Justin Braun

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

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

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.

"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.

Projected lineup

Forwards

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

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

 

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Justin Braun embracing Philly (fans and media), new challenge with Flyers

Justin Braun embracing Philly (fans and media), new challenge with Flyers

Following a preseason game, Justin Braun said, “I’ve never seen so much media.”

For the first time in his career, Braun is no longer in San Jose, where he played from 2010-19, appeared in 84 playoff games and made a run to the Stanley Cup Final.

The 32-year-old defenseman is excited about being in Philadelphia and believes his experience can help a Flyers team that hasn’t won a postseason series since 2012.

The Flyers have youth across their blue line. Shayne Gostisbehere is 26, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin are 24, Travis Sanheim is 23 and Ivan Provorov is 22. Philippe Myers, who isn’t far away from joining the group, is 22.

“Coming here and the playoff experience in San Jose, it translates to the regular season pretty good,” Braun said last month in a sit-down interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derek Souders. “You’re in those high-pressure spots, not to panic, you’ve got to just make the next play, you can’t be flipping pucks for icings all the time. You’ve just got to take a deep breath, you’re going to be up 1-0 late in games and you’ve got to shut the door.”

Braun and another accomplished defenseman Matt Niskanen have a chance to improve the Flyers’ goal prevention. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Braun brings physicality and an active stick.

"I'm not the guy that's going to go out and have a big open-ice hit,” Braun said in training camp. “Mine is more contained. I like to get physical with guys but that's more to knock them off the puck, get them straight-legged. 

“I'm not the [Niklas] Kronwall and blow anyone up coming up the boards like that. I'll play guys hard, but I wasn't gifted with that timing, too, to absolutely smoke guys center ice. Have that gap, end plays on the wall, if they chip the puck, finish that hit. Because if you let them off the hook, they're just going to have easy nights.”

For more from Braun on Philly, his style of play and the Flyers’ youth, watch the "Break the Ice" video above.

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Debating Flyers' biggest positive from 2019-20 training camp, preseason

Debating Flyers' biggest positive from 2019-20 training camp, preseason

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall.

The topic: After touching on the disappointments, who was the Flyers' biggest positive during training camp and the preseason?

Destra

He has been an underdog for most of his career, but not anymore. Heading into this training camp, it seemed like many forgot this prospect made it to the final cut in 2018-19 before coming up just a tad short. But this time around, Carsen Twarynski made sure to hit the ground running (or should I say hit the ice skating) and put his name on everyone’s radar for 2019-20.

With the game constantly advancing, teams can no longer play and succeed with having only two solid lines that can produce. Every line needs to contribute, every player. Twarynski has the capability to solidify the bottom half of the roster. And the best part is? He hasn’t even reached his fullest potential yet.

Twarynski netted two goals, tying him for most scored in the preseason on the Flyers. But something stood out with his play on every shift he took — his refusal to quit.

The 21-year-old decided to stay in the area during the offseason, training in Voorhees, New Jersey. It may seem like a cliché — but hard work truly does pay off.

Emmer

From the first day the orange and black hit the ice for training camp in Voorhees, New Jersey, Joel Farabee made a name for himself on the Flyers’ roster. 

He was put to the test on Day 1, filling in on the first line for a then contract-less Travis Konecny, and as the preseason games began, his role continued to grow.

“He’s a real smart player,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said last week. “For a 19-year-old player, I think he’s ahead of the curve with a respect to awareness of the game away from the puck, his defensive understanding of the game.”

Though he never played lower than the third line in five preseason games and didn’t make it on the score sheet once, that “awareness of the game away from the puck” still impressed head coach Alain Vigneault. 

“If he's not in the lineup that first game, it would be a surprise,” Vigneault said last Thursday. “He's played extremely well. In my mind, if we would start tomorrow, he would probably be in our lineup.”

He turned heads in the preseason, but was it enough? As the regular season begins Friday, the major question is when will he fit into the Flyers' lineup?

“He’s obviously a highly competitive kid,” Fletcher said last week. “Very intelligent kid. But it’s a tough league for a 19-year old player. What we do with Joel will be what’s right for the team, but also what’s right for him in the long run.”

Regardless of what happens before the opener, Farabee has a future with the Flyers, whether it’s now or later.

Hall

A bit of an outside-the-box pick: Justin Braun.

Before his arrival, we didn’t know much about the 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman because he played out on the West Coast in San Jose, where Brent Burns has long been the man along the blue line.

However, there’s a reason why Braun played nine years for the Sharks, has put up 20:43 minutes per game over the past six seasons to go with a plus-32 rating and sports 84 career playoff appearances on his résumé.

He understands defense and the intricacies of goal prevention.

"If you want to end plays in this league, you've got to have a good stick and then you've got to get body,” Braun said on Day 1 of training camp. “If you're soft out there, you're going to be in your D-zone all night. You've got to end those plays quick and try to get it going north, otherwise you're going to have a long night. Every shift I try to do that so I don't have to spend too much time in my D-zone."

San Jose has been one of the NHL’s top teams since the 2015-16 season, when it went to the Stanley Cup Final.

“Harped on gap all the time — like, we didn't want guys crossing the blue line with the puck,” Braun said. “We wanted them to dump it, get it back, turn it over.”

The 32-year-old is an underrated upgrade for the Flyers’ defense.

"Braun isn’t going to win any contests for artistic merit on the ice, but he competes and he has a great stick," Fletcher said on Day 1 of training camp. "I went back and watched 20 games of clips just the other day again, he is unbelievable stick on puck. He is hard to play against. It's like seaweed, he's out there, there's arms and he’s battling and pushing you and poke-checking and he brings a real veteran savvy to the defensive part of the game."

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