CHICAGO — The Flyers (35-30-8, 78 points) on Thursday night will attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against the Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-10, 74 points), who are just four points back of the Arizona Coyotes for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
In their only previous meeting this season, the Flyers blanked the Blackhawks, 4-0, back on Nov. 10. Sean Couturier scored two goals and Brian Elliott made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season.
Other games vital to the Flyers' playoff chances:
• Tampa Bay at Carolina, 7 p.m.
• NY Islanders at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
• Columbus at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Let's take a look at tonight's essentials.
• When: 8:30 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 8 p.m.
• Where: United Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers have dropped four of the last five at the United Center and five of their last seven games here. They haven’t lost three in a row in the Windy City since the days of Chicago Stadium.
The Blackhawks enter tonight’s game with points in each of their last six games (5-0-1). Interestingly, the 'Hawks have scored two or more goals in their previous 51 games dating back to Nov. 18.
• Justin Bailey has been recalled (again) from Lehigh Valley and will take Michael Raffl’s place in the lineup. Raffl did not make the trip to Chicago as the latest player impacted by the virus that has been spreading around the Flyers' locker room.
Bailey has seen action in seven games with the Flyers this season and is still looking for his first point since the trade.
It’s been a crazy week going up or down almost every day. At the same time, it’s nice that they’re calling me when they’re calling somebody up every time. I take that as a positive. It’s been a lot of travel, but I’m lucky that it’s only an hour and a half away. It’s been a wild week.
• The Flyers' power play snapped an 0-for-17 skid stretching the last seven games when Couturier scored Tuesday against the Canadiens.
Since Jan. 9, Couturier is tied for the NHL lead with a plus-20 rating and is ranked ninth in scoring with 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 30 games.
• Carter Hart will get the start tonight in Chicago. The Flyers' rookie goaltender has lost four of his past five starts but has played considerably better recently, allowing just three goals over his past two appearances with a .961 save percentage.
• With two more points, Scott Laughton will top the 30-point mark for the first time in his career. Laughton is on pace to become the first Flyer since Joel Otto in 1996-97 to score 30 points in a season — all at even strength or shorthanded.
James van Riemsdyk-Nolan Patrick-Claude Giroux
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Travis Konecny-Scott Laughton-Ryan Hartman
Phil Varone-Corban Knight-Justin Bailey
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Shayne Gostisbehere-Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg-Radko Gudas
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