After two games, the Philadelphia Flyers are undefeated.
The sample size is small and the Flyers are going on the road for the first time this season. The turnout at the Wells Fargo Center was supportive, allowing a sliver of happiness. They defeated the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, and the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2. John Tortorella has his roster looking good while sweeping on home ice.
Philadelphia is heading on a three game road-trip and battle last season’s Stanley Cup runner-ups, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tortorella formerly coached the Lightning from 2000-2008. Tonight is the first of three meetings between the opponents.
Can the Flyers strike the Lightning in Tampa Bay? Here’s a look at the tale-of-the-tape ahead of tonight’s 7pm faceoff.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay hosts an NHL opponent at the Amalie Arena for the first time this season. Quite the opposite of Philadelphia, the Lightning begin the season with a record of 1-2-0. They lost both of their road games to the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The loss to the Penguins caused reason for concern, but Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point were effective for a pair of goals.
Here’s the tentative roster for Tampa Bay, per Chris Krenn:
Andrei Vasilevskiy is riding a seven game winning streak against Philadelphia, never losing to them on home ice. Stamkos has a four game points streak in tact against the Flyers and Kucherov notched a goal and an assist in his last clash versus tonight’s visitor. There are some new faces in the lineup, meaning team chemistry must be acquired. John Cooper admits there is a bit of a learning curve:
“I think you take a couple months off in the summer and you come back. It’s not like you’re re-learning how to ride a bike, but you’re still not in the flow of things. Training camp, it serves a lot of different purposes. It’s not always like you’re finding complete chemistry with a partner or linemate or something like that. It’s a work in progress.”Jon Cooper, 10/17/2022
Cal Foote is an interesting watch if he suits up on the bottom pair. Foote will be a game-time decision. Victor Hedman, as always, is a lethal opponent. He already notched two points (2A) this season. Hedman skated in his 900th NHL game, a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on home ice.
Here’s the tentative lineup for Philadelphia, per Bill Meltzer:
Tortorella keeps his lineup close to his chest. The above is subject to change before the puck drops. Regardless, the lineup will be mentally and physically capable; a Tortorella trademark.
Resiliency is an early theme, not allowing the injuries to factor into how they perform on the ice. Tonight, the Flyers remain without Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier, Owen Tippett, Bobby Brink, and Rasmus Ristolainen.
A key piece to look out for is the man with some heart; Carter Hart. He saved 59/63 shots on goal (94%SV) to begin the season. Felix Sandström will back him up.
Zack MacEwen recalled to Philadelphia from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Tortorella made the decision to put MacEwen in the lineup earlier today, making Olle Lycksell the odd-man-out. Last season, he earned the Gene Hart Memorial Award. On a line with Nicolas Deslauriers, many bodies will be banging into the boards.
Place Your Bets
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. You can listen to the radio broadcast on 97.5 The Fanatic.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)