Flyers

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

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

VOORHEES, N.J. — Talk about a month of Crazy Eights.

After enduring an eight-game winless streak that saw the Flyers go 0-6-2, the orange and black can complete the turnaround Tuesday night by winning their eighth straight game.

The Flyers (23-23-6, 52 points) welcome the Canucks (24-22-6, 54 points) to the Wells Fargo Center for their only matchup in Philadelphia. 

Let's take a look at tonight's essentials:

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

• With a victory tonight, the Flyers would record the 2,000th win in franchise history, becoming the first expansion to reach that milestone.

• The Flyers' previous meeting with the Canucks on Dec. 15 may have been their lowest point of the season as they dropped their fourth straight game on a five-game road trip, while Anthony Stolarz suffered a lower-body injury and missed the next five weeks. It was also the final game Dave Hakstol coached as he was relieved of his duties two days later. 

• The Canucks, who currently own the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, have won three of their last four games with points in six of seven (4-1-2) following a convincing 5-1 win over the Avalanche on Saturday, which was the first game in their current four-game road trip. 

• Vancouver has a winning record against every other division outside of the Metropolitan in which it's 3-7-0. 

• Following Saturday’s win over the Oilers, the Flyers finally clawed their way back to the .500 mark for the first time since beating the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2, on Dec. 8 with a 12-12-3 record. The last time they were a game above .500 was back on Nov. 13 with a mark of 9-8-1.

• Interim head coach Scott Gordon laid out his goaltending plans for the next two games as he’ll start Carter Hart for tonight’s game and follow that up with Stolarz on Thursday against the Kings.

Hart is 6-0-0 with a 2.63 GAA and .926 save percentage during the seven-game winning streak. He can match Carey Price’s rookie mark of seven straight wins before the age of 21 set back in his rookie season with Montreal in 2008.

• Right now, Canucks forward Elias Pettersson is considered the favorite for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, as the team's second-line center leads Vancouver with 23 goals and 46 points. Pettersson is 18 points better than the next top rookie, Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin.

• Amazingly, the Flyers' power play has found its groove over the past two games, going 6 for 7 in victories against the Bruins and the Oilers.

That hot stretch has seen the Flyers' PP go from 31st (last) in the league to 23rd overall at 16.2 percent.

• Captain Claude Giroux will move into third place on the franchise’s all-time games played list at 791, passing Brian Propp (1979-90). Giroux has appeared in all but 15 of the 803 games the Flyers have played since joining the team in December 2008. 

• Shayne Gostisbehere was a surprise return Saturday against the Oilers as Gordon wasn’t expecting the Flyers' defenseman to be in the lineup. "Ghost" responded with a power-play assist, playing on the top unit along with 21:27 of ice time.

Projected lineup

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

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

Goalies
Carter Hart
Anthony Stolarz

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If Alain Vigneault can't work his magic with Flyers' roster, pressure mounts for Chuck Fletcher

If Alain Vigneault can't work his magic with Flyers' roster, pressure mounts for Chuck Fletcher

Chuck Fletcher was brought in because things weren't going well enough and quickly enough for the Flyers.

The predicament he inherited required eventual change.

After all, sitting alongside team president Paul Holmgren back in November, Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott said the Flyers were eyeing a general manager with a "bias for action," among other qualities.

With time and evaluation, Fletcher has begun providing the desired action.

A new head coach is on board, bringing extensive experience and outside perspective, while two new assistants with strong pedigrees have been hired.

But perhaps the most influential part in shifting the Flyers' course has remained mostly intact: the roster. That could drastically change this upcoming offseason with free agency and potential trades. However, Fletcher, facing his first offseason as the Flyers' GM, doesn't see an exodus needed with the current roster — or at least not yet.

"The Flyers are a great opportunity. You guys are in this market, for me coming in from the outside, I know when Paul Holmgren approached me about being the general manager of the Flyers, I'm like, 'Wow.' This is a premium job in the National Hockey League and we're set up where we should have an opportunity to get better quickly," Fletcher said April 18. "I know we need more good players, but we have a lot of good players. It's not like you have to gut this thing — we have cap space, we have picks. We have really good staff, really good staff. On the scouting and management side, I've added one person, I haven't subtracted anything. There's a good group here and we have the ability to get better quickly if we all do our job."

Therein lies a poignant and undeniable pressure on Fletcher in Year 1 with the Flyers under Alain Vigneault's watch.

Aside from Wayne Simmonds, who became an inevitable piece to move given the circumstances, the Flyers' core has survived. So, too, has the overall makeup of the roster.

Fletcher, Vigneault and the Flyers believe this team can win with a refined system and different guidance. They don't exactly see a team that has missed the playoffs every other season since 2012-13, a stretch consisting of three first-round exits.

Will Fletcher add this summer? Of course — the ability to do so is one of the reasons why Vigneault found the Flyers as an attractive destination. When Fletcher was hiring Vigneault, the two established a list of areas in which the Flyers can improve.

"We're looking at some options and if we can put the right things in place," Vigneault said at his introduction, "it's going to be a lot of fun."

Significant subtraction was not featured on the list.

"There's some solid youth with a lot of upside here that is coming into its own," Vigneault said. "There's great goaltending, being one of those youth pieces. There's a solid core group that, in my mind, needs the right direction. And you've got the combination, also, of some solid veteran players that have been in the league a few years, that can still contribute at a high level in this league. … After discussing it with a lot of people that I respect their opinion in the NHL, I feel that the Flyers are a very good team that with the proper direction, proper mindset, proper culture and people working together, will be a very good team in the near future."

That's why Year 1 will be so telling.

Vigneault is a coach with a tremendous track record of winning during his first season on the job. He did so at three separate stops (see story). Michel Therrien has 38 postseason victories under his belt as a head coach and took a team to the Stanley Cup Final. Mike Yeo owns three playoff series victories as a head coach and has a ring as an assistant.

If this group can't produce the results with the Flyers' roster, Fletcher will have to take a longer, much more serious look at the players in place and make his hardest decisions yet.

At that point, it may be the only action left.

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: More drama ahead for Sharks-Blues Western Conference Final?

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: More drama ahead for Sharks-Blues Western Conference Final?

There has been a ton of drama only three games into the Western Conference Final between the Sharks and Blues.

Game 3 was won by the Sharks, 5-4, in overtime, but not without controversy. San Jose may have gotten away with a hand pass on the game-winning goal.

The series will shift one way or the other Friday night with Game 4.

Below is the schedule for Day 37 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues (SJS 2-1)
Game 4, Western Conference Final
8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here