Game 24 Preview: Flyers vs. Lightning
In the second game of a five-game homestand, John Tortorella's Philadelphia Flyers (8-10-5) will host Jon Cooper's three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning (13-8-1) at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday evening. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET.
The Flyers enter this game coming off a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday evening. The victory ended a 10-game winless streak (0-7-3) for the Flyers. The Lightning are playing for the third time in four nights across three different cities. On Monday, the Lightning skated to a 6-5 overtime win in Buffalo secured by Steven Stamkos' second goal of the game and 12th of the season. On Tuesday in Boston, Tampa absorbed a 3-1 loss to the Bruins.
Earlier this week, Cam Atkinson expressed optimism of being able to play "sooner than later" as he works to return from a lingering upper-body injury that kept him out of the lineup throughout the preseason and regular season to date. He practiced hard with the team on Monday, aggressively getting involved in contact drills. Atkinson also took part in Tuesday's morning skate, although he did not play in the game. However, he did not practice on Wednesday.
Defenseman Tony DeAngelo also did not practice on Wednesday. He missed his first game of the season in Tuesday's rematch with the Islanders. DeAngelo is believed to be dealing with a foot issue sustained when he blocked a shot in the Black Friday game against the Penguins.
For an in-depth preview of this game, see today's Five Things on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com. Projected lineups, subject to change, are below.
86 Joel Farabee - 23 Lukas Sedlak - 13 Kevin Hayes
21 Scott Laughton - 19 Noah Cates - 17 Zack MacEwen
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 48 Morgan Frost - 74 Owen Tippett
20 Kieffer Bellows - 58 Tanner Laczynski - 71 Max Willman
9 Ivan Provorov - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Travis Sanheim - 61 Justin Braun
24 Nick Seeler - 54 Egor Zamula
79 Carter Hart
[32 Felix Sandström]
38 Brandon Hagel - 21 Brayden Point - 86 Nikita Kucherov
91 Steven Stamkos - 2-Nick Paul - 17 Alex Killorn
79 Ross Colton - 90 Vladislav Namestnikov - 10 Corey Perry
45 Cole Koepke -41 Pierre-Édouard Bellemare - 14 Patrick Maroon
77 Victor Hedman - 81 Erik Cernak
98 Mikhail Sergachev - 48 Nicklaus Perbix
28 Ian Cole - 24 Zach Bogosian
88 Andrei Vasilevskiy
[1 Brian Ellliott]
Phantoms Drop 4-2 Decision to Hershey
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-7-2) sustained a 4-2 home loss to the archrival Hershey Bears (14-4-2) at the PPL Center on Wednesday evening. Hershey took over first place in the Atlantic Division, moving one point ahead of the Providence Bruins.
Coming off their best all-around performance of the season last game in an emphatic 5-1 win over the Rochester Americans, the Phantoms had a disappointing follow-up against Hershey. It was pretty ragged performance on the whole, but Lehigh Valley was able to get the game to the second intermission on tallies by the red-hot Olle Lycksell (4th of the season, assisted by Cam York and Cooper Marody) and veteran power forward Garrett Wilson (4th). Frequent nemesis Mike Sgrbossa put the Bears ahead to stay early in the third period. Hershey tacked on an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.
The Phantoms were significantly outshot (in all three periods) and outchanced over the course of the game. Lehigh Valley mustered only 20 shots for the night against Zach Fucale. Samuel Ersson returned to the net for the Phantoms after a three-game illness-related absence. The Swedish netminder stopped 31 of 34 shots in a losing cause.
The Phantoms return to action on Friday as they play the first of back-to-back road games against the Charlotte Checkers (11-5-2 overall, 7-2-1 at home).
Quick Hits: December 1, 2022
1) Tonight's Flyers game at the Wells Fargo Center is Thursday's game is part of the Throwback Thursday series of games, honoring different decades of team history. This game will celebrate the Flyers teams of the 1980s. Among the Throwback Thursday activities, Alumni such as Mark Howe, Dave Poulin, Brad Marsh, Kjell Samuelsson, Dave Brown, Terry Carkner, and Doug Crossman will be on hand, while 1987 Stanley Cup Final Game 6 hero J.J. Daigneault will bang the pregame drum just prior to the opening faceoff.
All fans in attendance will receive a custom 80s Throwback Thursday artwork print created by local Philadelphia artist Josh Ash. The current team will wear their reverse retro jerseys during the game and sport their Cooperalls-inspired hockey pants during warmups.
2) As a tie-in to 1980s Night in the Throwback Thursday series, I have written two articles for PhiladelphiaFlyers.com.
* Totally 80s: Philadelphia Flyers Edition
: This nostalgia-driven article is a list of "You know you were a 1980s Flyers diehard if ..." items with tied-in photos, videos and contextual back stories. I had a blast putting together.
* The Sultan of the Slot
: This article is an individual retrospective on the Flyers career of high-scoring forward Tim Kerr. Because this piece goes in depth on Kerr's injury-riddled but otherwise brilliant Flyers career, I did not include a Kerr-specific item in the Totally 80s article.
3) Condolences go out to the family and friends of Danny Belisle, who passed away on Monday at the age of 85. A longtime minor league winger whose career spanned from the late 1950s to early 1970s, Belisle appeared in four NHL games for New York Rangers in 1960-61, tallying a pair of goals. Following his retirement as a player, Belisle embarked on an extensive coaching career including a stint in the Flyers organization as the head coach of the Philadelphia Firebirds. He subsequently served in the NHL as the head coach of the Washington Capitals for one-plus season (96 games in total) and a five-year stint as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings.