Flyers

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

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

EDMONTON, Alberta — Bring on Connor McDavid.

The Flyers (12-13-4, 28 points) have beaten the Oilers (17-12-3, 37 points) in three of their last four meetings including a 4-2 win in Edmonton last season.

The Flyers held the Oilers' superstar center to just one point and no goals in last season’s sweep of Edmonton.

In his career, McDavid has seven points (two goals, five assists) in six career games against the Flyers. 

Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock talked about what makes McDavid a unique player:

The thing that’s unique to him is that he’s a fearless, reckless player. He goes into places that make me nervous just being on the bench. Absolutely reckless and fearless, in order to get into scoring areas.

Let's take a look at Friday night's essentials:

When: 9 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Rogers Place
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Alex Lyon has rejoined the Flyers from Lehigh Valley and will back up Anthony Stolarz. Lyon started one game this season — Nov. 21 in Buffalo — allowing four goals in the first period. 

Michal Neuvirth left the team and returned home to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. 

There was an outside possibility that goaltender Brian Elliott might play during this Western Canada road trip, but that won’t happen after he returned to Philadelphia for what the team referred to as a scheduled medical appointment. Elliott had taken part in practices and morning skates (see story).

• The Oilers are one of four teams to make an in-season coaching change so far in 2018-19. Former Flyers coach Hitchcock (2002-07) took over for Todd McLellan on Nov. 20 and the Oilers have responded with an 8-2-2 record under Hitchcock.

Under Hitchcock, the Oilers are playing a much more structured defensive game, allowing just 2.5 goals per game after giving up 3.3 goals under McLellan, proving a coaching change can have immediate dividends.

"I just had coffee with Rick Wilson (Flyers assistant coach) and we both said, ‘Are we friggin’ nuts?’ We were the mayors of the coffee club," Hitchcock said. "Both of us miss one thing and that’s the thing that drives us, and that is we both love having a stake in the game."

• The Flyers are playing their fourth set of back-to-back games with Friday’s game in Edmonton followed by Saturday’s game in Vancouver. They’re 2-1-0 in the first game of a back-to-back and 1-2-0 in the second game. 

This also marks the second time they’ve played back-to-backs on the road after winning, 6-2, last Saturday in Buffalo before dropping a 7-1 game in Winnipeg.

After the Flyers outshot the Flames, 7-0, to open the game, Calgary dominated in possession with a 41-12 shot advantage over the final 53 minutes. 

Dave Hakstol said Friday morning: "There are stretches of games where we give the puck up way too easily."

• Hakstol may also want to re-think his 3-on-3 combinations for overtime. The Flyers are 1-4 in games decided in OT this season. Wednesday’s dreadful 6-5 overtime loss to Calgary marked the third overtime game this season that saw the Flyers lose on the opening shift. 

On Nov. 3, the Sharks' Timo Meier scored 13 seconds into OT in a 4-3 Flyers loss. On Dec. 6, the Blue Jackets' Seth Jones scored 10 seconds into the extra period, and Wednesday it was Johnny Gaudreau scoring just 35 seconds into overtime.

• The Flyers should have an overwhelming edge in the faceoff circle. The NHL’s best team has won 55 percent of its draws this season while the Oilers are ranked 28th in the NHL at 47.3 percent.

• Radko Gudas had six stitches over his left eye in a fight with Buffalo’s Nathan Beaulieu. While he could elect to have the stitches removed during the road trip, Gudas has elected to wait until he returns home, as his adorable daughter Leontynka has personally requested to remove dad’s stitches. Gudas said she likes to play nurse. Can’t wait to see how that goes.

Projected lineup

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Oskar Lindblom-Phil Varone-Dale Weise

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Robert Hägg-Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Anthony Stolarz
Alex Lyon

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Breaking down 2019-20 third-line competition after Flyers' signing of Chris Stewart to pro tryout

Breaking down 2019-20 third-line competition after Flyers' signing of Chris Stewart to pro tryout

You can never have enough competition.

There will be plenty of it when training camp rolls around in September as the Flyers have a third-line job opening on the wing.

General manager Chuck Fletcher added a candidate Wednesday by signing forward Chris Stewart to an NHL pro tryout for camp.

Stewart, 31, was a 2006 first-round draft pick of the Avalanche and has played 652 career NHL games between six teams. His best season came as a 22-year-old with the Avalanche in 2009-10, when he scored 64 points (28 goals, 36 assists) over 77 games. Last season, he played in the EIHL for the Nottingham Panthers, scoring 13 points (six goals, seven assists) through 23 games.

The 6-foot-2, 242-pound winger has ties to the Flyers' GM. He played parts of three seasons for Fletcher's Wild from 2014 to 2018, putting up 25 goals, 20 assists and a plus-6 rating in 146 games.

The Flyers like their options for the third-line winger vacancy. The names include Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, German Rubtsov, Carsen Twarynski, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Andy Andreoff and Kurtis Gabriel.

Farabee and Frost have drawn a lot of attention as young first-round draft picks coming off big seasons with Boston University (see story) and the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (see story), respectively. Rubtsov is an underrated option given his size, advanced game and positional versatility. Ratcliffe is a 6-foot-6 winger who scored 50 goals last season with the OHL's Guelph Storm, while Vorobyev saw time with the Flyers in 2018-19.

"It's more than Farabee and Frost," Fletcher said July 1. "I think Rubtsov had a tremendous prospect camp here. Ratcliffe is a quality young player. Vorobyev is a young man that we feel is going to come back next year a little bit stronger.

"There are several players down there that can play games, never mind Andreoff, who's a player that I think will make a very strong push to make our team this season. Kurtis Gabriel is a player that's played games in the NHL the past few seasons. We have a lot of options. That's what training camp is for — it's an opportunity for players to come in and show that they belong. It should be an exciting camp."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers mascot Gritty works on his dad bod at Planet Fitness

Flyers mascot Gritty works on his dad bod at Planet Fitness

Did you think Gritty was going to be satisfied with winning the NHL Fan Choice Awards honor for best mascot?

Think again.

The guy is not resting on his laurels this summer. He's training hard for 2019-20. He was seen working up a sweat Tuesday at the Planet Fitness on Christopher Columbus Boulevard.


(Picture courtesy of NBC Sports Philadelphia's Todd Berman)

Rumor has it Gritty is working on his summer abs.

Or maybe not.

Regardless, the orange fella knows how to stay in shape. He's a preparation junkie, a true gym (and rink) rat. Complacency is not in Gritty's vocabulary.

He's also not breaking glass and scaring kids, so that's a positive.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers