The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to end their three-game losing streak against the Ottawa Senators Saturday at 1 p.m. on home ice.
Although the two most recent losses came against Metropolitan teams this one against an Atlantic foe could be just as important. The Carolina Hurricanes are breathing down the Flyers’ neck and the New York Islanders and Rangers are right behind the Canes.
The Senators’ playoff hopes are all but officially squashed, however the team won their last game and lost the two before by just one goal.
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PUCK DROP: 1 P.M.
Line Combinations: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
Because the Flyers had an optional skate yesterday and no morning skate today, these lines are based off their last game against New Jersey. Coach Dave Hakstol experimented with Scott Laughton in the top nine and Valtteri Filppula on the fourth line to mixed results. One player that definitely won’t be in the lineup is Tyrell Goulbourne, who was sent back to the Phantoms Friday. Although an official starter has not been announced, most beat writers predicted Michal Neuvirth will get the start.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Jake Voracek – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds
Jordan Weal – Scott Laughton – Michael Raffl
Taylor Leier – Valtteri Filppula – Jori Lehtera
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg – Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Ottawa: Senators Line Combinations
Bobby Ryan, who was on the Sens’ top line, will miss today’s game because of a hand injury. He will be replaced by rookie Colin White in his ninth NHL game after sitting out Ottawa’s last as a healthy scratch. According to The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Craig Anderson will get the start in net. Besides Ryan, Mark Stone and Chris Wideman are notable in-actives due to injury.
Mike Hoffman – Matt Duchene – Colin White
Ryan Dzingel – Derick Brassard – Chris Didomenico
Zack Smith – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Tom Pyatt
Magnus Paajarvi – Nate Thompson – Alexandre Burrows
Johnny Oduya – Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf – Code Ceci
Mark Borowiecki – Thomas Chabot
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
In the last two losses, Philly had leads in both of them that they eventually squandered. This stretch is nothing compared to the ten-game losing streak, but it’s better to end any reminders to that as soon as possible. Whether the Flyers get a lead in the first period or the third, they need to hold it for a win this afternoon.
The Flyers’ penalty kill may be in its worst rut of the season right now. They’ve killed just three in the last two games and allowed four goals. The Senators, though, rank 28th in power play percentage at 16 percent. This game could be the perfect opportunity for the PK to have some success and gain some confidence.
Craig Anderson has been notoriously hard for the Flyers to beat over his career. The American has an 11-5-3 record against Philly and a .922 save percentage across 20 games played. After an impressive run to the Eastern Conference finals last year, Anderson has faltered this season, carrying a .903 save percentage and winning just 12 games. Will the 36 year old’s luck against the Flyers continue or will his poor play this year win out?