Flyers

The NHL has announced the 2019-20 season schedule

The NHL has announced the 2019-20 season schedule

The 2019-20 NHL schedule is here, and we already knew the Flyers would be starting the season with an Oct. 4 game in Prague against the Blackhawks — their first ever in Europe.

As it turns out, the first two weeks of their season will stretch across 10 time zones. After the game in Prague, the Flyers will come home for their home opener against the Devils on Oct. 9. Then they’ll head immediately west for games across North America in Vancouver on Oct. 12, Calgary on Oct. 15 and Edmonton on Oct. 16.

We’re going to learn a lot about these Flyers in just the first five games of the season.

You can view the entire Flyers 2019-20 schedule here. TV schedule information will be released later in the summer. Here are some more highlights:

New Year's on the West Coast

As part of their annual holiday season road trip, the Flyers will make their third-ever trip to face the Vegas Golden Knights over the holiday, facing off at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday, Jan. 2. That’s part of a six-game trip that includes stops in San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Arizona and Carolina. It’s their longest trip of the year.

They’ll actually be in L.A. for a game on New Year's Eve proper, facing off at 9 p.m. ET that night against the Kings. Yes, the Flyers will likely be just finishing up a game as the clock turns from 2019 to 2020 on the East Coast.

Bye week bookended by Penguins

The Flyers won’t host their rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, until Jan. 21. That game will be the first of a home-and-home with the Pens … kind of. The Flyers will have 10 days off after that matchup in Philly, not playing again until a Jan. 31 matchup in Pittsburgh.

Other important notes

The Flyers will visit the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The Blues visit Philly — and presumably South Philly’s newest Blues bar, The Jacks, on March 17.

In addition to the holiday trip out west, the Flyers will also head west from December 11-15 with games in Colorado, Minnesota and Winnipeg.

The longest homestand this season lasts only three games, and that happens on multiple occasions throughout the season. The Flyers do have a stretch of 13 days with very limited travel in January, however. They’re home from Jan. 8 against Washington, through the 21st against Pittsburgh, with the exception of the aforementioned road game in St. Louis on the 15th. That leads into that bye week, so they’ll have just that one quick St. Louis trip as their only travel between Jan. 8 and the 31st.

 The season ends with a Saturday evening, April 4 game in Buffalo against the Sabres.

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

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

VOORHEES, N.J. — It might be the best chance for Morgan Frost to prove himself.

The same can be said for Joel Farabee.

The Flyers will feature two of their brightest prospects in big spots Thursday night as the team continues its preseason against the Bruins.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Farabee turned heads playing alongside Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier during the first three days of training camp. So much so that head coach Alain Vigneault wanted to see the trio in game action.

The 19-year-old Farabee is a dynamic winger with an advanced hockey IQ and relentless effort. His case for the roster has strengthened ever since rookie camp and Thursday presents an ideal scenario for Farabee to garner more attention.

"I'm with probably the two-best players," Farabee said, "I think this is my best opportunity to showcase what I can do."

During training camp practices, the chemistry between Giroux, Couturier and Farabee looked natural. Couturier, the Flyers' first-line center, has been impressed by the 2018 first-round pick.

The little things, the little plays he does along the boards as a winger, especially as a center coming down the middle when you have some speed, he doesn't slow you down, he knows where you are and he knows where to put the puck. You can get a good read off of him knowing that whatever situation he's put in, he'll put the puck on your tape and find you. He's looking for you, he's looking to make plays. It's pretty nice to see from a young player.

• German Rubtsov is playing his third game in the last four days. The Flyers want a long look at the 21-year-old center and, so far, they've liked what they've seen. Nolan Patrick's injury has opened the door a bit for Rubtsov, Frost and some other centers.

"From the rookie camp to now, his pace has gotten better, I liked the fact that defensively, he seems responsible," Vigneault said of Rubtsov. "Right now, if he were to make our team, it would be more on that bottom six. That's where we're putting him, you've got to be able to kill penalties, he's a centerman, take faceoffs. With Nolan being out, it gives opportunities to other guys. He's getting a good look … we're going to continue this."

• Thursday will be the first time seeing the defensive duo of Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen. It could be the Flyers' top pair for the Oct. 4 season opener. Both move the puck up ice and Niskanen's presence should relieve some pressure off of the 22-year-old Provorov's shoulders.

• Brian Elliott will be in net for the first two periods. The next step for the backup goalie will be a full game. Carter Hart will also play two periods his next time out, then a full game.

Quotable

I definitely liked his game. It was the first time for me seeing him in a game-like situation, I liked his game. Chuck [Fletcher] and Brent [Flahr] both said that's the best game they had seen him play in the sense that he kept it simple, played a north-south game, was good on the forecheck, had a good stick, defensively was responsible and he was conscious of the things that we had talked about.

- Vigneault on potential bottom-six winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Jakub Voracek
Nicolas Aube-Kubel-German Rubtsov-Andy Andreoff
Carsen Twarynski-Connor Bunnaman-Kyle Criscuolo

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Tyler Wotherspoon-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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Matt Niskanen: Claude Giroux 'holds his own, for sure,' in trash-talking

Matt Niskanen: Claude Giroux 'holds his own, for sure,' in trash-talking

Matt Niskanen has played 38 career games against the Flyers, so he's seen Philadelphia a lot.

Since 2011, the 32-year-old played 390 games for the Capitals and 214 for the Penguins. Those two teams aren't liked too much around the Delaware Valley.

He was on the Capitals when bracelets were thrown on the ice by frustrated Flyers fans during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was on the Penguins during 2012, when the Flyers last won a postseason series by beating Pittsburgh in the first round.

Now, he's wearing Flyers orange with Claude Giroux and company.

Following an offseason trade from the Capitals, he's embracing the opportunity to be on the Flyers' side for a change.

I've played two playoff series against the Flyers in my career," Niskanen said last month in a sit-down interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher and Derek Souders. "Things have gotten a little heated, a couple wild ones, a couple wild games, too. There's been some yapping back and forth and Giroux holds his own, for sure.

I won't dive into what he has said to me in the past, but yeah we've chatted before on the ice, I'll put it that way.

Niskanen won the 2018 Stanley Cup with the Capitals and the Flyers are expecting him to impact their young defensemen. Over the past six seasons, Niskanen has averaged 22:31 minutes per game while compiling a plus-91 mark. He is a skilled puck mover, which leads to positive goal prevention.

He has 125 career postseason games on his résumé. Prior to this offseason, Giroux had played the most playoff games on the Flyers' roster with 69.

Niskanen's experience is a welcomed addition for the Flyers.

"Played in Pittsburgh, who everybody seems to hate," Niskanen said. "Washington, who has had success recently, so they've been the hunted. And now in Philly, where it's rowdy. Games get physical, they can get nasty — you never leave Philly without a couple of bruises. It's going to be fun to see all three sides of this. I think Philly missing the playoffs last year, we're going to be the ones on the hunt this year — hungry, trying to get back into the playoff picture and try to leave a mark.

"We're going to chase down those teams and we might have to knock one of them out of the playoff picture. Wouldn't that be sweet?"

For more from Niskanen on the Flyers' young blueliners, winning the Stanley Cup and his expectations, watch the "Break the Ice" video above.

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