Flyers

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

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

VOORHEES, N.J. — Head coach Alain Vigneault is looking for a bounce-back performance in his team's penultimate game before its NHL-mandated Jan. 22-30 bye week.

The opportunity appears ripe as the Flyers (25-17-6) host the Kings (18-26-5) Saturday.

Let's get into the essentials:

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

• Vigneault wants a response from his Flyers. Mostly, he wants his Flyers to play like the Flyers again.

He was not pleased by the team's performance in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center, after the Flyers had picked up wins over the league's three best teams — the Capitals, Bruins and Blues — over a four-game stretch (see story).

Playing against the Western Conference's worst team, which is 7-16-4 on the road, the Flyers need to dictate terms vs. the Kings.

The team held a meeting and analyzed some video prior to Saturday's short morning skate in Voorhees, New Jersey.

What was Vigneault's message?

We’ve got to execute, we’ve got to compete. We’re at our best when we’re on top of people, we’re taking people out of the equation and we’re connected, we’re close together whether it be on the forecheck or when we have the puck.

We showed a couple of sequences of us doing it well, especially in the St. Louis game, which we did a lot of good things. We’re going to try to bring that tonight, bring some good energy and focus and play a good game.

• Defenseman Justin Braun is set to return earlier than the Flyers had originally anticipated. With a groin injury, Braun was expected to be out until after the bye week.

He ended up missing only six games and the veteran stay-at-home blueliner will be paired with the physical Robert Hagg against the Kings.

Pucks in, pucks out, the old saying — it’s about as boring as it can get, but that’s the kind of game I want to play tonight. We don’t want to be hemmed in, defending all night. We want to get [the puck] into the forwards’ hands and let them go to work.

- Braun

• The Flyers have not lost consecutive home games in regulation all season. They have a plus-32 goal differential at home, while the Kings own a minus-28 goal differential on the road.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Joel Farabee-Connor Bunnaman-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

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

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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Kevin Hayes hooks up Jakub Voracek with 'Big Hayes-y 13' shirt

Kevin Hayes hooks up Jakub Voracek with 'Big Hayes-y 13' shirt

Kevin Hayes had the support of his teammates on and off the ice Friday night.

The Flyers' 5-2 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center featured some intense and feisty moments.

After all, it was a rivalry game in late February between Philly and New York. To add spice to the storyline, Hayes played parts of his first five NHL seasons for the Rangers before they parted ways with the center at last season's trade deadline.

Hayes, who is proud to call Philadelphia his new home and for the next seven years, didn't take long to become a leader in the Flyers' dressing room.

Just look at the reaction from his teammates late in the second period Friday night when Hayes and Brendan Lemieux started scuffling.

After the game, Voracek showed love for Hayes — and his new brew. Following a four-assist performance, Voracek rocked a "Big Hayes-y 13" shirt from his pal.

On Friday night, Yards Brewing Company released a beer called the “Big Hayes-y 13” in salute to No. 13.

“He gave it to me," Voracek said. "I made sure he didn’t give it to anybody else. I think I’m the right person to kind of wear it — I deserve this.”

Has Voracek had a cold “Big Hayes-y 13” yet?

“I didn’t try it," he said. "I want to, though."

Yards Brewing Company on Spring Garden St. will have to hook up Voracek.

“After the games, one or two cold beers doesn’t hurt anyone," Voracek said.

“I enjoy that place.”

If it has those shirts, it'll have to hook up Flyers fans with some.

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Flyers add to their growing list of statement wins by thumping Rangers

Flyers add to their growing list of statement wins by thumping Rangers

Updated: Saturday, 12:45 a.m.

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have made their fair share of statements this season.

They added to the list Friday night with a convincing 5-2 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

New York had been rolling and gaining steam in the playoff race. The Rangers entered 9-1-0 over their last 10 games and had won nine straight on the road.

The Flyers stemmed the tide significantly.

Who better than Kevin Hayes to punctuate the party with a third-period goal.

The Flyers (37-20-7) have matched their season-best win streak of five. Since Jan. 8, they're 15-5-1 with an NHL-high 77 goals. Over that stretch, the Flyers have 31 points, tied with the Lightning and Bruins for most in the league.

The Rangers (35-25-4) have dropped both meetings with the Flyers thus far by a combined score of 10-3.

• A massive win on multiple fronts.

The Flyers have jumped the Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh lost Friday night to the Ducks, 3-2.

Just as important, the Flyers pushed away the Rangers a bit more, while improving to 13-4-4 within the Metro division, which is the deepest in the NHL.

• The Flyers completely flipped the game in a span of 2:05 during the second period. James van Riemsdyk finished a juicy rebound to seize a 2-1 lead before Claude Giroux turned and fired a filthy shot top shelf to put the Flyers in the driver's seat.

The Flyers sped away in the third period.

• Giroux and Jakub Voracek, the Flyers' household names, looked like the vintage duo in a rivalry game.

Voracek collected four assists to give him 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists) and a plus-16 mark over the last 42 games.

Giroux had some real giddyap in his step, scored two goals, won 13 faceoffs and is on a 14-point run through the past 10 games.

Sean Couturier registered a goal and an assist ... ho-hum.

• Carter Hart improved to 18-2-2 at home.

The 21-year-old has been lights out in front of his fans, allowing two or fewer goals in 18 of his 22 home games.

Alexandar Georgiev, the Rangers' 24-year-old netminder, is 1-3-0 in four career games against the Flyers.

• Derek Grant, acquired at Monday's trade deadline, played well as his role increased.

He's another big body that can win important faceoffs and be tough to play against.

Grant won seven draws and played 15-plus minutes.

Another role player Scott Laughton had two more assists and was all over the place.

• Hayes is 2-0-0 against the Rangers this season. He returns to Madison Square Garden Sunday.

"I couldn't be more excited to be here in Philly, to start a new chapter in my NHL career where I have the security to be somewhere for a long term," Hayes said in September. "In New York, my longest contract was two years, the last three years it was trade bait basically every year."

• During a 1-1 game in the second period, a laughable penalty was called on Philippe Myers. The Flyers killed it off and then swung the momentum in their favor.

• Chris Kreider, the Rangers' third-leading goal scorer who signed a seven-year, $45.5 million extension Monday, suffered a fractured foot during the first period.

That's huge news. The Flyers play New York twice more over the final 18 games.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Saturday at noon in Voorhees, New Jersey, before heading to New York to play the Rangers Sunday (12 p.m. ET/NBC).

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