The Philadelphia Flyers (20-21-8) will visit the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, tonight to take on the Minnesota Wild (25-17-7). They are coming off a difficult loss, 4-3, in overtime, on Jan. 24 to the Los Angeles Kings, a contest in which they never trailed until their opponent tallied the winning goal during the extra frame.
Similar to the Kings, the Wild are a playoff contender that the Flyers will need to compete against tonight and continue to prove they are making gradual progress under head coach John Tortorella. While they have proven they can win against non-playoff teams during the last month, they need to remain competitive against the organizations that are far superior to them in the standings going forward to show further progress. Here’s our gameday preview.
Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines
Joel Farabee – Noah Cates – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Morgan Frost – Owen Tippett
Kevin Hayes – Scott Laughton – Wade Allison
Nicolas Deslauriers – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Nick Seeler – Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim – Tony DeAngelo
Carter Hart – Felix Sandstrom
Flyers Looking to Rebound Against Wild Following Overtime Loss to Kings
The Flyers lost a frustrating game to the Kings that could have been a victory. Tony DeAngelo and head coach John Tortorella had a difference of opinion on if the defenseman had been tripped by Kings forward Anze Kopitar during the extra period. “That’s a clear penalty. Not even a question about it. Usually you call penalties at the most times when there’s a chance to go the other way, a wide open chance is when you’re supposed to call them, but whatever,” according to the Sewell, New Jersey, native.
Tortorella’s viewing was contrasting to DeAngelo’s, “It’s no penalty. No penalty. You gotta skate. You gotta get back. I don’t think it’s a penalty.” The Flyers’ head coach was positive about his club’s play despite losing in overtime, “I thought we played a good game. I thought we played our a– off against a really good team. I thought we were gonna score there at the end, (Copley) makes a great save, they go down and score. No b——- about our game for me.”
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The Flyers continue to show signs of improvement during the last month compared to their play from the last two seasons. Regardless of how good their opponents have been, they are 9-4-1 since Dec. 29. They are not a contender in the Eastern Conference by any means, but they have shown that Tortorella is making a difference for them.
Minnesota Wild Projected Lines
Kirill Kaprizov – Sam Steel – Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway – Joel Eriksson Ek – Marcus Foligno
Brandon Duhaime – Frederick Gaudreau – Matthew Boldy
Mason Shaw – Connor Dewar – Ryan Reaves
Jacob Middleton – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Mathew Dumba
Jon Merrill – Calen Addison
Marc-Andre Fleury – Filip Gustavsson
Hartman Scratched for the Flyers Game Due to Penalties
Wild forward Ryan Hartman will be inactive for tonight’s game according to head coach Dean Evason due to taking too many penalties. The 28-year-old forward understands his coach’s decision after his latest performance during the Jan. 24 contest vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning in which his bad play led to the game-winning tally from Steven Stamkos. The Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, native took a hooking call on the veteran center 45 seconds after the goal. Hartman aims to learn from his mistakes as he will ponder them as a spectator during tonight’s game vs. the Flyers.
Players To Watch
Philadelphia Flyers – James van Riemsdyk
After his two-point performance vs. the Kings, can one of the Flyers’ candidates at the trade deadline continue progressing offensively? He will be motivated to gain the interest of playoff contenders who need to add a top-six forward by the March 3 deadline date.
Minnesota Wild – Marc-Andre Fleury
Fleury has been solid for the Wild this season with a 14-10-3 record, a 2.95 goals-against average (GAA) and a save percentage (SV%) of .903. The 38-year-old will aim to shut down a former arch rival of his in the Flyers during his previous playing days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tonight’s game has an 8 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Hulu.
*Flyers lines from @ReinerOlivia on Twitter. Wild lines from @RussoHockey on Twitter.