Preview: Flyers vs. Kings (Game 33)

Updated: December 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm by Matt Brauckmann

Kings (20-10-4, 44pts) @ Flyers (14-11-7, 35pts)

Hockey is fun again!

The Flyers look to keep on rolling against a Los Angeles Kings team that has played very well throughout the first half of the season. The Kings come into this game as one of the best teams in the NHL and as a usual defensive powerhouse. That being said, they’ve lost their past three games and the Flyers have won their past six.

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: NBCSPhilly

LISTEN: 97.5 The Fanatic

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)

Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations

The Flyers once again have no reason to change up any of their lines. Jake Voracek has played exceptionally well on the second line, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier are meshing well with Wayne Simmonds, and even the defense has played outstanding over the past few games. Brian Elliott will get the nod in net fresh off of being named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week.

Projected lines

Giroux – Couturier – Simmonds

Raffl – Filppula – Voracek

Weal – Patrick – Weise

Leier – Laughton – Konecny

Provorov – MacDonald

Gostisbehere – Hägg

Sanheim – Gudas

Elliott

Los Angeles: Kings Line Combinations

As I mentioned above, the Kings have been one of the NHL’s best throughout the first half of the season, but find themselves in a bit of a slump as they’ve lost three straight on their east coast swing. They are without former Flyer Jeff Carter as he recovers from the skate cut earlier in the year.

Projected lines

Gaborik – Kopitar – Brown

Pearson – Kempe – Toffoli

Iafallo – Shore – Lewis

Andreoff – Mitchell – Brodzinski

Muzzin – Doughty

MacDermid – Martinez

Forbort – Folin

Quick

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

The Flyers come into this game riding their longest winning streak of the season, but Los Angeles will probably be their biggest test yet. Toronto came in with a record similar to the Kings, but they do not boast the same goaltending and defense as the Kings do. If the Flyers can crack Quick once or twice early, they may be able to sit back and play conservatively. The Kings don’t have the same offensive power they used to, and the Flyers defense and goaltending has been exceptional as of late.

Speaking of defense, the Kings are as good as it gets. They are first in the NHL in goals allowed per game at just 2.4. With that in mind, the Kings have given up at least 4 goals in each of their last three games. That could be a welcome site for the Flyers who have averaged 3.5 goals per game over their winning streak.

Great defense doesn’t just arise from the Los Angeles Kings. It also arises from Robert Hagg. Despite flying under the radar due to some of the defensive prospects, Hagg has easily been one of the Flyers best defensemen this season. He leads all (forward & defensemen) NHL rookies in plus/minus (+15) and is second among rookies in TOI/game (19:12) this season. That is incredibly impressive for a rookie defender in today’s NHL. The Flyers have been quietly putting on a defensive clinic in over the past few games. Travis Sanheim seems to be looking a lot more comfortable, Shayne Gostisbehere is generating offense again, and even Andrew MacDonald has looked relatively solid. That could be huge moving forward.

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