Flyers

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

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

A fun goalie matchup will be on display Saturday as the Flyers (14-15-4) welcome the Blue Jackets (19-12-3).

Let's look at the essentials:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• It'll be 20-year-old rookie Carter Hart against two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky.

Hart has fans excited again after winning his first two NHL starts as he made 51 saves on 54 shots to give the Flyers back-to-back wins for the time since Nov. 5-10, when they won three straight.

Bobrovsky, the former Flyer who can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, is 3-0-1 with 106 saves on 110 shots in his last four games. He's also always been a thorn in the Flyers' side, going 12-3-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .929 save percentage lifetime against his old club.

• Since Nov. 23, the Flyers have the NHL's sixth-best penalty kill at 86.8 percent. Overall, the unit is still tied for 29th in the league, which shows you just how low it was before these improvements.

Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon has been known for his PK work at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. The Flyers killed off all six of the Predators' power-play opportunities in Thursday's 2-1 win. Gordon had a good quote Friday about how things work now with assistant coach Ian Laperriere, who oversees the penalty kill.

We sit and we have conversations and we talk about the different challenges that each team brings. So as we sit and we talk, there's a situation that Nashville does, as we're talking about what they're doing and how we're going to defend it, I said to Lappy, 'This is what we did in Lehigh, but you make the decision. If you think the guys are going to be more comfortable doing what we're doing, then we stick with it. If you think that this might be a good adjustment, then we'll make the adjustment.' So I leave it in his hands. 

Sometimes different ideas open up different thought processes. Like yesterday, we talked about the neutral zone, how we wanted to do something, and I had it mapped out and (assistant coach) Kris Knoblauch said to me, 'What do you think if we put this guy in this spot instead of the original spot?' So there's always a sharing of information that goes on when you're discussing what your strategy is going to be against a different opponent.

• The Flyers' power play, however, is now dead last in the NHL at 12.1 percent, which is mind-boggling considering all the talent on the unit. 

The man advantage is 7 for 79 (8.9 percent) since Oct. 13. The Blue Jackets have the next-fewest power-play goals over that span with 12.

• Here's a look at why Gordon likes Claude Giroux at center for now — and it has something to do with Nolan Patrick.

Projected lineup

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

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

Goalies
Carter Hart
Michal Neuvirth

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Sloppy play, surprising trends and Flyers take 2nd straight loss before running into Connor McDavid

Sloppy play, surprising trends and Flyers take 2nd straight loss before running into Connor McDavid

BOX SCORE

This time, the Flyers had the opposition take it to 'em.

Alain Vigneault's team never had the reins Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The defeat marked the first in regulation for the Flyers (2-1-1), who must shift their focus to salvaging a game on this Western Canada road trip.

The Flames (3-3-1) had their way, outshooting the Flyers, 38-22, and putting the pressure on Brian Elliott.

• The Flyers had difficulty getting the puck up ice, which gave them little chance to play Vigneault's preferred style. When you can't successfully transition the puck out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone, there's no shot to play a possession-based game.

The issue wasn't effort. The Flyers just weren't sharp and the Flames were fast, dangerous and all over the puck.

• To make matters worse, the Flyers did not help Elliott, who was making his first start of the season. The first two goals allowed were self-inflicted products. The third was an empty-netter.

Elliott made some tough stops and finished with 35 saves. He gave the Flyers an honest chance on the road. They were problematic in front of him.

• The Flames scored what turned out to be the game-winner in the second period. Five seconds after a faceoff in the Flyers' end, Calgary made it 2-0 when Andrew Mangiapane's shot bounced off Travis Sanheim's stick and past Elliott.

• A bright spot among a not-so-bright performance from the Flyers was Matt Niskanen. He scored his first goal as a Flyer on a delayed penalty in the third period. But the 32-year-old has been even better defensively with his decisions, breaking up scoring chances and moving the puck. He has been as advertised and a major improvement on the blue line.

• Jakub Voracek opened the game on the third line with Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick after a third-period demotion in last Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Cannucks. Clearly Vigneault wanted to see smarter decisions — and maybe smarter effort — from Voracek, while James van Riemsdyk played on the first line following a solid performance against Vancouver.

With the Flyers trailing, 2-0, the lines were shuffled in the third period and Voracek saw time with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux but couldn't get much cooking.

Giroux (one assist), Voracek and van Riemsdyk have combined for one point during the first four games. The early drought is uncharted territory for Voracek and van Riemsdyk, who both had previously never gone scoreless through their opening four games of a season.

The good thing is the Flyers know the offense will come from those three and the team is still 2-1-1.

• The Flyers were outmatched in the opening five minutes, when the Flames were a step ahead in every phase and set the tone.

Michael Frolik beat Elliott just 1:35 into the action on an ugly sequence by the Flyers. After Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov misconnected on a pass up ice, Justin Braun failed to clear the puck and then inadvertently tripped Elliott as Frolik blasted his shot.

The Flyers were fortunate to be trailing by only one goal at first intermission. They could have done more than just weather the storm but went 0 for 3 on the power play and finished 0 for 4 overall. They were sluggish and then sloppy.

• The Flyers finish their three-game road trip with the second half of a back-to-back set when they take on Connor McDavid and the Oilers Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Edmonton is 5-1-0 and McDavid has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in six games.

The Flyers are then back at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday to play the Stars (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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

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

The Flyers will once again try to match a mark set by the team in 2011-12, when the club last went to the playoffs.

The last time the Flyers opened the regular season with at least a point in four straight games was 2011-12 (3-0-1). The 2019-20 Flyers (2-0-1) have a chance to do that Tuesday night when they visit the Flames (2-3-1).

Let's get into the essentials:

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

• The Flyers could not have asked for a better start from Travis Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract last month.

The 22-year-old winger has three goals and three assists in three games. His six points are the most by any Flyer through the first three games of a season since 2009-10, when defenseman Matt Carle also had six on one goal and five assists.

Going back to last season, the Flyers are 17-4-2 when Konecny scores a goal.

• Keep an eye on Chris Stewart, who is playing his first NHL regular-season game since March 29, 2018. In that game, he was playing for the Flames and scored a goal. Interestingly, he has his most career points against Calgary — 22 on 12 goals and 10 assists.

Also keep an eye on Jakub Voracek, who saw a demotion in the third period of last Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Canucks. Let's see how he responds with his normal minutes and role.

Voracek and James van Riemsdyk are scoreless through the Flyers' first three games.

• The Flames were 26-10-5 at home last season, while putting up 50 wins and 107 points overall, most in the Western Conference.

Johnny Gaudreau is as good as they get, while Sean Monahan has killed the Flyers with 10 goals in 12 career games against the orange and black.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Carsen Twarynski
Tyler Pitlick-Michael Raffl-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Matt Niskanen
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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