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)
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
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)
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
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.