Flyers (8-8-3, 19 PTS) vs Flames (10-8-0, 20 PTS)
After back-to-back shutout losses against the Minnesota Wild, it looked as if the Flyers were going to get back into the win column Thursday evening in Winnipeg. Philadelphia jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to surrender the game-tying goal to Mark Scheifele late in the third period and fall 3-2 in the shootout.
The Flyers return home to face the Flames in hopes of snapping a three-game losing skid and getting back on track. Jordan Weal will miss the game with an upper-body injury, while blueliner Radko Gudas can’t play while he awaits Sunday’s phone hearing for his slash on Mathieu Perreault.
The Flames are coming off an 8-2 blowout loss to the Red Wings, but have won five of their last seven and will be looking to right the ship against a struggling Flyers’ squad.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
LISTEN: 97.5 THE FANATIC
PUCK DROP: 1:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
With Gudas sidelined, Mark Alt is expected to draw into the lineup for Saturday’s contest. Weal had been skating on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Travis Konecny, meaning we could see more of Nolan Patrick against the Flames. The top line continues to get the job done — they were responsible for both the team’s goals in the loss to Winnipeg on Thursday.
Calgary: Flames Line Combinations
Goaltender Mike Smith will return from an upper-body injury, while feisty forward Matthew Tkachuk has been suspended one game for his role in the brawl with the Red Wings on Thursday. Johnny Gaudreau has been carrying the offense up front and is currently riding an eight-game point streak.
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland
Brouwer – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Jagr
Versteeg – Stajan – Lazar
Giordano – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
Three Storylines to Watch
The matinee game. The change of start time could bode well for the Flyers, who could use a change of routine to help get things back on the right track. This is the Flyers’ second matinee game this season, earning a 2-1 win over Edmonton in the first. Dating back to 2016-17, the Flyers have earned points in seven straight matinee games at the Wells Fargo Center, going 6-0-1 with their last loss coming on Nov. 25, 2016. Considering the team has been shutout in two of their last three outings, this could be exactly what the doctored ordered. A fast start in their own building Saturday will be key.
Nolan Patrick. With Jordan Weal sidelined, we could see more of the 19-year-old rookie in Saturday’s matchup. Patrick made his return to action Thursday in Winnipeg and failed to make much of an impact with limited minutes. In 7:58 of ice time Thursday, he had no shots on goal and was 1-for-11 on face-offs. There’s no denying Patrick’s potential, and it will be interesting to see how his role changes with the injury to Weal.
Can somebody other than Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek or Sean Couturier score a goal? The Flyers are in desperate need of secondary scoring and someone needs to step up Saturday against the Flames. With that being said, it will likely be a battle of the top lines at the Wells Fargo Center. Johnny Gaudreau has been the catalyst up front for Calgary and has a 10-point cushion on the next top scorer on the Flames. Both the Flyers and Flames have been relying heavily on their first lines this season and it could be a depth guy that comes through and makes the difference Saturday.