After a 2-1 loss against the Buffalo Sabres last night, the Philadelphia Flyers return to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Washington Capitals at 7pm. The Flyers are 1-1-0 this preseason, undefeated at home.
The Capitals are 0-0-1 this preseason, falling 4-3 to the Sabres on Sunday. Tonight’s roster for Washington will mainly consist of players who will be playing in the AHL during 2022-2023:
Dylan Strome will be the player to highlight tonight. He signed a 1yr/$3.5mil contract with the Capitals in free agency. Strome was a third overall pick during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, selected by the Arizona Coyotes. He spent the last four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
John Tortorella will watch from above, but Brad Shaw will be the main voice behind the bench tonight. Shaw and Tortorella worked together in Columbus from 2016-2021. Tonight provides a loose idea of how the team will be managed.
Shaw mentioned that tonight’s defense core is pretty close to how it will look on opening night:
“I think playing the defense core we’re playing is pretty close to how we could start the year, certainly the top four anyways. It gives me the first chance to get behind those guys and see how they not just play but react to good or bad plays, react to the pulse of the game, how they insert themselves into the game to change the course if it’s going bad, or keep it going the right way.”Brad Shaw; 9/28/2022
Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo the first of two pairs of defensemen to highlight. For the first time, Provorov and DeAngelo will partner during a game. Acquired during the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, DeAngelo accompanies Provorov on the first pair, a place meant originally for Ryan Ellis. DeAngelo is confident that he can find chemistry with Provorov:
“He kind of reminds me of, different body types, I played with Slavin last year, but similar in the sense that they can defend guys one-on-one, finish guys off, break the puck out and go the other way. I feel like I complement those guys really well, so I feel like we can get off on the right foot quick and get some chemistry going.”Tony DeAngelo; 9/22/2022
Provorov has lacked a stable partner since Matt Niskanen retired after the 2019-2020 season. Ellis and Provorov found early chemistry, only lasting four games. DeAngelo will be looking to add much-needed support to the defense in Philadelphia.
Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen are the second pair of defensemen to highlight. Last season, Sanheim received the Barry Ashbee Trophy and Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy. He was the only Flyers skater to finish with a positive plus-minus rating (complete season in Philadelphia; 41+ games played) in 2021-2022. Entering the last season on his current deal, Chuck Fletcher did cite he was communicating with his agent with the intention to extend.
Ristolainen struggled but played his best with Sanheim. His game is about maintaining a physical presence, but his defensive positioning needs improvement to stabilize the second pair.
Here is the lineup for Philadelphia, per Jordan Hall.
The puck will drop at 7pm and the game will be televised on NBCSP+, along with the NHL Network. Listen to the radio broadcast will on 97.5 The Fanatic and Flyers Radio 24/7.
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(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)