Game 55 Preview: Flyers @ Kraken
Opening a four game western road trip, John Tortorella's Philadelphia Flyers (22-23-10) are in Washington State on Thursday to take on Dave Hakstol's Seattle Kraken (30-18-5). Game time at Climate Pledge Arena is 10:00 p.m. ET.
This is the second and final meeting between the teams this season, and the lone game in Seattle. This past Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center, the Kraken dealt the Flyers a 4-3 setback
Carter Hart will be in goal for the Flyers, backed up by Samuel Ersson. Felix Sandström, the starter against Seattle this past Sunday, will be a healthy scratch. Tortorella stated on Wednesday that, in his assessment, Ersson is deserving of being No. 2 on the goalie depth chart and he plans to proceed as such.
Philipp Grubauer has started back-to-back games for the Kraken, and three of the last four. He's coming off a 38-save outing in a 3-2 (2-0) shootout loss in Winnipeg on Tuesday that saw the German nightminder earn first-star honors despite coming out on the losing side of the shootout. If Hakstol elects not to come right back with Grubauer, former Flyers goalie Martin Jones (37 GP, 34 starts, 23-9-3, 2.92 GAA, .891 save percentage, three shutouts) will get the start instead.
Patrick Brown (illness) missed the Flyers' practice in Seattle on Wednesday. He is questionable for Thursday's game. In addition to recalling Ersson, the Flyers also called up Kieffer Bellows for the road trip. Olle Lycksell, who played in Sunday's game, was called up one day earlier.
For an in-depth preview of Thursday's game, including team trends, matchups and the keys to the Flyers flipping the script on Sunday's loss, see today's Five Things
Projected lineups (subject to change)
13 Kevin Hayes -49 Noah Cates - 74 Owen Tippett
25 James van Riemsdyk - 48 Morgan Frost - 11 Travis Konecny
86 Joel Farabee - 21 Scott Laughton - 57 Wade Allison
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 38 Patrick Brown - 62 Olle Lycksell
9 Ivan Provorov - 45 Cam York
6 Travis Sanheim - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
24 Nick Seeler - 77 Tony DeAngelo
79 Carter Hart
[33 Samuel Ersson]
19 Jared McCann - 10 Matthew Beniers - 7 Jordan Eberle
17 Jaden Schwartz - 21 Alexander Wennberg - 13 Brandon Tanev
20 Eeli Tolvanen - 37 Yanni Gourde - 22 Oliver Bjorkstrand
9 Ryan Donato - 67 Morgan Geekie - 15 John Hayden
29 Vince Dunn - 6 Adam Larsson
24 Jamie Oleksiak - 3 William Borgen
28 Carsen Soucy - 4 Justin Schultz
31 Philipp Grubauer
30 Martin Jones
Phantoms Lose Again in Charlotte
For the second straight night, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (24-19-5) suffered a regulation road loss to the Charlotte Checkers (28-16-4). Following a 3-2 defeat on Tuesday, the Phantoms were beaten, 4-1, on Wednesday.
Pat Nagle stopped 24 of 28 shots in a losing cause on Wednesday. At the other end of the ice, Mack Guzda saw just 18 shots, denying 17. Charlotte controlled the final 40 minutes after an even first period.
For the Phantoms, the main bright spot was Zayde Wisdom (3rd goal of the season) tallying his second goal in the last four games. Ryan Fitzgerald collected his first assist of the season and Wisdom tied the score at 1-1 with 2:02 remaining in the first period. Wisdom worked past Mayhew to beat Guzda one-on-one.
Former Flyers/Phantoms forward Mayhew collected a hat on the evening, notching a power play goal and two even-strength markers for his 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season by the time the game was 30:18 along. The Checkers struck three times in the second period to pull away and then held the Phantoms to just four shots on goal in the third period. Henry Bowlby (8th) notched a late second-period goal.
The Phantoms went 0-for-3 on the power play. The Checkers were 1-for-1.
Lehigh Valley still has multiple regulars missing due to injuries or NHL recalls. Isaac Ratcliffe started Tuesday's game at LW3 but was back out of the lineup Wednesday as a healthy scratch. AHL/ECHL swingman Charlie Gerard dressed in his fifth AHL game this season. The Phantoms starting lineup was as follows:
20 Max Willman - 51 Artem Anisimov - 71 Tyson Foerster
17 Garrett Wilson - 9 Cal O'Reilly - 25 Cooper Marody
18 Jackson Cates - 24 Adam Brooks - 23 Bobby Brink
13 Ryan Fitzgerald - 39 Charlie Gerard - 14 Zayde Wisdom
4 Egor Zamula - 47 Louie Belpedio
29 Wyatte Wylie - 12 Ronnie Attard
44 Kevin Connauton - 3 Adam Karashik
35 Pat Nagle
[1 Troy Grosenick]