Vancouver Canucks

Flyers at Canucks: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Canucks: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers enter Saturday night as one of the four remaining unbeaten teams in the NHL.

They've played only two games, but the 2-0-0 record should be refreshing for fans following sluggish starts in recent years past.

After all, the Flyers have just three 2-0-0 starts over last 20 years — 2019-20, 2011-12 and 2009-10.

They have an opportunity tonight to improve to 3-0-0 when they face the Canucks (1-2-0) in Game 1 of a three-game road trip.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 10 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Rogers Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Alain Vigneault is in his 17th season as an NHL head coach. One of his teams has started 3-0-0 — the 2015-16 Rangers, who finished with 101 points.

The Flyers will try to make it two of his teams to win their first three games.

A key to Vigneault's north-south, hard-on-the-attack system is staying fresh. That means divvying up minutes and being precise in doing so to sustain that style.

Claude Giroux played 17:31 in the season opener and 16:59 in the first game at the Wells Fargo Center. The 31-year-old captain played fewer than 17:31 minutes only twice all of last season.

If the Flyers want to be tougher to play against, rolling out four lines consistently is imperative. There's no denying how often the Flyers struggled to play a full 60 minutes last season. This team needs to change that in 2019-20.

If you are able to keep your shifts at 30, 35 seconds, usually you’ve got a pretty good pace to that game. I’ll point you to one moment in the first period, I thought for the first 10, 11 minutes, we were playing well, we were going north-south and then all of the sudden we had two guys that got caught out there extending a shift and we sort of lost momentum there for a little bit.

If you can keep those shifts down to 30, 35 seconds, you’ve got a good pace to your game and you should be able to do a lot of good things out there. I think that’s what we’ve done so far.

- Vigneault after Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Devils

• Travis Konecny has five points through two games this season.

Last season, he had five points through 13 games. If the 22-year-old winger finds consistency in 2019-20, he will shatter his career high of 49 points.

• Carter Hart has stopped 53 of 56 shots in the Flyers' two victories.

Last season, Hart made 41 saves on 42 shots in a 2-1 win over the Canucks. The 21-year-old has two career games of 41 saves, his personal high.

• The Canucks are coming off an 8-2 win over the Kings.

J.T. Miller, who played under Vigneault in New York for parts of five seasons, has five points through three games. The 26-year-old forward owns seven career goals against the Flyers, his most against any opponent.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Carsen Twarynski
Connor Bunnaman-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Matt Niskanen
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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Is Flyers' Carter Hart entering Calder Trophy conversation?

Is Flyers' Carter Hart entering Calder Trophy conversation?

If he continues to keep this up, the Calder Trophy may be Carter Hart’s trophy by the end of the season.

Of course there are still two months remaining in the regular season and Hart likely wouldn’t be one of three finalists for the NHL’s top rookie if the voting was held today, but the 20-year-old goaltender is making a remarkably strong push heading down the stretch run.

Hart has made hockey fun again, not just for the teammates he now shares a locker room with, but also for an entire city that was starting to look at this Flyers team as an afterthought this season.

“I don’t want to say you’re expecting him to fail, but you just find it hard to believe that somebody his age can come in and do what he’s been able to do so far,” Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon said Monday night after a 2-1 win over the Canucks (see observations).

Hart has been the Flyers' catalyst during an impressive eight-game winning streak.

The rookie has proceeded to rip off seven straight wins, a feat no goaltender under the age of 21 has accomplished since Carey Price in 2008. If Hart wins his next start (likely Saturday’s game against the Ducks), he’ll match the standard established by Quebec’s Jocelyn Thibault 24 years ago.

On the same day Hart was recognized as the NHL’s second star of the week, he immediately began working on this week’s honors with a season-high 41-save performance Monday (see highlights).

“He’s been remarkable,” Sean Couturier said. “That save at the end — he’s making some miracles out there. It’s nice to have him back there, you know he can steal one.”

It was the save on Nikolay Goldobin during Vancouver’s third-period power play that fans were left talking about on their commute home, and a save that preserved another one-goal win.

“I got a front-row seat to that,” Scott Laughton said. “He dove over there and made a great save and he just gives us life and makes a big save when we need it.” 

Hart upstaged the Calder Trophy front-runner Elias Pettersson, holding Vancouver’s 20-year-old sniper off the scoresheet, while improving his overall record to 10-5-1. Hart’s 471 saves in his first 16 NHL starts are more than any other goaltender since his call-up from Lehigh Valley on Dec. 18.

Three years ago, it was a "Ghost" who took the NHL by storm, lifting the Flyers' spirits following a dismal start to the season. Shayne Gostisbehere set an NHL record for a rookie defenseman with a 15-game point streak, and his spark carried the Flyers into the postseason as he eventually finished second in Calder voting to Chicago’s Artemi Panarin.

Hart is having that same affect, and light years ahead of where you’d expect a typical 20-year-old rookie.

“He’s a humble guy,” Jakub Voracek said. “Comes to work every day and he’s giving us a chance to win the game every single night — and that’s what you want from a goalie. He’s playing like he’s 28 years old.”

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Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have completely forgotten what it’s like to lose.

Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier scored the Flyers' only goals in a 2-1 win Monday night over the Canucks, extending the NHL’s longest winning streak to eight games.

The victory also marked No. 2,000 in the organization’s history.

Here are my observations from the Wells Fargo Center:

• Nolan Patrick was an absolute force in this game early on as he came out flying in the first period. Patrick played with a determination and found that “fifth gear” in the offensive zone.

Patrick’s zone entry led to the Flyers' first goal of the game as Travis Konecny fed Sean Couturier for the goal. Wisely, Patrick didn’t force the puck into traffic.

He also hit an early post and his line drew two first-period power-play opportunities.

• Uncharacteristically, Carter Hart was susceptible to rebounds in this game on shots that he typically gobbles up. However, to Hart’s credit, he was able to angle those rebounds away from danger or to a defenseman down low. Hart’s positioning was still on point as he denied Vancouver sniper Brock Boeser on a number of good looks and finished with a career-high 41 saves.

• Voracek has the ability to be a relentless power forward when he’s engaged and that was clearly the case when he powered his way to the net, beating Jacob Markstrom on a breakaway three minutes into the second period. That goal lit a fuse into Voracek as he completely undressed defenseman Derrick Pouliot, leading to another scoring opportunity.

With this goal, Voracek now has at least one point in eight of his last nine games (one goal, 10 assists).

• The Flyers could have put this game out of reach early in the second period when Konecny caught the Canucks in a line change with James van Riemsdyk and Patrick rushing up the ice. Konecny held on to the puck a little too long and by the time he decided what to do, it was too late.

• That sequence turned the momentum in the direction of the Canucks, who could have trailed, 3-0, but instead cut the deficit to 2-1 on a strange play in which Hart came out of his net to play the puck. However, the 20-year-old wound up sending a pass to Boeser, who stuffed it home. Definitely a momentum-killer and tough play for Hart. 

• For whatever reason, the Flyers have been scorched in the second period recently. They gave up another second-period goal in this game and have now surrendered 25 second-period goals over their last 15 games.

• A big blow on a scary play for Vancouver when defenseman Alexander Edler got his stick caught in Voracek’s skate. The force of Voracek’s speed flung Edler downward and his head slammed to the ice. Edler blacked out on the play and was taken off on a stretcher.

You could tell the home crowd was deeply concerned with fans in the lower bowl all standing to ensure Edler was OK. The Canucks had to make due without their No. 1 defenseman.

• The Carter Hart save of the night:

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More on the Flyers