Flyers hungry for road win in Washington on Thanksgiving Eve

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Flyers' Carter Hart
Flyers’ Carter Hart (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

There’s nothing quite like the holiday season with all the hopeful wishes and gift-giving. One fantastic gift would be the Philadelphia Flyers ending their seven-game losing streak. They’re sixth in the Metropolitan Division standings with a 7-8-4 record, traveling down I-95 to visit the seventh-place Washington Capitals.

Normally, this game is one to dread on the schedule, yet these Flyers rank better in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Capitals own a 7-10-3 record.

Can Philadelphia get back into the win column on the road, or will they lose their eighth in a row to a divisional foe?

Washington Capitals (7-10-3)

Here is tonight’s projected lineup for the Capitals, per Tom Gulitti:

Ovechkin-Strome-Sheary
Milano-Kuznetsov-Oshie
Johansson-Eller-Mantha
Protas-Dowd-Hathaway

Gustafsson-Carlson
Fehervary-Jensen
Irwin-van Riemsdyk

Kuemper
(Lindgren)

Washington is on a four-game losing streak without two key players: Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom. TJ Oshie is in the lineup, but missed time. Same with John Carlson. They’re about as wounded as the Flyers.

Goaltending is unstable for the Capitals. Darcy Kuemper, a Stanley Cup champion, hasn’t set the foundation. Kuemper ranks 15th among all goaltenders with ten or more starts in goals-against-average (2.83GAA) and save percentage (90.7%SV.)

Opposite of the younger lineup in Philadelphia, the Capitals are showing their age on the ice, reflective of their production. Through this losing streak, they haven’t led a game at any point. Whoever hits the ice hardest in the first period will control the pace, as both teams struggle in the opening frame. Washington is outscored 17-9 in the first period.

Philadelphia Flyers (7-8-4)

Here is tonight’s projected lineup for the Flyers:

Farabee-Frost-Tippett
Hayes-Cates, N-MacEwen
Willman-Brown-Laczynski
Deslauriers-Sedlak-Bellows

Provorov-DeAngelo
Sanheim-Braun
Seeler-Ristolainen

Hart
(Sandström)

The Flyers’ injury report is a little deeper than the Capitals’. Yesterday, the team provided updates on those injured for Philadelphia.

A lot of line juggling by John Tortorella led to the current seven-game losing streak. Tippett, Frost, and Farabee struggled against the Calgary Flames, and Tortorella may revisit that line. Kevin Hayes provides flexibility, producing at LW as Noah Cates continues to earn valuable minutes at C. Jackson Cates was recalled, allowing thirteen forwards to be available. It’s possible that he and Noah might be reunited.

Tortorella doesn’t buy into Carter Hart being overworked. Additionally, it seems Hart is taking the workload head-on:

“I like to play every game as much as I can. The biggest thing is you’ve just got to manage how you take care of your body and I like playing all the time.”

Carter Hart; 11/21/2022

In his starts, Hart owns a save percentage of 92%SV. Defensively, Hart needs help. Each of the first two goals versus the Flames didn’t give him much hope, then there was the unfortunate deflection that broke Joel Farabee’s stick.

Noted previously, the first period is going to make-or-break this game. Philadelphia is being outscored 22-12 in the first stanza. Calgary laid the blueprint for an effective opening period. The Flyers need to make offense out of defense, forcing turnovers instead of making them.

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Flyers moneyline (+190)
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Game Information

The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30pm. Tonight’s tilt will be televised on TNT and the radio broadcast is on 93.3 WMMR with an online simulcast on Flyers Radio 24/7.

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)

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