Winnipeg Jets

Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

BOX SCORE

The Flyers gave their general manager one more quality show before Monday's 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

Chuck Fletcher watched his club beat the Jets, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (35-20-7), who won their third straight, came into the action with a 79.6 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com. They sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division and are only three points back of the Penguins and Capitals (see standings).

Game 62 is the quickest the Flyers have recorded 35 wins since 2010-11, when the club got there at Game 53. The Flyers finished with 47 wins, 106 points and a playoff series victory that season.

The Jets (32-26-5), who entered holding the Western Conference's first wild-card spot, had their three-game winning streak snapped.

• Saturday marked the Flyers' final outing ahead of the trading period.

Alain Vigneault's club is looking more and more like a contender. The Flyers are 13-5-1 with an NHL-high 68 goals since Jan. 8. Over that stretch, only two teams have more points than their 27 — the Lightning (31) and Bruins (29). Overall, they're a top-seven team in the league.

Does the Flyers' standing give Fletcher more incentive to add to his roster? Or do the Flyers have enough to make a run?

“I like my team," Vigneault said before the game. "And for me, this is no different as any other day during the regular season. I know that Chuck looks at any option that can improve our team, he’s been doing that since the first day that I was hired. Now we’re into the final stretch. If there’s something that he feels can improve our team, he’ll definitely look at it. But I’m very happy moving forward with the players that we have here.”

Does Vigneault have a voice in the matters?

“I’ve got a nice French voice," the head coach said with a laugh. "So I’ll throw my two cents in there, it’ll be fine.”

• The Flyers didn't play their best game, but good teams win when they're not at their best.

They did enough and a solid first period made up for a subpar second period in which the Flyers were outshot 15-4.

• For all the talk about the Flyers needing to add depth at forward, Scott Laughton has given the club plenty of it.

He scored a pair of goals to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead at first intermission. In 40 fewer games this season, Laughton has matched his career of 12 goals set in 2018-19.

If the Flyers get Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) back or acquire a center at the deadline, Laughton would likely be pegged as the team's fourth-line center. Not bad at all.

Tyler Pitlick, another depth piece, scored a clutch third-period goal to extend the Flyers' lead to 4-2. Sean Couturier was the Flyers' other goal scorer. The team's role guys continued to play well.

• Flyers defensemen Ivan Provorov, Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Robert Hagg were very good against a big, skilled offensive team.

Braun finished with three assists.

• Carter Hart gave up a power play blast off the stick of Patrik Laine and a goal to Josh Morrissey.

Outside of that, he was stout again, improving to 16-2-2 with a 1.64 goals-against average at home.

He's a huge reason why the Flyers are 21-5-4 with a plus-45 goal differential in 30 home games.

• Shayne Gostisbehere (left knee) will wrap up his two-game conditioning stint tonight with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Vigneault said pregame that he expects Gostisbehere to return to the big club Sunday. The Flyers will have decisions to make heading into Monday (see story).

• Stick tap to Flyers director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin.

• The team is off from practice Sunday as the Flyers Wives Carnival will be held at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers practice Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before hosting the Sharks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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

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

Alain Vigneault's team will look to keep rolling Saturday in front of its home fans.

In Game 62 of the 2019-20 season, the Flyers (34-20-7) host the Jets (32-25-5).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Despite an impressive stretch, interestingly the Flyers have not won three straight games since Dec. 17-23, when they ripped off four victories in a row.

By beating the Jets, the Flyers can extend their winning streak to three games and continue to climb in the standings. They've been doing so without long streaks. Since Jan. 8, the Flyers are 12-5-1 with an NHL-high 64 goals. Only two teams have more points than the Flyers' 25 during that stretch — the Lightning (31) and Bruins (29).

• With 75 points, the Flyers are in third place of the Metropolitan Division, not far ahead of the Islanders, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes.

The Flyers have a 79.6 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com. The Penguins, Capitals, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes are in action Saturday.

• The Jets hold the Western Conference's first wild-card spot. Winnipeg has won three straight with victories over the Blackhawks, Kings and Senators.

Mark Scheifele is coming off a hat trick and owns 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 12 career games against the Flyers.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick
Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg-Justin Braun

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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NHL gives Flyers' Joel Farabee 3-game suspension for interference on Mathieu Perreault

NHL gives Flyers' Joel Farabee 3-game suspension for interference on Mathieu Perreault

The NHL Department of Player Safety continues to mystify with its rulings.

On Monday night, Joel Farabee was suspended three games for interference on Mathieu Perreault during the Flyers' 7-3 loss Sunday to the Jets.

In the second period, Farabee flattened Perreault, who left the game and did not return. Winnipeg is treating the forward's injury as a concussion.

The hit by Farabee was a costly, ill-advised risk. But, while it came a bit late, Farabee is a 19-year-old rookie with no track record of malicious intent.

Here were the major points in the review from the NHL Department of Player Safety:

Almost a full second after the puck is gone, Farabee delivers a late, forceful hit to the vulnerable Perreault, knocking him to the ice and causing an injury. This is interference. Players not in position of the puck are never eligible to be checked. However, the interference rule provides a brief window where a player who initiates a check while his opponent is in possession of the puck may finish the hit. This is not such a play.

What causes this incident to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the considerable lateness and force of a hit delivered to a vulnerable opponent. And while we acknowledge Farabee’s assertion that he attempts to hit Perreault in a legal fashion, he fails to do so under the interference rule.

It's understandable if the Flyers or others have been left perplexed by the NHL Department of Player Safety going back to last season. In 2018-19, Evgeni Malkin was suspended just one game for swinging his stick near Michael Raffl's head, Kurtis Gabriel (now with the AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley) was banned one game for boarding a defenseless Nolan Patrick, while Jakub Voracek received two games for interference as Johnny Boychuk pursued the Flyers' forward who had the puck.

Prior to Farabee's suspension, the Flyers were already seriously undermanned at forward. On Sunday, the team was without Scott Laughton (groin), Tyler Pitlick (concussion), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Patrick (migraine disorder).

Add Farabee to the list, which gives the Flyers only 11 forwards right now.

Depending on health updates, the Flyers might have to roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen when they host the Ducks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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