In a very up and down game five, we saw the highs and lows of the Flyers. Their power play was finally showing some type of promise, however, the Canadiens out-Flyered the Flyers. Each time the orange and black would get something going, the Habs would instantly fire back with a goal. Carter Hart wasn’t his sharpest, but Philadelphia’s top line got things going to an extent.
Flyers need to seal the deal
In game six, the Flyers will look to end this series and have their first playoff series victory since 2011-2012. Momentum from the dominant game four victory will need to carry over to game five for Philadelphia. This game could turn into a blood bath really quick, considering all that went down in game five. Matt Niskanen was suspended for a game, while the game ended in a scrum itself.
Coverage will begin at 6:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with puck drop slated for 7 PM. The Flyers are currently -140 favorites with the over/under set at 4.5 goals.
A change of heart
Brendan Gallagher will miss the remainder of the series with a broken jaw. Gallagher led all players in the series with 20 shots on goal and had three points (1g-2a) in the series and had four points (1g, 3a) in the playoffs. He constantly provides a spark to the Habs top line as well.
Shayne Gostibehere averages a point per game against one team in his career, and that is the Montreal Canadiens. He has 14 points in 13 career games vs. Habs, and will likely replace Niskanen in the lineup.
With the lineup a bit shaken up, I would fully expect these lines:
- Giroux-Coots- Voracek
- I would bench Thompson since he has not been very effective at 5v5, and Grant gives you a bit more of an offensive and face-off spark on that fourth line.
- the d-pairs could go any direction, but this keeps the bottom two in tact in a very important game. Provy could also compensate for the defensive lapses in Ghost’s style of play. Sanheim has previously played with Provy though, so that is an option too.
Players to watch:
Voracek has been involved six of the eight total goals from the Flyers in this series (4g, 2a) and two goals and an assist in last game. His six points are one point shy of his career-high for points in a playoff series
Both Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki are the players to watch on the opposition. Kotkaniemi is the Habs leading goal scorer, collecting four goals in the playoffs thus far. With Gallagher sidelined, the Habs will rely on Kotkaniemi and Suzuki to produce the offense. Suzuki has five points (2g, 3a) in the playoffs and tapped Carter Hart on the head following a goal in game five. If anything, Suzuki may have to watch his back in what should be a bloodthirsty game six.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre