Flyers

Flyers at Blue Jackets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Blue Jackets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers have three games left in a jam-packed November.

Alain Vigneault's team has gone 7-2-4 with 18 points during the month. Only one NHL team has more points in November and that's the Stars with 21.

The Flyers (12-7-5) will look to keep the points coming Wednesday night when they visit the Blue Jackets (10-9-4).

Let's get into the essentials:

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

• James van Riemsdyk played 9:57 in Monday night's 2-1 win over the Canucks after playing only 9:06 in last Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Flames, which marked his lowest ice time during a game (non-injury related) since the 2010-11 season.

In July 2018, the winger was inked to a five-year, $35 million contract. He was signed by former general manager Ron Hextall to play a major role in improving the Flyers' goal production. Right now, the 30-year-old finds himself on the fourth line, scrapping for scoring opportunities.

The fourth-line stint likely won't last for long but van Riemsdyk is being challenged to score, especially on the power play. His strength is putting the puck in the net and when a player is struggling to provide his biggest strength, Vigneault and the Flyers have shown they'll make adjustments. Just look at Shayne Gostisbehere's situation.

JVR, who is without a point over the last eight contests, has four goals in 24 games despite being third on the Flyers in shots with 68.

No doubt in my mind JVR is working real hard, he’s trying to get his game in order. As a staff and a head coach, there’s always that fine line — players say, ‘Give me more ice time and I’ll play better,’ and I say, ‘You play better and I’ll give you more ice time.’ We’ve given him every power play, he’s got one goal so far on the power play.

We’re working with him to help him contribute more. If he contributes more, obviously he’s going to help our team. We’re all working together here to make this team, the Flyers, the best it can be and hopefully we can help JVR play better, also.

Any player, you’ve got to play the right way, you’ve got defend, you’ve got to play the full 200-foot game. JVR’s trademark is he’s a finisher, he’s a goal-scorer, that has to be a part of the repertoire and it’s been a little bit more challenging for him.

- Vigneault on Tuesday

• The Flyers' propensity for working overtime has been well-publicized.

The team has gone to the shootout seven times this month after going to the shootout only four times all of last season. Ten of the Flyers' 13 games in November have been decided by one goal and eight have gone past regulation.

“I’m aware of it and I think everybody is, but you know, those are good to be part of," Vigneault said. "I really think, as individual players and as a team, these tight games, these games have been beneficial for us — or are going to be beneficial for us moving forward here. You’ve got to be able to play in these moments and I think we’ve shown that we have and we’re getting better at it, too.”

The Flyers have scored 2.30 goals per game over their last 10 matchups. Give them credit, though, they've often controlled tempo, which has resulted in strong defense and much better goal prevention. But with all these tight, low-scoring games, are the Flyers playing with fire?

"The more you move forward, the games mean more, they’re all close games," Vigneault said. "You might as well, as a player, realize right now that every time you’re on the ice, you can dictate the outcome of a game by the right play in the first period, the wrong play in another moment. You’ve got to learn to play in these situations, thrive on them, get the best out of yourself and I see this only as a positive for our group."

• The Blue Jackets have won four of their last five games after losing seven of their previous eight. Both the Flyers and Blue Jackets rank among the bottom third of the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring, so special teams will be critical.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Robert Hagg-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

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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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Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

BOX SCORE

From the moment it was announced that Oskar Lindblom would miss Wednesday night's game, the Flyers' chances at Pepsi Center felt bleak.

No Lindblom, no Travis Konecny and facing the NHL's highest-scoring team in its building was not a promising script for the Flyers, who lost to the Avalanche, 3-1.

In stretches this season, the Flyers have struggled to bury goals. And that has been with Lindblom and Konecny — their two leading goal-scorers at 11 apiece — in the lineup.

The Flyers (17-9-5) did some good things but Colorado finished plays behind its world class talent up top.

The Avalanche (20-8-3) are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've scored 4.13 goals per game.

• Without Konecny (concussion) and Lindblom (upper body), the Flyers had difficulty putting the puck in the net. They were going to have to put up some goals against the Avalanche, who entered scoring an NHL-best 3.70 goals per game. For the second time in the last three games, the Flyers scored only one goal.

The lone tally came from Claude Giroux when the Flyers were trailing 3-0 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.

• Following a first period in which they survived, especially in the back half of it thanks to Carter Hart, the Flyers actually played a solid second period. At one point during the middle stanza, the Flyers were outshooting Colorado 11-0.

But as the Flyers kept pushing to no avail, the Avalanche changed the whole complexion of the period with one play by their two best weapons. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hooked up for a nasty marker to make it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the period, a deflating goal to allow for the Flyers (see highlights).

Considering Colorado was 14-0-1 when leading after the middle period, the Flyers were in a serious hole, even after a hard-working period.

• Hart, who entered 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts, faced the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

He made a highlight-reel save and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in tough circumstances.

The 21-year-old has been impressive during the first period all season long, allowing the Flyers to find their legs and rhythm. He converted 12 of his 24 saves in the opening stanza against Colorado.

On the Avalanche's first-period goal, Scott Laughton won a defensive zone faceoff but the Flyers failed to clear the puck, resulting in Matt Calvert's tally.

Rantanen added his second goal early in the third period and that was pretty much the game.

Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz, who came in 5-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over his last eight games (six starts), finished with 32 stops.

• When Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day) is ready to return, Robert Hagg should be the odd man out on defense. Shayne Gostisbehere has found some of his offensive mojo and Myers has shown way too much promise to be sitting when healthy.

A stay-at-home guy like Hagg was far too noticeable against the Avalanche. He committed a penalty and was a minus-2 in 15:21 minutes.

• David Kase was summoned to Denver this morning to make his NHL debut and become the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season

The 22-year-old winger had a nice scoring chance and two shots in 7:47 minutes. 

• The Flyers head to the old stomping grounds of general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr when they visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Fletcher was the GM in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.

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