The Philadelphia Flyers will welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to Philly for the first time ever tonight at 7 p.m. In the team’s first meeting, the Flyers earned a difficult road win in Vegas in February.
Since then, both team have solidified postseason positions and tonight’s match will be an important one for both clubs to test their playoff status.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
LISTEN: 97.5 The Fanatic
PUCK DROP: 7 P.M.
Line Combinations: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
Coach Dave Hakstol confirmed to the NHL’s Adam Kimelman that the lineup would be the same as the one that beat the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1, in a tight game. That means Travis Sanheim plays in his second straight and Jordan Weal continues to sit while Matt Read plays. Petr Mrazek will start in net.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Jake Voracek
Matt Read – Scott Laughton – Wayne Simmonds
Jori Lehtera – Valtteri Filppula – MIchael Raffl
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Andrew MacDonald – Travis Sanheim
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Vegas: Golden Knights Combinations
The Golden Knights will be without James Neal and Reilly Smith, but there’s plenty of firepower with Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson. Vegas added Tomas Tatar at the trade deadline, who has one goal in six games with the team. The Flyers will also face Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for the first time since he was selected in the Expansion Draft. Marc-Andre Fleury is the starter in net.
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Tomas Tatar
David Perron – Erik Haula – Tomas Hyka
Ryan Carpenter – Cody Eakin – Alex Tuch
Tomas Nosek – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb – Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore – Deryk Engelland
Colin Miller – Brad Hunt
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
Travis Sanheim may have played his first game with the Flyers since his demotion, Saturday, but his minutes and ice time will be crucial to pay attention to as time moves on. It will be the biggest judge of whether he sticks or not. Against the Winnipeg Jets, the 21 year old played 12:44 and his minutes decreased by each period. Hopefully we see more of him tonight.
The scariest thing about facing the Golden Knights is the proposed “Vegas Flu” — teams visiting the team at home and failing to prepare appropriately for the game because of the allure of the city. But the team isn’t any easier to play away from Vegas either. The Knights have a 20-12-3 away record and have won three of their last four games during their road swing.
In the past four games, the Flyers power play has scored just once on 14 attempts. Not coincidentally, the team has lost three of those games. Giroux did score when the goalie was pulled during a delayed penalty Saturday, but the team needs one of its biggest weapons (the man advantage) producing. The Golden Knights are a middle-of-the-road penalty killing team, which could be the perfect recipe for Philly’s power play.