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Glen Stricker The Hockey Writers

Published on Monday, December 19, 2016





Preview: Flyers Look to Bounce Back Against Nashville

Well, as the tiresome cliche goes, all good things must indeed come to an end. For the Philadelphia Flyers, their good thing — an NHL season-high 10 game winning streak — came to an abrupt end on Saturday afternoon when they visited the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars were able to do what the last 10 teams the Flyers faced failed to do. They were able to stop the Flyers’ offense and the NHL’s third-best power play by only giving them one opportunity on the day.

The Stars also got some luck as Flyers rookie Ivan Provorov rang two shots off the pipe in Saturday’s game. However, looking back on an impressive winning streak like the one the Flyers just went on, the most important game will come tonight in showing how they’ll bounce back after losing their first game in over three weeks.

Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center – 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSN Philadelphia; 97.5 The Fanatic

2016-17 Season Series: 1-0; Flyers won 4-2 (12/4)

Nashville Predators: 13-12-5 – 31 Points

Road Record: 3-9-2

Hot Players: Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson

Injuries: P.K. Subban (upper body), Anthony Bitetto (IR, broken hand), Miikka Salomäki (IR, lower body), Reid Boucher (AHL conditioning assignment)

Projected lines:


Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – James Neal

Kevin Fiala – Mike Ribeiro – Viktor Arvidsson

Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Craig Smith

Colton Scissons – Calle Järnkrok – Austin Watson


Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm – Petter Granberg

Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber

Starting Goaltender:

Pekka Rinne

Philadelphia Flyers: 19-11-3 – 41 Points

Home Record: 11-5-2

Hot Players: Ivan Provorov, Taylor Leier

Scratches: Nick Schultz, Boyd Gordon

Injuries: Sean Couturier (lower body, suspected left MCL), Michal Neuvirth (IR, knee), Matt Read (IR, abdominal area), Mark Streit (shoulder)

Projected lines:


Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny – Brayden Schenn – Jakub Voracek

Chris VandeVelde – P-E Bellemare – Roman Lyubimov

Taylor Leier – Nick Cousins – Dale Weise


Ivan Provorov – Andrew MacDonald

Michael Del Zotto – Radko Gudas

Shayne Gostisbehere – Brandon Manning

Starting Goaltender:

Steve Mason

Game Notes

1) Despite their recent success, without a doubt the most important game for the Flyers comes tonight and their ability to get right back on track. The Flyers are beginning a busy week right before the holiday break, playing three games in four nights. It’s imperative the Flyers go into the holiday break on a high note.

2) The Predators have not played very well on the road this year, counteracting their success they’ve found on their home ice. They are just 3-9-2 on the road compared to an impressive 10-3-3 record in the Music City. This was often a staple of Peter Laviolette’s teams when he was in Philadelphia, always boasting one the league’s best records on home ice yet always underperforming on the road.

3) The Flyers’ offense was averaging 3.5 goals per game during their winning streak but could only solve Antti Niemi once on Saturday. They will look to get the power play back on track, which hasn’t scored in over three games and dropping from tops in the league to third in that span.

4) Superstar defenseman P.K. Subban missed the last game for the Predators and Peter Laviolette was hoping to have him back for tonight’s game in Philadelphia, but he ended up not traveling with the team for their two-game road trip that ends tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils.

5) Who to watch for? If you haven’t already, keep a close eye on Flyers’ rookie standout defenseman Ivan Provorov tonight. Over the last month in a half, he’s been hands-down the Flyers’ best player on their blueline and has begun to emerge as an invaluable two-way defenseman at only 19-years of age. The Flyers knew they had an extremely special player in Provorov when they were able to select him seventh overall in the 2015 NHL draft but they could have never imagined him making this great of an impact so early in his career.


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