'Game 59 Preview: Flyers @ Oilers
Playing their third road game in four nights John Tortorella's Philadelphia Flyers (23-25-10) will wrap up a four-game western road trip on Tuesday night as they take on Jay Woodcroft's Edmonton Oilers (30-19-8). Game time at Rogers Place is 9:00 p.m. ET.
This is the second and final meeting between the teams this season, and the lone game in Edmonton. On February 9, the Flyers played one of their most structured and disciplined games of the season in ultimately coming away with a 2-1 (2-1) home win via shootout against the Oilers.
The last time they met the Oilers, the Flyers were a rested team. This time around, the Flyers face much more adverse circumstances heading into the match. The Flyers are playing their third road game in four nights and the second game of a back-to-back set. On Monday afternoon, the Flyers gritted out a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames
at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The win in Calgary came at a cost. The Flayers' leading scorer, Travis Konecny, sustained an upper-body injury in the second period on a hit by Calgary's MacKenzie Weegar and left the game. Additionally, Tortorella shortened his bench considerably as the game progressed. After Konecny went down, the Flyers went almost exclusively with nine forwards: Joel Farabee skated just 3:52 across five shifts for the entire game, while Olle Lycksell played 5:08 over seven shifts.
Monday's win snapped a four-game winless stretch for the Flyers (0-3-1). Meanwhile, the Oilers are 0-1-3 over their past four games and 4-1-5 in their last 10.
The Oilers had an off-day on Monday. Edmonton is coming off a 6-5 overtime road loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Due to injuries, the Oilers were only able to dress 19 skaters. That was also the case in a 5-4 home shootout loss to the New York Rangers last Friday. Evander Kane and Klim Kostin are both day-to-day with injuries.
Carter Hart, a native of the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park, is expected to return to the net on Tuesday after Samuel Ersson made 33 saves on Monday to run his record to 6-0-0 in his first NHL season.
Travis Sanheim was a healthy scratch in Monday's game in Calgary. The player, who played his junior hockey at the Saddledome for the Calgary Hitmen and whose parents and twin brother have traveled to the games on the Flyers current road trip, had dressed in each of the first 57 games this season.
Tortorella has used this motivation tactic before.
Back on Nov. 2, Torts did the same thing with the scratching of Morgan Frost -- a native of suburban Toronto whose father, Andy, was the longtime Maple Leafs' public address announcer and who had spent many childhood days and nights at what was then called the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena) -- with his folks in the stands. Two nights later, Frost was back in the starting lineup, albeit relegated to the fourth line with Nicolas Deslauriers and Tanner Laczynski and skating 10:04 of ice time.
Farabee currently finds himself in the same spot Frost was in back in November: seemingly deep in Tortorella's doghouse. Even after Konecny's injury in the Calgary game, Farabee barely saw the ice. On Saturday in Vancouver, the Flyers went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen but Farabee played only skated 10:21 for the game across, skating 4 for 5 shifts per period.
If there's a silver lining, it's that Farabee should have fresh legs after playing so sparingly the last two games. The Flyers will need all the energy they can get against Edmonton, especially if Konecny is unable to play. The player reportedly left the Saddledome yesterday wearing a sling.
The actual starting lineup will be noted in the Postgame 5 on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com following tonight's game. The projected Flyers lineup below is what they featured after Konecny went down in Monday's game. It also assumes Sanheim returns to the lineup and lists both Kieffer Bellows and Justin Braun to cover the possibilities of both 12F/6D or 11F/7D lineups.
The Edmonton lineup below is based upon the team having to dress just 19 players (17 skaters, two goalies) the past two games and assumes that Evander Kane remains unavailable for at least this game.
21 Scott Laughton - 49 Noah Cates - 57 Wade Allison
25 James van Riemsdyk - 48 Morgan Frost - 74 Owen Tippett
62 Olle Lycksell - 13 Kevin Hayes - 86 Joel Farabee
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 38 Patrick Brown - 20 Kieffer Bellows
9 Ivan Provorov - 6 Travis Sanheim
45 Cam York - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
24 Nick Seeler - 77 Tony DeAngelo
79 Carter Hart
[33 Samuel Ersson]
37 Warren Foegele - 97 Connor McDavid - 13 Jesse Puljujärvi
18 Zach Hyman - 29 Leon Draisaitl - 56 Kailer Yamamoto
26 Mattias Janmark - 93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - 10 Derek Ryan
14 Devin Shore - 71 Ryan McLeod
25 Darnell Nurse - 5 Cody Ceci
27 Brett Kulak - 22 Tyson Barrie
86 Philip Broberg - 2 Evan Bouchard
36 Jack Campbell
74 Stuart Skinner
For more on Tuesday's game, see today's Five Things