Riding a six-game losing streak with five more remaining, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Montreal Canadiens for a 7pm faceoff. Remember the last time these two teams squared off at the Bell Centre? A shootout in front of approximately zero fans was necessary to declare a winner. The only scorers for the Flyers on that night (Max Willman and Jackson Cates) currently compete on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Both times Philadelphia faced the Canadiens in 2021-2022, the game surpassed regulation time. The aforementioned shootout loss was the outcome of the first meeting between the two clubs this season. Last month, the Flyers squandered a late third period lead to ultimately lose in overtime, 4-3.
Tonight, Philadelphia could break their losing streak and avoid a series sweep by Montreal.
Will a winner be decided in regulation? Not likely.
Montreal Canadiens (20-46-11; 51pts)
Paul Byron (lower body,) Justin Barron (ankle,) Jake Allen (groin,) Jonathan Drouin (wrist,) Joel Armia (personal,) and Michael Pezetta (suspended) are unavailable for tonight’s contest. Pezetta was suspended two games and fined $7.5k for an illegal check to the head on TJ Oshie.
Carey Price (0-2-0, 2.02GAA, 91.8%SV) will start for the Canadiens. In his career, Price is 16-11-2 versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Two nights ago, he stopped 28/30 shots versus the Minnesota Wild.
Brendan Gallagher (6G, 13A) earns the spotlight. He didn’t get on the stat sheet earlier this season against the Flyers, but he is a healthy contributor for Montreal when these two teams meet. Gallagher was the best skater on the ice against Philadelphia during the overtime loss last month. Expect Gallagher use quick line shifts as an advantage versus the Flyers, who routinely butcher line changes.
Philadelphia Flyers (23-43-11; 57pts)
Cam Atkinson (lower body,) Patrick Brown (upper body,) Kevin Connauton (lower body,) Cam York (lower body,) Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body,) Nick Seeler (lower body,) Carter Hart (lower body,) Sean Couturier (back,) and Ryan Ellis (lower body) are unavailable. Linus Hogberg will make his NHL debut on the road.
Martin Jones (10-17-3, 3.53GAA, 89.7%SV) could start tonight, but not yet confirmed. In his career, he’s 8-1-0 against the Montreal Canadiens. It’ll be his first start against the Canadiens in 2021-2022.
Despite Hogberg making his NHL debut, the spotlight goes to James van Riemsdyk (21G, 13A) tonight. Scorers are streaky, which describes his Flyers career. At the crease, expect van Riemsdyk to work the net-front. He’s still the best option for Philadelphia on the worst powerplay. Montreal has a worse penalty kill than the Flyers, however.
James van Riemsdyk anytime score (+280)
Brendan Gallagher anytime score (+245)
PHI moneyline/o6.5G (+270)
Correct Score Prediction (+1300): Flyers 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)