Image Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Predators (3-2-1, 7 PTS) @ Flyers (4-2, 8 PTS)
Previous Meeting: 10/10/2017, NSH 6 PHI 5
Just nine days after facing off in Tennessee, the Flyers and Predators will finish out their regular season series when the two teams meet tonight in South Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is coming off back to back wins, a 5-1 victory over Florida on Tuesday and an 8-2 drubbing of the Capitals this past Saturday. The Flyers are looking to continue their fast start to the season as they look for their first three-game winning streak since March.
On the flip side, Nashville triumphed over Colorado by a score of 4-1 in their last game on Tuesday and they suffered a 2-1 overtime defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. This is the first stop on a quick, two game swing on the East coast before the Predators head back home next week.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
RADIO: 97.5 FM
PUCK DROP: 7:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Tonight’s lineup for the Flyers has one change from the past two games. Travis Sanheim will be making his home debut, as he replaces Brandon Manning, Sanheim will take his spot next to Radko Gudas on the 3rd defensive pairing. Manning will join Jori Lehtera in the press box as a healthy scratch. Line rushes from today’s morning skate according to Dave Isaac were as followed:
Giroux – Couturier – Voracek
Weal – Filppula – Simmonds
Weise – Patrick – Konecny
Leier – Laughton – Raffl
Provorov – MacDonald
Gostisbehere – Hagg
Sanheim – Gudas
Michal Neuvirth will get his 2nd straight start for the Flyers tonight. On Tuesday, the 29 year-old stopped 40 out of 41 shots en route to his first win of the season. It seems to be an easy decision for Coach Dave Hakstol to give Neuvirth back-to-back starts after his promising showing on Tuesday. Tonight’s game will be Neuvirth’s 3rd start of the young season, and he holds a 1-1 record with a 1.51 GAA and .956 SV%. He leads the league in SV% despite only playing in two games.
The injury bug hasn’t been kind to the Predators early on this season. Nick Bonino has been sidelined with a lower body injury and defenseman Yannick Weber has been placed on Injured Reserve with an upper body injury. Former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has only made one change from Tuesday’s game, as Pontus Aberg makes way for Mikka Salomaki. The Predators line rushes are as follows:
Forsberg – Johansen – Arvidsson
Hartnell – Jarnkrok – Salomaki
Fiala – Sissons – Smith
McLeod – Gaudreau – Watson
Josi – Ekholm
Emelin – Subban
Bitetto – Irwin
Rinne will be making his 5th consecutive start when he steps in between the pipes tonight. In his last start, he made 20 of 21 saves ensuring Nashville a 4-1 victory. On the year, Rinne is 3-1-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .919 SV%.
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
Late in the game Tuesday, Wayne Simmonds was removed as precaution with a lower-body injury. Flyer’s GM Ron Hextall is expected to give an official update later today, but given the fact that the “Wayne Train” participated in the morning skate and was in his normal spot during line rushes it seems that the injury was minimal and he is good to go for tonight’s matchup. After the morning skate, Simmonds met with reporters and declared “I’m fine.”
Tonight will be Pekka Rinne’s 10th career start vs. the Flyers. He holds a 5-2-2 record with a 2.91 GAA and .906 SV%. In those previous 9 starts, he has given up 27 goals while facing 286 shots.
Shayne Gostisbehere and Jake Voracek each have 10 points on the young season, finding themselves in a five-way tie for 5th place on the NHL’s leaderboard. Gostisbehere is the league’s highest scoring defenseman (1 G, 9 A) and Voracek has been placing apples up and down the ice. He’s yet to tally a goal despite throwing 15 shots on net, the goals haven’t come yet for Jake, but he’s creating chance after chance night in and night out.