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Flyers Gameday: 12/4/23 vs PIT; Phantoms Lose in Providence

December 4, 2023, 1:53 PM ET [331 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
UPDATE 10:40 AM ET

The Flyers will have the same starting lineup tonight as they featured on Saturday in Pittsburgh. The only change from Saturday is that Carter Hart will get the starting nod in goal. The Penguins will skate later this morning at the Wells Fargo Center.

*****

Game 25 Preview: Flyers vs. Penguins

In the latter half a home-and-home set between traditional archrivals, the Philadelphia Flyers (12-10-2) will host the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-10-2) at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday evening. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET.

On Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, the Flyers earned a 4-3 (1-0) shootout victory. Owen TIppett (8th), Scott Laughton (SHG, 2nd) and Tyson Foerster (PPG, 4th) scored in regulation as the Flyers came back from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to temporarily take a 3-2 lead in the third period.

Sean Couturier netted the lone shootout goal for either team. Winning goal Samuel Ersson stopped 29 of 32 shots in regulation in overtime before stopping all three shots he saw in the shootout.

For Pittsburgh, Jake Guentzel scored two goals (8th and 9th), including a goal in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. Kris Letang (2nd) scored the game's first goal, breaking a scoreless deadlock at 14:31 of the second period. Tristan Jarry stopped 31 of 34 shots in regulation and overtime before going 2-for-3 in the shootout.

Neither team practiced on Sunday. The Flyers will have a 10:30 a.m. morning skate today at the FTC in Voorhees. The Penguins will skate at the Wells Fargo Center.

For an in-depth preview of Monday's matchups and takeaway factors from the game on Saturday, see today's Five Things on the Flyers' official website. Additionally, on the "Mondays with Meltzer" edition of the Flyers Daily podcast, Jason Myrtetus and I discuss key points of the past week, the Flyers power play, Sean Couturier's "St. Louis Special" that he's used to score a penalty shot and a shootout goal this season, and more: Click here.

Lineups will be updated later today. Lineups below are from Saturday's starters:

FLYERS

71 Tyson Foerster - 14 Sean Couturier - 11 Travis Konecny
86 Joel Farabee - 21 Scott Laughton - 89 Cam Atkinson
74 Owen Tippett - 48 Morgan Frost - 10 Bobby Brink
44 Nic Deslauriers - 25 Ryan Poehling - 19 Garnet Hathaway

8 Cam York - 6 Travis Sanheim
24 Nick Seeler - 26 Sean Walker
18 Marc Staal - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

79 Carter Hart
[33 Samuel Ersson]

PENGUINS

59 Jake Guentzel - 87 Sidney Crosby - 17 Bryan Rust
19 Reilly Smith - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 10 Drew O'Connor
43 Jansen Harkins - 20 Lars Eller -77 Jeff Carter
63 Radim Zohorna - 15 Joona Koppanen - 13 Vinnie Hinostroza

43 Jansen Harkins - 20 Lars Eller - 63 Radim Zohorna
83 Matt Nieto - 55 Noel Acciari - 77 Jeff Carter

27 Ryan Graves - 58 Kris Letang
28 Marcus Pettersson - 65 Erik Karlsson
5 Ryan Shea - 7 John Ludvig

39 Alex Nedeljkovic
[35 Tristan Jarry]

********

Phantoms Fall in Providence, 3-1

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-8-4) ended a disappointing 3-in-3 weekend road trip with just one of six possible points. On Sunday afternoon in Providence, the Phantoms dropped a 3-1 decision to the P-Bruins (11-8-3). The Phantoms led 1-0, pushed back from a 2-1 deficit in the third period but were scored against shortly thereafter to fall behind again to stay.

Unlike the teams' meeting last weekend in Allentown in which the Phantoms dominated most of regulation but got "goalied" by Brandon Bussi before the Bruins won on an overtime power play goal, the Phantoms struggled this Sunday to find time and space to make plays. Lehigh Valley was held to just 22 shots for the game, most of which were fairly routine saves for Bussi.

Both the Phantoms and the P-Bruins were playing their third game in less than three nights. As such, both were in the same boat in terms of a potential fatigue factor.

Phantoms rookie JR Avon (PPG, 5th goal of the season) used a quick shot release from the right circle to give the Phantoms an early 1-0 lead on a first period power play tally. The assists went to Victor Mete and Ronnie Attard. The P-Bruins struck back for a mid-period tally by Vincent Arneseau (3rd) to knot the game at 1-1.

In the second period, Alec Regula (2nd) put Providence ahead, 2-1, at 8:39. The closest the Phantoms came to an equalizer was a Wade Allison breakaway that Bussi turned aside.

The main highlight for the Phantoms happened at 3:40 of the third period. Second-year center Elliot Desnoyers (3rd) intercepted an errant pass high in the defensive zone and raced off on a breakaway. Skating in on Bussi, Desnoyers got the goalie to commit first on a deke and moved to his left to deposit the puck in the net.

The 2-2 tie only lasted until the 9:19 mark. The P-Bruins scored on a backdoor play with Justin Brazeau (7th) tallying off a pass from John Farinacci. The Phantoms were unable to draw even again, going down to a one-goal loss.

Cal Petersen took the loss in goal, stopping 33 of 36 shots on a busy afternoon. For Providence, winning goaltender Bussi made 20 saves on 22 shots. The Phantoms went 1-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.

Top line Phantoms center Tanner Laczynski has been playing through a minor injury for the past week, according to the Phantoms' broadcast. He is able to suit up but did not take faceoffs in the three weekend games, with linemates Olle Lycksell or Samu Tuomaala stepping in to take the draws instead. Additionally, center Rhett Gardner is banged up and did not play during the three-game road trip.

Both Laczynski and Gardner were callup candidates for the Flyers' upcoming road trip. It's still possible that Laczynski could be recalled for wing/center depth. Lycksell is also a candidate, as is Cooper Marody. Desnoyers, breakaway goal on Sunday aside, has had an uneven start to the season. With the team's rookie forwards -- Tuomaala, Avon and especially 19-year-old Alexis Gendron -- the feeling is that none of the players are ready for the NHL right now and they are better off getting playing time with Lehigh Valley.

The Phantoms return home this week. On Friday, they'll host Providence. The next evening, the Charlotte Checkers come to town. In a scheduling oddity, rather than another 3-in-3 weekend, the Phantoms next game after the December 9 meeting with Charlotte will be on Wed. December 13 when they host Charlotte again. Each of the next five games for the Phantoms are on home ice, so it will be a big opportunity to get back to the caliber of hockey the team was playing in rattling off a 5-0-1 stretch prior this past weekend's 0-2-1 showing.

Sunday's lineup for Lehigh Valley was as follows:

28 Olle Lycksell - 9 Tanner Laczynski - 27 Samu Tuomaala
17 Garrett Wilson - 91 Elliot Desnoyers - 19 Wade Allison
16 JR Avon - 13 Brendan Furry - 20 Cooper Marody
10 Evan Polei - 15 Jordy Bellerive - 14 Zayde Wisdom

6 Emil Andrae - 2 Helge Grans
98 Victor Mete - 12 Ronnie Attard
37 Adam Ginning - 3 Adam Karashik

40 Cal Petersen
[32 Felix Sandström]
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