The Philadelphia Flyers (9-13-6) continue their four-game road trip tonight against the Arizona Coyotes (8-13-4). They will look to break out of their goal-scoring drought against a team that is near the bottom of the league with 3.60 goals against per game played (GA/GP).
Both franchises are also near the bottom in their respective divisions. Here’s our gameday preview.
Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines
Noah Cates – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton – Lukas Sedlak – Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk – Morgan Frost – Owen Tippett
Nicolas Deslauriers – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim – Justin Braun
Cam York/Tony DeAngelo – Nick Seeler
Felix Sandstrom – Carter Hart
Flyers Goal-Scoring Woes Continue, York Makes Season Debut
The Flyers lost a low-scoring contest on Dec. 9 to the Golden Knights, 2-1, in overtime. Hart played well as he finished with a .941 save percentage (SV%) but their offensive struggles are a concern. In four of their five contests during December, they have only scored more than two goals once – during their 5-3 win on Dec. 5 versus the Colorado Avalanche.
Head coach John Tortorella put Cam York in the lineup for the first time this year against the Golden Knights and scratched Tony DeAngelo. The young defenseman was sent down during the preseason, which was surprising given the potential he displayed during 30 games last season. However, he represents the potential to be a top-four defenseman for the Flyers.
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Despite playing in 26 of the Flyers’ 28 contests this year, Tortorella is looking for improvement from DeAngelo, “Tony can be better. Ultra competitive, love the way he plays, but positionally is something that I think we need to help him with. I think a number of our D, we’re really trying to concentrate on structure. I think with Tony, structure has to be a part of it without getting in the way of just the way he plays. He’s a hockey player. I think we need to allow him to be instinctive, also. We’re trying to find a fine line. Not just the best guys, but where it’s going to be forecasted to – the future of the team. I want to put another young guy back there because I think that is going to help us in the future.”
Arizona Coyotes Projected Lines
Clayton Keller – Travis Boyd – Nick Schmaltz
Lawson Crouse – Nick Bjugstad – Matias Maccelli
Liam O’Brien – Jack McBain – Christian Fischer
Nick Ritchie – Barrett Hayton – Juuso Valimaki
Jakob Chychrun – Shayne Gostisbehere
J.J. Moser – Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth – Troy Stecher
Karel Vejmelka – Connor Ingram
Coyotes Defeat Bruins In First Home Game Since Nov. 3
The Coyotes won on Dec. 9 against the Boston Bruins, 4-3, with two assists from Gostisbehere, the former Flyers defenseman. Crouse netted two goals including the game-winning goal and an assist on Brown’s first tally of the contest. Bjugstad commented on what they do well and what they can improve upon, “It’s just minor small details that we can touch upon, on video. We communicate well as a team. The coaching staff does a good job of being transparent in what they want. We have a blueprint, but we have to execute and make those plays at the game that change the game.” Keller continues to impress this season with 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 25 games and is one of the league’s exciting young players.
Players To Watch
Philadelphia Flyers – Travis Konecny
Konecny has been one of the Flyers’ top offensive performers this season with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 22 games. He has earned time playing in their top six with his level of production.
Arizona Coyotes – Matias Maccelli
Maccelli is another young forward who has done well with 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in 23 games played. The Flyers need to account for him as he is continuing to prove his savviness with the puck.
Tonight’s game has a 7 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on NBCSP+.
*Flyers lines from @charlieo_conn on Twitter. Coyotes lines from @CraigSMorgan on Twitter.