Preview: Flyers vs. Golden Knights
The Philadelphia Flyers (8-7-1) will take on the Vegas Golden Knights (13-3-1) in a Saturday afternoon matinee. Game time at the Wells Fargo Center is 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Flyers enter Saturday's game looking to build a four-game winning streak. On Wednesday, Philly finished off a 3-1-0 road trip with a 3-1 victory in Raleigh over the Carolina Hurricanes. behind 32 saves from Hart and 30 blocked shots in front of him. Philadelphia received goals from three different lines as Owen Tippett (6th goal of the season), Travis Konecny (10th) and Ryan Poehling (1st) scored once apiece.
Saturday's game is the third in a five-game road trip for Vegas. The club was shut out, 3-0, by the Washington Capitals on Tuesday before winning a high-scoring (6-5) game in Montreal on Thursday. Overall, The Golden Knights are 5-2-0 to date on the road.
Marc Staal has been cleared to play after missing the last month with a ribcage injury. He may not play until Sunday against Columbus, however, as Staal took reps at Friday's practice with the still-rehabbing Rasmus Ristolainen (IR) while Egor Zamula skated at practice on a pairing with Louie Belpedio.
Head coach John Tortorella said after Friday's practice that rookie winger Bobby Brink would remain a healthy scratch for a third straight game. However, he wants to get the player back into the lineup soon. Tortorella felt that, with the team winning three straight games including matches in Los Angeles and Carolina, it would be unfair to the players who dressed in those games to sit one out against Vegas. Brink took extra skating after practice with Ristolainen and goaltender Felix Sandström (IR).
Projected lineups are below. For a more in-depth game preview, see today's Five Things
11 Travis Konecny - 14 Sean Couturier - 71 Tyson Foerster
74 Owen Tippett - 48 Morgan Frost - 89 Cam Atkinson
86 Joel Farabee - 25 Ryan Poehling - 21 Scott Laughton
44 Nic Deslauriers - 27 Noah Cates - 19 Garnet Hathaway
8 Cam York - 6 Travis Sanheim
24 Nick Seeler - 26 Sean Walker
5 Egor Zamula - 37 Louie Belpedio
79 Carter Hart
[33 Samuel Ersson]
49 Ivan Barbashev - 9 Jack Eichel - 81 Jonathan Marchessault
21 Brett Howden - 22 Mike Amadio - 61 Mark Stone
43 Paul Cotter - 71 William Karlsson - 16 Pavel Dorofeyev
28 Will Carrier - 10 Nicolas Roy - 55 Keegan Kolesar
23 Alec Martinez - 7 Alex Pietrangelo
3 Brayden McNabb - 27 Shea Theodore
17 Ben Hutton - 2 Zach Whitecloud
33 Adin Hill
36 Logan Thompson
Phantoms Defeat Laval, Head to Belleville
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (6-6-2) opened a three-game road trip to Canada on Friday with a 3-2 victory over the Laval Rocket (5-8-1). A two-goal performance by leading Phantoms goal scorer, Olle Lycksell, including what proved to be the game-winning tally, led the way offensively for Ian Laperriere's team. Rookie winger Samu Tuomaala collected assists on all three Phantoms goals, while Tanner Laczynski produced a goal and two assists.
For the season, Lycksell how has 10 goals and 12 points to lead the Phantoms in both categories. His latter tally on Friday was an empty-net goal. Laczynski (2g, 11 points) paces the Phantoms with nine assists. Cooper Marody, who had a secondary assist on Laczynksi's second period power play marker, also has 11 points to date (4g. 7a). So does Tuomaala (2g, 9a).
The Phantoms were outshot, 11-4, in a scoreless first period but then dominated the middle stanza to the tune of a 12-1 shot on goal advantage. Through 40 minutes Laczynski's power play goal at 15:19 of the second period stood as the game's only goal. In the third period, Lycksell provided an insurance goal. With Rocket goalie Jakub Dobes (29 saves on 31 shots) pulled early for an extra attacker, Lycksell scored into an empty net for a 3-0 lead at 16:11.
Phantoms goalie Cal Petersen (24 saves on 26 shots) carried a bid for his first shutout as a Phantoms for 56-plus minutes. At 16:22, with the Phantoms leading 3-0, Rhett Garden was kicked out of the game on a charging major. The Rocket spent the rest of the game on the power play, skating 6-on-4. Brandon Gignac (5th) and Riley Kidney (1st) each scored power play goals to cut the Phantoms' final margin of victory to one goal. However, the win was never in real jeopardy, as the Kidney goal came with just six ticks left on the regulation clock.
Wade Allison, captain Garrett Wilson and Laval's Jared Davidson all received misconducts for continuing the altercation that started with Gardner's hit on goalie Dobes behind the Laval net. The Phantoms also received a bench misconduct after the final buzzer. Lehigh Valley was 1-for-3 on the power play on the night, while Laval was 2-for-9 (keep in mind that the Rocket were credited with seventh, eighth and ninth power plays for the game as a result of the two goals on the major power play).
On Saturday, the road trip continues. The Phantoms will visit the Belleville Senators (6-6-1). Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on AHLTV (subscription required).
Elliot Desnoyers (upper body injury) was still not ready to play on Saturday after the high hit he received in Hersey last weekend. However, he is on the road trip with the team.
Friday's Phantoms lineup was as follows:
28 Olle Lycksell - 9 Tanner Laczynski - 27 Samu Tuomaala
17 Garrett Wilson - 22 Rhett Gardner - 19 Wade Allison
16 JR Avon - 13 Brendan Furry - 20 Cooper Marody
29 Alexis Gendron - 56 Jacob Gaucher - 14 Zayde Wisdom
6 Emil Andrae - 2 Helge Grans
98 Victor Mete - 12 Ronnie Attard
37 Adam Ginning - 5 Ethan Samson
40 Cal Petersen
[31 Parker Gahagan]