Game Preview 45/82: Flyers vs Jets

Flyers' Cam Atkinson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Cam Atkinson (89) skates with the puck during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Finally, the Philadelphia Flyers broke through the glass ceiling. Throughout January, they lost all but one game. Last month began with a Los Angeles Kings loss, and how apropos, the Flyers avenged the loss.

A win can become a streak, too.

During the overtime victory, Philadelphia literally refused to lose. Cam Atkinson beat the most brilliant efforts from Jonathan Quick. It took thirteen losses, but a sleeping giant awoke. The Flyers continued to rally around their energy while matching the Kings. Scott Laughton put the kiss of death on Los Angeles in overtime.

Tonight, Philadelphia hopes one win doubles to two. If they keep the same energy, the Flyers have a shot.

Winnipeg Jets (18-16-7; 43pts)

Notably, the Jets will be without Nikolaj Ehlers (leg,) Dylan DeMelo (lower body,) and Logan Stanley (upper body.) With Ehlers out of the lineup, Cole Perfetti (1G, 2A) receives an extended stay in the top six.

Here’s the projected lineup for Winnipeg:

Copp-Scheifele-Wheeler
Connor-Dubois-Perfetti
Stastny-Lowry-Poganski
Harkins-Toninato-Vesalainen

Dillon-Schmidt
Heinola-Pionk
Morrissey-Kovacevic

Hellebuyck
(Comrie)

Connor Hellebuyck (14-14-6, 2.93GAA, 90.9%SV) isn’t blowing the world away based on his career metrics. Overall, he’s 3-3-0 versus Philadelphia in his career, including 2.67GAA and a 91.4%SV. Against these Flyers, Hellebuyck is on schedule to boost his season statistics.

Similarly, Winnipeg snapped an extended losing streak. They were opportunistic against the St. Louis Blues. Perfetti earned a plus-one rating but didn’t get into the stat sheet in a 4-1 victory. He did drive offensive entries; his best scoring chance with 11:51 remaining in regulation on a shot that went wide.

A Philadelphia Fly-By

Philadelphia is without Wade Allison (MCL,) Joel Farabee (upper body,) Kevin Hayes (lower body,) Patrick Brown (MCL,) Derick Brassard (hip,) Sean Couturier (upper body,) Nate Thompson (shoulder,) and Ryan Ellis (lower body.) Brassard is nearly healthy but will not play, and Morgan Frost is a game-time decision (illness/non-COVID.) If Frost is out, Jackson Cates will replace.

“There’s a difference in practicing and feeling like you’re ready to play. [Brassard] got through practice, I know he was tired afterwards. I think this will give him the opportunity to feel confident that he’s physically capable of dealing with it; now it’s a matter of getting his conditioning to the level we need it to.”

Mike Yeo; 2/1/2022

Here’s the projected lineup for the Flyers:

Lindblom-Giroux-Atkinson
van Riemsdyk-Laughton-Konecny
Willman-Frost-Mayhew
Ratcliffe-Bunnaman-MacEwen

Provorov-Braun
Sanhiem-Ristolainen
Yandle-York

Hart
(Jones)

Carter Hart (8-14-5, 2.87GAA, 91.3%SV) won his first start versus Los Angeles. In his career, Hart is 2-0-0 versus the Jets with a 1.72GAA and 94.1%SV.

Lately, Atkinson (17G, 18A) has felt like a leader. He was relentless against the Kings, scoring two goals and crowning the assist on the game-winner by Laughton. Atkinson is an absolute game-changer on special teams. Another overachieving performance from Philadelphia’s penalty kill is critical.

Prediction

Both teams want to string together wins. They’re both in the bottom half of their respective divisions. The Flyers need to be as opportunistic as Winnipeg was against the Blues. Capitalizing and converting on must-have scoring chances was the difference last Saturday. Hart will give his team a chance; Philadelphia needs to cash in.

Jets 4, Flyers 3

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

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