Game 57 Preview: FLYERS @ WILD
Interim head coach Scott Gordon's Philadelphia Flyers (25-24-7) are in St. Paul on Tuesday to take on Bruce Boudreau's Minnesota Wild (27-24-5). Game time at the Xcel Energy Center is 8:00 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 teams, and the lone game in Minnesota. On January 14 at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers erased an early 2-0 deficit in the first period and a 3-2 disadvantage in the second period to earn a 7-4 victory
James van Riemsdyk tallied a hat trick for the Flyers on deflections off his stick and skate plus an empty-net tally. Nolan Patrick ended a 24-game goal drought with two goals (6th and 7th) and two assists for a four-point game. Wayne Simmonds tallied his 14th and 15th goals of the season. Scott Laughton had three assists while team captain Claude Giroux had two.
Carter Hart had two early pucks squeak past him on a Jason Zucker power play goal that he felt may have goaltender interference by Minnesota forward Nino Niederreiter and a play in which Phil Varone turned a puck over and then accidentally deflected a Joel Eriksson Ek shot from the top of the left circle into the net. Marcus Foligno scored on a second effort from the doorstep early in the second period. Ryan Suter scored a mid third period goal that was initially waved off for goalie interference but then reversed upon challenge by Minnesota head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Hart settled in as the game went along and earned the win with 34 saves on 38 shots He made 13 stops in the third period to protect the lead.
Devan Dubnyk, who earned back-to-back shutouts against the Flyers last season, was beaten for five goals on 20 shots in 40 minutes of work. With the Wild back in action at home on Tuesday,he was relieved in the third period by Alex Stalock (five saves on six shots).
The Flyers have gone 10-8-3 in the 21 games since the leaguewide Christmas break. The team saw its 10-game point streak (9-0-1) come to an end on Monday night in a 4-1 loss
to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philly was the better team for much of Monday's game, especially a dominant second period in which the Penguins were hemmed in for much of the stanza and the Flyers racked up a franchise single-period record 28 shots on goal. The Flyers also got unlucky on a very hasty and erroneous whistle that cost them a slam-dunk power play goal However, on this night, Hart got outplayed by Matt Murray (50 saves), including two goals that Hart admitted after the game that he'd have liked to have back. The other was a weird bounce behind the net that no one by Sidney Crosby saw until Crosby had himself a goal into a half-open net. Crosby finished with a three-point night. A late third-period power play goal by Jakub Voracek stood as the lone Philadelphia tally.
The Flyers, playing for the third time in four nights and on the second half of a back-to-back will give Anthony Stolarz the start in Minnesota.
Minnesota is clinging to the lower wildcard spot in the Western Conference. The team is 4-4-2 in its last 10 games and 13-10-4 on home ice this season.
The Wild are also playing for the third time in four nights but were off on Monday. On Saturday, the team earned a 4-2 road win over the New Jersey Devils. On Sunday, the club suffered a 2-1 road loss at the hands of the New York Islanders. A Mikael Granlund power play goal (13th) was the only puck to get past Thomas Greiss on 27 shots.
The Wild are dealing with two major injuries. Mikko Koivu suffered a torn ACL and torn meniscus on Feb. 4 and is done for the season. Matt Dumba is still sideline by a torn pectoral muscle.
(Subject to change)
FLYERS (Monday's lines)
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
41 Anthony Stolarz
[79 Carter Hart]
Scratches: 27 Justin Bailey (healthy), 61 Phil Myers (healthy), 56 Mike McKenna (healthy), 30 Michal Neuvirth (IR, lower body), 37 Brian Elliott (IR, lower body), 5 Sam Morin (ACL surgery).
11 Zach Parise - 64 Mikael Granlund - 3 Charlie Coyle
18 Jordan Greenway - 12 Eric Staal - 16 Jason Zucker
17 Marcus Foligno - 14 Joel Eriksson Ek - 19 Luke Kunin
37 Kyle Rau - 49 Victor Rask - 21 Eric Fehr
20 Ryan Suter - 46 Jared Spurgeon
25 Jonas Brodin - 29 Greg Pateryn
36 Nick Seeler - 2 Anthony Bitetto
40 Devan Dubnyk
[32 Alex Stalock]
Scratches: 15 Matt Hendricks (healthy), 77 Brad Hunt (healthy), 9 Mikko Koivu (IR, torn ACL and torn meniscus), 24 Matt Dumba (IR, torn pectoral muscle), 26 Pontus Åberg (IR, lower body).