Flyers (8-8-2, 18 PTS) @ Jets (10-4-3, 23 PTS)
Fresh off back-to-back shutout losses against Minnesota, the Flyers turn to Winnipeg and look ground the Jets and find the back of the net for the first time in 6 periods of hockey. Brian Elliott will start in goal for the Flyers and face a red-hot Connor Hellebuyck at the other end of the ice. The Flyers have a tall order tonight if they want to get back in the win column, or let alone get a puck in the back of the net.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
LISTEN: 97.5 THE FANATIC
PUCK DROP: 8:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
After failing to produce any meaningful offense in the past few games, Dave Hakstol mixes things up on the second and third lines. The long-awaited return of Nolan Patrick could provide a much-needed spark to an otherwise desolate offense. Dale Weise keeps his spot on the second line, Nolan Patrick is reinserted on the third line, and Jori Lehtera becomes the odd-man out.
Brian Elliott comes into this game riding his own personal hot streak. Despite going 1-3-1 in the past five starts, Elliott has posted a .941 save-percentage. He’s given up just 3 goals in the past 3 games, which is a testament to just how much the Flyers are struggling to produce offense.
Winnipeg: Jets Line Combinations
The Jets are fresh off a home-and-home series with Arizona in which they took both games. They’re 3-1-1 over their last 5 games and have averaged 3.6 goals per game in that time span. That could pose a tall task for the Flyers who have been shut out twice and are averaging just 1.8 over their last 5.
The Jets are proving a lot like the Flyers this season. That’s rooted in the fact that Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are on the top line and carrying more than their fair share of the offensive duties. Wheeler leads the team with 23 points (5G, 18A) and Scheifele is right behind him with 21 points (10G, 11A). The Flyers defense has fared pretty well in recent games, but stopping these two offensive powerhouses will prove to be a tall task.
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
- The biggest storyline of this game will obviously be if the Flyers can generate any type of offense. Winnipeg has gotten stellar goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck this season. Hellebuyck is tied for first in the league in save-percentage (.930), which is going to pose even more of a roadblock in trying to find the back of the net. If there is any saving grace to this, Winnipeg gives up nearly 34 shots per game, meaning that if the Flyers can keep generating shots, they might squeak a few by.
- The Flyers should get an extra boost from the return of Nolan Patrick. Despite Patrick having just 3 points in the 9 games he’s played, his presence gives Dave Hakstol a lot more flexibility with his lines. The Flyers are noticeably faster and scoring more with Patrick in the lineup, having him back could take some much-needed pressure off the first line.
- Wayne Simmonds and goal scoring are almost synonymous at this point. That being said, it’s starting to become concerning that Wayne Simmonds hasn’t found the back of the net since October 21st. Simmonds had 8 points in his first 8 games of the season but he’s managed just 2 points over his last 10 games. If the Flyers want to start getting themselves back on track again, Simmonds is going to need to start scoring at his normal clip again.