Flyers

Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have completely forgotten what it’s like to lose.

Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier scored the Flyers' only goals in a 2-1 win Monday night over the Canucks, extending the NHL’s longest winning streak to eight games.

The victory also marked No. 2,000 in the organization’s history.

Here are my observations from the Wells Fargo Center:

• Nolan Patrick was an absolute force in this game early on as he came out flying in the first period. Patrick played with a determination and found that “fifth gear” in the offensive zone.

Patrick’s zone entry led to the Flyers' first goal of the game as Travis Konecny fed Sean Couturier for the goal. Wisely, Patrick didn’t force the puck into traffic.

He also hit an early post and his line drew two first-period power-play opportunities.

• Uncharacteristically, Carter Hart was susceptible to rebounds in this game on shots that he typically gobbles up. However, to Hart’s credit, he was able to angle those rebounds away from danger or to a defenseman down low. Hart’s positioning was still on point as he denied Vancouver sniper Brock Boeser on a number of good looks and finished with a career-high 41 saves.

• Voracek has the ability to be a relentless power forward when he’s engaged and that was clearly the case when he powered his way to the net, beating Jacob Markstrom on a breakaway three minutes into the second period. That goal lit a fuse into Voracek as he completely undressed defenseman Derrick Pouliot, leading to another scoring opportunity.

With this goal, Voracek now has at least one point in eight of his last nine games (one goal, 10 assists).

• The Flyers could have put this game out of reach early in the second period when Konecny caught the Canucks in a line change with James van Riemsdyk and Patrick rushing up the ice. Konecny held on to the puck a little too long and by the time he decided what to do, it was too late.

• That sequence turned the momentum in the direction of the Canucks, who could have trailed, 3-0, but instead cut the deficit to 2-1 on a strange play in which Hart came out of his net to play the puck. However, the 20-year-old wound up sending a pass to Boeser, who stuffed it home. Definitely a momentum-killer and tough play for Hart. 

• For whatever reason, the Flyers have been scorched in the second period recently. They gave up another second-period goal in this game and have now surrendered 25 second-period goals over their last 15 games.

• A big blow on a scary play for Vancouver when defenseman Alexander Edler got his stick caught in Voracek’s skate. The force of Voracek’s speed flung Edler downward and his head slammed to the ice. Edler blacked out on the play and was taken off on a stretcher.

You could tell the home crowd was deeply concerned with fans in the lower bowl all standing to ensure Edler was OK. The Canucks had to make due without their No. 1 defenseman.

• The Carter Hart save of the night:

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Flyers at Wild: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Wild: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers will be playing for more than just two points Saturday night.

They'll be playing for Oskar Lindblom, their teammate who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. The news was announced Friday and has been followed by an outpouring of support for the 23-year-old (see story).

As they back Lindblom, the Flyers will try to move forward. Since the start of November, they've done a pretty good job of not leaving games empty-handed. The Flyers have earned at least a point in 16 of their last 20 contests, going 12-4-4.

On Saturday, the Flyers (17-9-5) will try to get back into the points column when they visit the Wild (15-12-5).

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Xcel Energy Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• An example of how consistent the Flyers have been is that they haven't lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29. They'll try to avoid doing so Saturday night after dropping to the Avalanche, 3-1, Wednesday night.

With head coach Alain Vigneault's constant emphasis on structure and possession, the Flyers have given themselves a chance most nights.

A positive for Vigneault and company heading into the matchup with the Wild: The Flyers are tied for second in the NHL with the fewest shots allowed per game (28.8), while Minnesota puts up the second-fewest shots per game (28.6).

The Flyers have a good chance to play on their terms tonight.

• Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr are back in their old stomping grounds.

Fletcher was the GM of the Wild from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

Fletcher's challenge in Philadelphia was similar to the one he faced in Minnesota and here's how he fared (see story).

• The Wild have played the fewest home games in the NHL (12) and the most on the road (20). Minnesota is 8-1-3 at home and 11-3-4 overall since Nov. 5 following a 4-9-1 start.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

usa_oskar_lindblom_flyers.jpg
USA Today Images

Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

Oskar Lindblom, a 23-year-old forward on the Flyers, is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones.

Below is a statement from Flyers president of hockey operations and general manager Chuck Fletcher:

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. He will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter. He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season. The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available. Out of respect for Oskar and his family, the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health.

Lindblom, a native of Sweden, had been one of the Flyers’ top players through 30 games, scoring 11 goals and 18 points.

He was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round of the 2014 draft and has blossomed into a promising player.

Always smiling, positive and humble, Lindblom is beloved by his teammates. His rise from a fifth-round pick to a difference-making player has been a product of hard work.

After scoring 17 goals last season, sixth most among NHL rookies, Lindblom went back to Gävle, Sweden, to train all summer with his old team Brynäs IF.

"It’s like five minutes from my house," Lindblom said during training camp.

“It was nice to be back home for a bit, just relaxed, had some time with friends and family, so it was great.”

It didn't take long for the Flyers' new coaching staff to fall in love with Lindblom's game as the winger raced out of the chute, scoring in the team's season opener and playing a major role ever since.

“I didn’t know much about Oskar before coming here, but what I’ve found is a real smart, two-way player, hard-working young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Oct. 26.

In the summer of 2017, Lindblom talked about his climb within the Flyers' system.

"I just think about it by myself, like fifth-rounder, I just felt like I can play and I can be on this level," Lindblom said.

By the age of 23, he has more than made it on the highest level.

Below is the outpouring of support for Lindblom, via social media:

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