Some indicate that the Philadelphia Flyers might’ve had a high probability of finishing the season winless. It would have helped the narrative heading into the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Every team wants better odds at the top pick if they’re in the lottery, but that’s half of the battle. The selection still has to hit. A win against the Montreal Canadiens meant more.
Remember, Chuck Fletcher wants an “agressive retool.” Seeing what these prospects have and how they mesh with the current lineup is more telling in preparation for the future. The Flyers have more questions than answers, but these prospects are helping, rewarded with a 6-3 win in Montreal.
The Canadiens were a team Philadelphia should have beaten. Overall, Montreal took the season series.
Tonight, the Flyers are clear underdogs against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh Penguins (45-23-11; 101pts)
Tristan Jarry (foot) and Nathan Beaulieu (lower body) are unavailable. Healthy scratches include Brian Boyle and Mark Friedman.
Louis Domingue (1-0-0, .99GAA, 97.6%SV) will make second start of the season, considering their back-to-back schedule. Previously, he stopped 40/41 shots in a 2-1 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks. Domingue is 3-1-0 in his career against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Chad Ruhwedel (49.6%CF, 140HIT, 18GV, +3) is playing well. In a 7-2 rout of the Detroit Red Wings, he was the best skater on the ice. Against the Flyers, he’s been an average defenseman this season, but that’ll get the job done. Ruhwedel also scored a goal to force overtime, where the Penguins did finish the job.
Philadelphia Flyers (24-43-11; 59pts)
Cam Atkinson (lower body,) Patrick Brown (upper body,) Kevin Connauton (lower body,) Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body,) Nick Seeler (lower body,) Carter Hart (lower body,) Sean Couturier (back,) Ryan Ellis (lower body,) and Cam York (lower body.) Most of these players will not return, per Mike Yeo.
Martin Jones (11-17-3, 3.51GAA, 89.7%SV) will start. He’ll receive an increased share of time between the pipes with Hart out for the season and Felix Sandstrom bouncing between the AHL and NHL. Jones is 5-5-0 in his career versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ivan Provorov (46.6%CF, 162BLK, 82GV, -19) earns the home spotlight. Despite a wholistically horrid season defensively from the Flyers, Provorov is finishing strong. He seems more decisive with the puck, pronouncing that Philadelphia needs to shoot more often. Provorov notched an assist in two games against the Penguins.
Ivan Provorov o.5PTS (+130)
PIT o6.5 (-120)
Correct Score Prediction (+1100): Flyers 3, Penguins 4
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)