Flyers Gameday: 2/9/19 vs. ANA; Phantoms Lose in Utica
Game 55 Preview: FLYERS vs. DUCKS
Interim head coach Scott Gordon's Philadelphia Flyers (24-23-7) are home on Saturday afternoon to take on Randy Carlyle's Anaheim Ducks (21-25-9). Game time at the Wells Fargo Center is 1:00 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised locally on NBCSP. The radio broadcast can be found on 97.5 FM The Fanatic with an online simulcast at FlyersRadio247.com.
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the inter-conference teams and the lone game in Philadelphia. At the Honda Center on Nov. 1, the Flyers earned a 5-2 win.
The Flyers never trailed in the game, taking a 1-0 lead to the first intermission at the end of a solid opening period and then a 2-1 advantage to the second intermission. After giving up a late power play goal, the game seemed headed for overtime until Philly pulled it out with 1:51 left in the third period.
Sean Couturier (power play), Ivan Provorov and Nolan Patrick scored for the Flyers. Claude Giroux had a pair of assists. A perfect centering feed by Oskar Lindblom to Patrick set up the winning goal. Brian Elliott earned the win in goal, stopping 23 of 25 shots. Pontus Åberg scored both Anaheim goals. Ryan Miller made 33 saves on 36 shots.
The Flyers have gone 9-7-3 in the 19 games since the leaguewide Christmas break. However, after sustaining an eight-game winless streak (0-6-2), the team has won nine of its last 11 games including a current nine-game point streak (8-0-1). Saturday's game is the fourth in a five-game homestand.
On Thursday, the Flyers rallied late to force overtime against the LA Kings. The game went to a shootout -- one the Flyers momentarily thought they had won before a no-goal ruling on a third-round attempt by Adrian Kempe was reversed upon replay -- before the Kings prevailed in a 3-2 final.
The Flyers goals were scored by Sean Couturier (22nd) and Voracek (13th). Claude Giroux earned his 41st and 42nd assists of the season. Ivan Provorov (14th assist) and Shayne Gostisbehere (17th assist) picked up one helper apiece. Giroux and Nolan Patrick were successful on their shootout attempts. Anthony Stolarz was excellent in goal in a losing cause, stopping three breakaways and a host of other tough chances in a 37-save performance. He was 3-for-6 in the shootout.
Carter Hart, the NHL's Rookie of the Month in January and 2nd star for the week ending Feb. 3, will return to the net for Saturday's game. He will look to extend a personal seven-game winning streak.
The Flyers held practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees on Friday. All players particpated except Patrick (maintenance day after taking a puck off his foot in the first period of Thursday's game).
Tony Androckitis reported on Friday night that the Flyers were set to recall defenseman Phil Myers to the NHL. That has not been confirmed as of this writing.
The Ducks have only won two games since Dec. 17 and has dropped six in a row in a regulation. February has gotten off to a rough start for the team. The Ducks are 0-4-0 to open the month and have been outscored by a combined 23-5 margin. Saturday's game marks the end of a five-game road trip.
On Thursday in Ottawa, the Ducks got blanked, 4-0, despite generating 45 shots on goal. Goaltender John Gibson went down in the Senators game as a result of a collision with teammate Jaycob Megna. Chad Johnson replaced Gibson for the third period. Gibson is officially day-to-day, and did not practice on Friday. Veteran Miller is on the trip with the team but is still officially on IR due a knee injury sustained in December. Kevin Boyle has been added to the active roster and may back up Johnson if Gibson is out.
Korbinian Holzer is not with the team on the road trip. He is on personal leave. Ondrej Kase, the older brother of Lehigh Valley Phantoms rookie David Kase, is on IR with a shoulder injury.
Projected Lines (Subject to change)
25 James van Riemsdyk - 28 Claude Giroux - 11 Travis Konecny
23 Oskar Lindblom - 14 Sean Couturier - 93 Jakub Voracek
21 Scott Laughton - 19 Nolan Patrick -17 Wayne Simmonds
44 Phil Varone - 20 Mikhail Vorobyev - 12 Michael Raffl
9 Ivan Provorov - 6 Travis Sanheim
8 Robert Hägg - 3 Radko Gudas
47 Andrew MacDonald - 53 Shayne Gostisbehere
79 Carter Hart
[41 Anthony Stolarz]
Scratches: 26 Christian Folin (healthy), 56 Mike McKenna (AHL conditioning assignment), 30 Michal Neuvirth (IR, lower body), 37 Brian Elliott (IR, lower body), 10 Corban Knight (IR, collarbone), 5 Sam Morin (ACL surgery).
67 Rickard Rackell - 15 Ryan Getzlaf - 10 Corey Perry
24 Carter Rowney -14 Adam Henrique - 33 Jakob Silfverberg
29 Devin Shore - 17 Ryan Kesler - 23 Brian Gibbons
37 Nick Ritchie - 11 Daniel Sprong - 38 Derek Grant
47 Hampus Lindholm - 42 Josh Manson
4 Cam Fowler - 26 Brandon Montour
44 Michael Del Zotto - 43 Jaycob Megna
1 Chad Johnson
[40 Kevin Boyle]
Scratches:18 Patrick Eaves (healthy), 22 Adam Cracknell (healthy), 45 Andy Welinski (healthy), 36 John Gibson (upper body, day-to-day), 30 Ryan Miller (IR, sprained MCL, is with the team on the road trip), 25 Ondrej Kase (IR, shoulder).
Phantoms Lose in Utica, 5-2
Entering Friday's game, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms had been 17-0-0 this season when leading after two periods. That streak came to an end as the host Utica Comets exploded for four unanswered goals in the final stanza to send the Phantoms down to a 5-2 defeat.
A two-stint former Flyers goaltender, 37-year-old Michael Leighton, earned the win for the Comets. Mike McKenna, 35, took the loss in a conditioning assignment start from the Flyers.
Justin Bailey, who has been making a case for an NHL recall since being acquired from Buffalo in exchange for Taylor Leier, opened the scoring with his fifth goal in his last five games. It was a bit of a lucky tally -- a bank shot from a severe angle. Connor Bunnaman, back in the lineup after missing several games due to injury, earned the lone assist.
Philippe Myers made it 2-0 with a pretty goal for his 9th tally of the season. On the play, Myers beat a defender, cut to his right across the crease and tucked home the puck ahead of Leighton. That was the biggest highlight of the night for Lehigh Valley. Things went downhill rapidly in the third period.
McKenna finished with 28 saves on 33 shots. The Phantoms generated 27 shots on goal.
Lehigh Valley went 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the PK. The Phantoms continue to rank atop the AHL on the penalty kill at 88.4 percent for the season, including a current run of 31-for-32 over the last eight games.
The Phantoms return to PPL Center on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for back-to-back games with the Hartford Wolf Pack.