It's easy to forget there's an actual hockey game taking place tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
There is, and it's actually a pretty important one for the 10-11-2 Flyers.
The Flyers host the 9-12-3 Senators in what should be a pretty winnable game, right?
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: NBCSP
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• This has to be a tough game for both the players and coaching staff with everything up in limbo with everyone's jobs basically on the line.
Dave Hakstol remains the head coach … for now. Flyers president Paul Holmgren said Hakstol's fate falls in the hands of the new general manager.
"I think he's done a decent job in the circumstances he's coached under," Holmgren said Tuesday, "particularly this last little while where the goaltending — our top guys are hurt. … I think he's a good coach.
"I hope the new GM gives him every opportunity to evaluate everything, from how he prepares, to how he coaches, how he does his matchups, stuff like that and gives him a fair shot because I think he deserves that."
Another clunker tonight and the players may force Holmgren into doing something he doesn't want to do — make player personnel decisions without a GM in place.
• The Flyers on Tuesday afternoon activated winger Michael Raffl, who's expected to return to the lineup after suffering a knee injury Oct. 22. He will replace Tyrell Goulbourne.
Raffl's return will be a welcomed addition to the fourth line and the penalty kill. He also gives Hakstol a veteran presence he can trust, which will help with the coach's tendency of playing Goulbourne limited minutes.
• And the Flyers' starting goaltender will be … Anthony Stolarz.
Stolarz became the fifth goalie to play for the Flyers this season in Saturday night's 6-0, penalty-free loss in Toronto and will become the fifth goalie to start a game tonight too.
Tonight will be Stolarz's first NHL start since April 9, 2017, when he made 32 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Hurricanes. He was steady in relief Saturday, stopping 33 of 35 shots he faced.
The Flyers most certainly need a huge effort from Stolarz tonight.
• Tonight will feature the league's two worst penalty kills, so prepare to see some power-play goals. It should be an adventure whenever a team is on the power play tonight.
The Flyers' PK ranks 31st in the NHL at 69.7 percent, while the Senators' unit is 30th at 70.1 percent. The worst PK percentage in NHL history is 68.2 percent, accomplished by the 1979-80 Kings.
Special teams will play a huge factor tonight. Unfortunately for the Flyers, Ottawa's power play is actually pretty decent. The Sens sport the league's ninth-best PP, converting 23.8 percent of the time.
• The Senators have lost four straight games and are 2-8-1 on the road this season. They are not a very good hockey team. Neither are the Flyers, but you can actually argue this team is underperforming.
Come out tonight and lose to this Senators team, and there is an even bigger problem than we want to admit. This is a must-win game for the Flyers, and yes, we're 23 games into the season.
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Dale Weise-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Jordan Weal-Wayne Simmonds
Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl
Ivan Provorov-Robert Hagg
Shayne Gostisbehere-Andrew MacDonald
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas
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