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.
With Justin Braun healthy, Flyers send Mark Friedman to Phantoms. He played well and Alain Vigneault liked his game. Productive call-up for him.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) January 18, 2020
• 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.
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
Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg-Justin Braun
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