Flyers

Without important piece, Flyers have their tallest order yet

Flyers

The Flyers' biggest challenge of a season-opening four-game homestand will come in the final matchup Saturday.

The Flyers (2-0-1) face the unbeaten Panthers (4-0-0) and have to do so without a crucial piece to their back end.

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • 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

• Ryan Ellis (undisclosed injury) will be unavailable for the Flyers. Head coach Alain Vigneault said the defenseman is considered day to day.

"Very confident for the Western trip," Vigneault said of Ellis' status after Saturday's optional morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers begin a three-game Western Canada road trip on Wednesday.

The news is good for the Flyers in the big picture. But they will dearly miss Ellis against Florida. The 30-year-old defenseman plays in all situations and has logged 24:09 minutes per game, putting up four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-3 rating.

With Ellis out, Justin Braun will play alongside Ivan Provorov on the club's top pair and Nick Seeler will enter the lineup for his third game.

Cam Atkinson, who missed practice Friday along with Ellis, is good to go and in the lineup. His absence from practice was for maintenance.

More: As unbeaten team visits, Flyers have more moving parts

• No Ellis only stiffens the Flyers' challenge against the Panthers.

Florida owns wins over the Penguins, Islanders, Lightning and Avalanche. The Panthers have allowed only 1.75 goals per game and have a plus-11 goal differential.

 

They have an impressive top defensive pair and Aleksander Barkov is one of the better centers in the game.

"They're a great rush team, with the skill that they have, they really protect the puck well," Vigneault said. "When they don't have the puck, they play a real tight gap, especially in the neutral zone. If you don't make them turn, don't put the puck in areas where you've got ice and that you can skate and be first touch, they counter so quickly.

"We're going to have to be at our best through that neutral zone tonight, we're going to have to be real good coming back into our zone because their skill level enables them to make a lot of plays at the blue line. We've watched their games, their one of the top teams, they're playing like a top team right now. It's going to be a real good game for our group."

The Flyers are playing well themselves. They're coming off a 6-3 victory over the Bruins and have scored 16 goals through three games. They have three players with three markers apiece: Atkinson, Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny.

"It's definitely good to test against teams like that, but at the same time, it's still early, too," Konecny said. "Just because we beat Boston doesn't mean we're the better for the year; like, Boston's still a great team and we're going to continue to compete against them the entire year and try to prove we're just as good as anybody out there."

More: Yandle has intriguing opportunity to build off of his best start

• Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky is 3-0-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.

The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has excellent career numbers versus the Flyers (15-5-1, 2.29 GAA, .923 save percentage), but hasn't been as good against his former club since 2019-20. In three matchups with the Flyers since the beginning of that season, Bobrovsky has gone 1-2-0 with a 3.44 GAA and .899 save percentage.

Projected lineup

 

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny

Joel Farabee-Derick Brassard-Cam Atkinson

Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-James van Riemsdyk

Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Nate Thompson-Zack MacEwen

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen

Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler

Goalies

Carter Hart

Martin Jones

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube