Alain Vigneault and company will eye their fifth straight win as they come back from the NHL-mandated holiday break.
To open a six-game road trip, the Flyers (21-11-5) visit the Sharks (16-20-3) Saturday.
Let's get into the essentials:
• When: 10:30 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 10 p.m. ET
• Where: SAP Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• For the first time in his 10-year NHL career, Justin Braun will play in San Jose as a visitor.
The 32-year-old defenseman was a 2007 seventh-round draft pick of the Sharks and spent nine years in San Jose before being traded to the Flyers in June.
Justin Braun leading stretches. He returns to San Jose, where he played 9 years and nowhere else before trade to Flyers. pic.twitter.com/UwgYaj7NIJ— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) December 27, 2019
“I’m sure they’ll have plenty of stupid things to say to me."— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) December 27, 2019
- Justin Braun with a laugh about possible trash talk with old Sharks teammates.
Mentioned Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton as likely culprits.
"I think it will be pretty weird," Braun said Friday after practice. "I spent nine years there, it was a long time to be in one place. It will be a little different going in the visiting room and playing on the other side.”
Braun played 84 career postseason games during his time with the Sharks and had this night circled on the calendar.
"Oh yeah, looked for that one right away," he said. "You want to know when you’re going there, how mentally prepared you’ve got to be and when you’ve got to do it. I’m just hoping it goes smooth.”
San Jose, which went to the Western Conference Final last season and has missed the playoffs only once since 2003-04, is in last place of the Pacific Division and fired head coach Peter DeBoer this month.
“It is surprising," Braun said of the Sharks' struggles. "They’ve got a lot of high-end talent. I know their goalies have struggled a little bit, but they can turn it around — hopefully not against us. I think they have the guys to do it, they just have to put it together.”
• Interestingly, it appears Andy Andreoff will play tonight despite being placed on waivers earlier in the day. Per the CBA, a player on waivers cannot be traded or loaned until after the expiration of the waiver period, so it looks like Andreoff is still eligible to play tonight before potentially being claimed or assigned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
He'll stay in the lineup as Scott Laughton (groin, day to day) is not quite ready to return.
• James van Riemsdyk has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in his last 13 games after going scoreless in his previous eight games.
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Joel Farabee-Morgan Frost-Jakub Voracek
Andy Andreoff-Mikhail Vorobyev-Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Philippe Myers
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