Spying on the Saboteur: Philadelphia Flyers vs San Jose Sharks

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Flyers

One day after the NHL Trade Deadline, the Philadelphia Flyers will host the San Jose Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center. Both new acquisitions, Nate Thompson and Derek Grant, will be in Philadelphia tonight. After trading some later round picks for veteran rentals, the Flyers are moving towards a playoff push. Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher played the NHL Trade Deadline safely, considering the very limited salary cap room available. A huge two points are on the line tonight for Philadelphia as they look to stop the skid against the Sharks.

These two teams are running in two separate directions, as the Philadelphia Flyers are on a three-game winning streak while the San Jose Sharks are on a four-game losing streak. Previously, the Sharks dominated the Flyers, 6-1. Throughout the winning streak, Philadelphia has moved into the top ten in the NHL in goals per game. At home, the Flyers are ranked fifth in the NHL in goals per game. San Jose is ranked 28th in the NHL for goals per game.

Guarding the crease for the Philadelphia Flyers tonight is Carter Hart, who has been stellar at the Wells Fargo Center. For the San Jose Sharks, Aaron Dell is the projected starting goaltender. Over the last ten games, the Sharks own an 8-1-1 record against the Flyers. Philadelphia has yet to defeat San Jose since 2017. On the injury report, the Sharks list Dalton Prout (IR), who was just recalled a day ago from an AHL conditioning stint.

San Jose Sharks – Skaters

Offensively, Timo Meier is having a very well-rounded season. He’s played in 62 games and tallied 41 points this season. Meier is just as much a scorer as he is a playmaker in 2019-2020. In the last three games against the Philadelphia Flyers, he has scored. Most recently, Meier totaled a hat-trick in the 6-1 win.

Defensively, Marc-Edouard Vlasic found his mark on the San Jose Sharks penalty kill. He and Erik Karlsson both have scored a shorthanded goal this season. Vlasic usually is getting in the way of shots, blocking 84 this season. The Philadelphia Flyers grounded Vlasic last game and will look to do the same, but earn a win. He played just under 20 minutes on the ice, blocking a shot against the Flyers on December 28th, 2019.

San Jose Sharks – Goaltending

When reviewing the analytics, Aaron Dell is having a better season in the net for the San Jose Sharks than Martin Jones. In 27 starts, Dell is 12-13-2. Of those starts, he has had 14 quality starts. This season, Dell yields 2.9 goals-against average with a 90.9% save percentage. Tonight will be Dell’s first start against the Philadelphia Flyers this season.

Faceoff Possession

One team has a winning percentage in the faceoff circle that exceeds 50%. The San Jose Sharks are at 49.4% while the Philadelphia Flyers maintain 54.3%. On the Sharks, the best faceoff opportunist is Evander Kane. For the Flyers, they look to Sean Couturier. The advantage here stays with Philadelphia.

Prediction

The addition of Nate Thompson and Derek Grant gives a different look of depth for the Philadelphia Flyers. They are both in the lineup tonight, featured on the third and fourth lines. On the San Jose Sharks, their best defensive defenseman this season is now on the Washington Capitals. Tonight, the Flyers will attack a very giving defense. Philadelphia stops the skid against the Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Puck drop is at 7 pm from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Flyers are favorited on the money line at -230 and the over/under is set at 6. Follow along for live coverage on Twitter at EricReesePSN and additional coverage at PhiladelphiaSN!

Mandatory Credit – © Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

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