For the first time in 140 days, the Flyers will play a hockey game.
As they prepare for the round robin and first round of the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament, the Flyers will face the Penguins in an exhibition game Tuesday.
Let's get into the essentials:
• When: 4 p.m. ET (re-air at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia)
• Where: Scotiabank Arena
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com
• The Flyers will not only use the exhibition contest but also the three-game round-robin tourney as a time to ensure their health and readiness for the opening of the first round Aug. 11.
While the Flyers understand the importance of the round robin, the club's main focus is the overall outlook for its best-of-seven first-round series.
"Obviously if your intentions are going on a long playoff run, a lot of times there are some battle days and there are some days where you need guys to step up and chip in," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said during training camp. "To do that, it would be safe to say at this time that I intend on using more than 20 guys for those four games (one exhibition contest, three round-robin matchups). As important as they are, I’m going to look at different players in different situations during that time. It’s not about an experiment, but it’s about finding out where guys are and then making the best decision for the team."
• Don't think, though, that the Flyers aren't juiced for the exhibition. After all, they haven't suited up for a game since March 10, they felt they had a special run brewing and they're playing the Penguins, who could be a first-round opponent.
"It's a rivalry so emotions are probably going to get high," Sean Couturier said Monday in a video interview. "Can't ask for a better way to kind of get back into it, especially going into the playoffs, so I kind of like that."
• A player to safely expect picking up where he left off: Travis Konecny.
The 23-year-old All-Star is the Flyers' energizer bunny who finds a way to play with an edge and testiness every game.
Look how fast he came out of the chute during the regular-season opener in Prague, Czech Republic.
• Carter Hart is scheduled to play the first two periods with Brian Elliott finishing things off in the third period.
Probably the biggest thing you want to see out of Hart is for the 21-year-old to find a rhythm, trust his instincts and, most importantly, leave the game healthy.
Hart did have a minor undisclosed issue during a part of training camp, but he's good to go.
In the exhibition, the Flyers can dress 13 forwards and seven defensemen. Here's what we think the lineup could look like, although it's uncertain which defensemen will sit. We do know Shayne Gostisbehere, Mark Friedman and Egor Zamula will play.
It may sound crazy but maybe the Flyers sit top-pair blueliners Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen given they know each other so well and will play a ton during the tournament. For now, we'll assume it's the veterans Niskanen and Justin Braun.
Flyers lineup. Robert Hagg and Justin Braun will sit. pic.twitter.com/5nttFgOg8W— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 28, 2020
Projected lineup (playoff roster here)
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Derek Grant-Tyler Pitlick
Joel Farabee-Nate Thompson-Michael Raffl-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov-Robert Hagg
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere-Mark Friedman-Egor Zamula
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says Sidney Crosby will be a game-time decision for exhibition game today vs. Flyers. Also says goalie Matt Murray will start and play half the game, Tristan Jarry will play the second half.— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) July 28, 2020
Since last Flyers' game (140 days), Oskar Lindblom has ...— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 28, 2020
• Completed his cancer treatments
• Went home to Sweden
• Skated in workout
• Been named Masterton Trophy finalist
• Signed three-year, $9M contract
• Made Flyers' 31-man roster
Not all bad during this break.
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