at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The loss didn’t come without it’s fair share of Flyers mishaps. They squandered 2 separate 2 goal leads on Saturday afternoon. They’re going to have to clean things up if they want to come out of Florida with more than just a point.
Florida comes into the game on a tear, having won 5 straight and find themselves right in the thick of the Eastern Conference wild card race.
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Flyers Projected Lines:
Jordan Weal was back in the lineup Saturday after sitting out Thursday as a healthy scratch. The fourth line was shaky at best on Saturday, so don’t be surprised if Hak makes some changes to the bottom 6 after back-to-back losses.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Jake Voracek
Taylor Leier – Scott Laughton – Michael Raffl
Jori Lehtera – Valtteri Filppula – Jordan Weal
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg – Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Panthers Projected Lines: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Florida’s top 2 lines are loaded with talent, Barkov is just as good as any first line center in the league, Vincent Trocheck is fifth in the league in power play goals, and Huberdeau is always a threat. Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle lead a Florida defense that allows the 3rd most shots per game in the NHL.
Evgeny Dadonov – Aleksander Barkov – Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau – Vincent Trocheck – Connor Brickley
Jamie McGinn – Jared McCann – Maxim Mamin
Michael Haley – Derek MacKenzie – Colton Sceviour
Kieth Yandle – Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson – Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar – Alex Petrovic
Three Storylines to Watch
The Flyers goalie situation should be closely monitored on Sunday. Petr Mrazek was shaky allowing 6 goals against Tampa Bay, and has started the last 5 games for the Flyers. Alex Lyon has started 3 games for the Flyers this year (2-1-0), but hasn’t been great and it’s pretty clear that the Flyers coaching staff has little-to-no confidence with him between the pipes, so it will be interesting to see if they turn to him to shake things up on Sunday.
The Panthers are coming in red hot right now riding a 5 game winning streak and having won 12 of their last 15. They’re surging at the right time and have put themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, just one point out of the 8th seed with three games at hand. Coming off a rest day and playing at home, they will get the edge right out of the gate. Expect Florida’s skillful top 6 to come out firing on Saturday and try to jump on the Flyers early.
Coming off two straight losses for the first time in a month, the Flyers are going to be fighting tired legs after going the distance against Tampa on Saturday afternoon in a game where they probably deserved to walk away with two points. Pay attention to the Flyers energy out of the gate because they’re going to need to manufacture some to brush off the last two games and keep up with Florida.