Flyers go north of the Border to face Ottawa

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Since getting swept on a three-game western road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers (19-11-5) head north of the border to face the Ottawa Senators (15-18-3) Saturday night.

Coverage will be at 6:30 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is -130 puck drop favorites with the over/under set at 6 goals even.

Preparing via Roster Moves

After making his presence known in a five-game NHL stint, David Kase was sent back down to Lehigh Valley. In those games, Kase scored a goal (against his brother!) and played nearly 11 minutes on the penalty kill.

The reason behind this?

The Ottawa Senators.

Last game against the Sens, the Flyers may have won on the scoreboard, but got brutalized. Travis Konecny was out for some time with a concussion after the Mark Borowiecki hit. Jake Voracek and Joel Farabee both fought, and the Scott Laughton-Brady Tkachuk rivalry sparked.

So, the solution? Enter Chris Stewart, who was a healthy scratch the last time these teams squared off.

“Stewy” could be doing some squaring off himself if the Senators come out with the same physicality as last time. The Flyers will be looking to play their game, but better to be safe than sorry and have Stewart ready to go.

Keys to the Game

Play Their Game

Philadelphia needs to remember that there is a hockey game to be played as well. Even though they are equipping themselves well by activating Chris Stewart, fighting won’t win hockey games. The Flyers need to continue their high-paced forecheck. Someone like Travis Konecny needs to play with his high energy, score, and get to the Sens early. If the Senators begin their dirty style of play again, Stewart could be given the green light from coach Alain Vigneault.

Ivan Provorov

Provy is one of the biggest keys to this game. This season, he is bouncing back better than ever. His eight goals already this season has passed his season total from last season. His presence on the powerplay is crucial to the Flyers’ success, as well.

Score Early

This message needs to be beaten into the Philadelphia Flyers’ heads. The Senators lack effort after their opponents score first. When their opponent scores first, the Sens are a lackluster 7-12-3 on the season. When trailing after the second period, they are 1-12-2. The Senators have sacrificed 35 goals to their own 27 in the first period so far this season.

Philadelphia needs to score early, and bolster their defense for the rest of the game. A 2-1 lead going into the third period has shown to be safe against the Senators so far this season. This being said, the Flyers do not need to have their d-men pinching after gaining a lead.

It’s as simple as that, right?

Prediction

Since that road trip, the Flyers have been a rising team. In their two games since, they have outscored opponents 10-2. Carter Hart has been playing stellar, and Flyers’ goalies have a very good history while playing on December 21st:

The Philadelphia Flyers will cool off a bit and come back down to Earth after a six-goal explosion against the Sabres. Despite this, they will continue their dominance, even going on the road.

This is the game either Joel Farabee or Morgan Frost uses to break out of their scoring slumps, and the Flyers edge out a close victory.

Flyers win, 3-1 after an empty netter.

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