Game Preview 49/82: Flyers vs Capitals

Flyers' Travis Konecny
Flyers’ Travis Konecny (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

Despite the outcome against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers successfully battled in certain aspects of the game. Not everything is awful when a team scores four goals. However, this team poses more questions than answers.

For one, no one truly knows what the Flyers are. Everyone is familiar with the most injured roster in the league label Philadelphia casts. When the team is healthy, they’ve proven that they can win. Less than a handful of games this season represent a fully healthy lineup, which matches the misfortune of two double-digit losing streaks.

Tonight, an eight-game homestand begins. The Washington Capitals are 0-1-0 versus the Flyers in 2021-2022.

Here’s what to watch for in the 49th game of Philadelphia’s season:

Washington Capitals (27-15-9; 63pts)

Out of the lineup for the Washington Capitals are TJ Oshie (upper body,) Anthony Mantha (shoulder,) and Vitek Vanecek (upper body.) Justin Schultz could return to the lineup, marked day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but not placed on injured reserve.

Here’s the projected lineup for the Capitals:

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Sheary
Snively-Backstrom-Wilson
McMichael-Eller-Leason
Hagelin-Dowd-Hathaway

Fehervary-Carlson
Orlov-Jensen
Kempny-van Riemsdyk

Samsonov
(Copley)

Ilya Samsonov (16-7-3, 2.83GAA, 90.6%SV) will start. He won his last start against the Nashville Predators. Samsonov has never lost to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Dmitry Orlov (51.6%CF, +17, 82HITS, 33GV) earns the spotlight on defense. He had a hand in generating Washington’s first goal against the Predators. He plugs the LD alongside Nick Jensen. Orlov ranks fifth in team scoring, and he’s on the second powerplay unit against the worst penalty kill in the NHL.

A Philadelphia Fly-By

The Philadelphia Flyers still miss Ryan Ellis (lower body,) Sean Couturier (upper body,) Kevin Hayes (lower body,) Patrick Brown (MCL,) Joel Farabee (upper body,) Derick Brassard (hip,) and Rasmus Ristolainen (undisclosed.) Gerry Mayhew returns after taking a scary run into the boards.

Here’s the projected lineup for the Flyers:

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

Provorov-Braun
Sanheim-Seeler
Yandle-Connauton

Jones
(Hart)

Martin Jones (6-8-2, 3.56GAA, 90.1%SV) will start. He took the loss in his last start against the New York Islanders. Jones is 6-4-1 against the Washington Capitals in his career.

Travis Konecny (8G, 20A) earns the spotlight on offense. His work ethic gives Philadelphia a plethora of dangerous scoring chances. Konecny is riding a four-game point streak but needs to break into goal scoring. He seems a little snake-bitten because he isn’t the one finding the back of the net. On the ice, he does the things Alain Vigneault wanted from him in 2020-2021, which is why Konecny and Scott Laughton have been buzzing lately.

Prediction

Lately, the Philadelphia Flyers can score. Offensively, they could surprisingly hang with the Washington Capitals tonight. Defense and special teams win the battles. The Flyers are horrid on special teams. How the penalty kill performs tonight will be the difference.

Flyers 3, Capitals 4

(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

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