Preview: Flyers vs Maple Leafs (Game 31)

Updated: December 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm by Brady Trettenero

Flyers (11-11-7, 29 PTS) vs Maple Leafs (20-10-1, 41 PTS)

Radko Gudas has finished serving his 10-game suspension and will return Tuesday evening when the Philadelphia Flyers go for four straight wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The well-rested Flyers have been off for four days and will look to build off their sweep of Western Canada. This is the beginning of a five-game homestand for Philadelphia, who are searching for their first four-game winning streak since last season. Things are finally starting to look up after a crushing 10-game losing streak throughout November.

The Flyers are catching a break as superstar forward Auston Matthews will be out for Toronto. The first-line center is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss his second consecutive game Tuesday.

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: NBCSPhilly

LISTEN: 97.5 FM The Fanatic

PUCK DROP: 7:00 P.M.

LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)

Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations

Brian Elliott was recently named the NHL’s third star of the week and will get the start in goal for the Flyers. There was some speculation Travis Sanheim would be scratched with the return of Radko Gudas, but he will in fact remain in the lineup against Toronto.

Nolan Patrick has just six points this season and the Flyers have stated they won’t be lending him to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. He’s expected to center the third line.

Projected lines

Claude Giroux — Sean Couturier — Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl — Valtteri Filppula — Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal — Nolan Patrick — Dale Weise

Taylor Leier — Scott Laughton — Travis Konecny

Ivan Provorov — Andrew MacDonald

Shayne Gostisbehere — Robert Hagg

Travis Sanheim — Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott

Toronto: Maple Leafs Line Combinations

The Flyers really do catch a break with the Matthews injury, but there are plenty of other threats to watch out for. William Nylander has five points (three goals) in five career games against the Flyers and will be looking to get on track with just one assist in his last four games.

Projected lines

Leo Komarov — Nazem Kadri — William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk — Tyler Bozak — Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman — Patrick Marleau — Connor Brown

Matt Martin — Dominic Moore — Josh Leivo

Morgan Rielly — Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner — Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman — Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Three Storylines to Watch

The Flyers have won the only other meeting this season and it wasn’t without controversy. Shayne Gostisbehere was injured on a very dangerous hit from Leo Komarov that went unpenalized. Komarov didn’t even receive a hearing from the NHL and the Flyers may be looking to exact some revenge. You likely won’t see someone go right after the Leafs’ forward, but it could be an instance where someone sees the opportunity to lay the body and crushes him.

Both Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds are riding three-game goal-scoring streaks. They’ll look to keep it rolling tonight, as the Flyers need the secondary scoring to continue if they hope to keep winning games. Raffl scored all three game-winning goals on the road trip and is looking rejuvenated after a very slow start to the season.

It could be a goaltending duel Tuesday, as both Elliott and Frederik Andersen are playing very well right now. Andersen has just one loss in his last six starts, while Elliott was in the crease for all three victories on the Western Canada road trip.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM.

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