Game Preview: Flyers vs. Wild

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Flyers' Scott Laughton
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 31: Philadelphia Flyers Center Scott Laughton (21) skates in warm ups before an NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings on December 31, 2022, at the Arena in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Flyers (3-2-1) are contesting closely and finding wins at the beginning of this season. A late loss to the Vegas Golden Knights measured how the Flyers compare against the cream of the crop in the NHL.

Tonight, the Minnesota Wild (3-2-1) presents another tough matchup.

“We’re trying to create more offense this year, and we have. We have guys making plays. I’m really encouraged as far as the mindset of trying to make more offensive plays, but you can’t do it at that time.”

John Tortorella; 10/26/2023

John Tortorella cited the mistake Cam York made in the defensive zone against the Golden Knights, but it is a teachable moment for the team. Tortorella feels his club is generating scoring chances, but at times, they’re not making the correct play in significant situations. Tonight, they’ll try a new wrinkle on the defense after Emil Andrae was sent on assignment to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“To play defense in the NHL and play twenty-plus minutes; that is the hardest job of all the positions. Goaltending is the most important; defense is the hardest. He [Andrae] made some really good plays, too. The struggles that were going on in just those few minutes; it does not help. We want to get ahead of this right away because we think he has a future.”

John Tortorella; 10/26/2023

Minnesota Wild

Matthew Boldy and Jared Spurgeon are not in the lineup for the Wild. Dean Evason noted that Philadelphia mirrors them, an accurate scouting report:

“Our scouting report says they [Philadelphia Flyers] look a lot like us. They work. When we play the way that we play like we did last game [vs. Edmonton Oilers], that’s how they play; an energetic, upbeat pressure, physical game. If we’re not ready, as we haven’t been; we’re going to stress to the group that our start has to be real good tonight. We can’t continually get behind and expect to come back consistently.”

Dean Evason; 10/26/2023

Marcus Foligno potted an empty-net goal versus the Edmonton Oilers. He displayed a very physical brand of hockey in the win, totaling five hits. He’ll be joined by Vinni Lettieri, replacing Frederick Gaudreau (upper body) on the third line.

“[I know] with Vinni’s [Lettieri] experience; he plays a fast-paced game and gets in there, too. He’s really quick on pucks. It’ll be really good to have him on the line tonight, fill Freddy’s [Gaudreau] role, and just try to be an aggressive line that plays in the forecheck, try to get points, win a lot of battles, and get pucks back.”

Marcus Foligno; 10/26/2023

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Minnesota Wild:

Johansson-Eriksson Ek-Maroon



Philadelphia Flyers

Rasmus Ristolainen (undisclosed), Marc Staal (ribs), Morgan Frost (healthy scratch), and Victor Mete (healthy scratch) will not be in the lineup. Louie Belpedio will make his 2023-2024 debut in place of Andrae.

“As much as we want kids all the time, you got to do your work down there, too. There’s merit going on down there, also. It’s a wake-up call for Ronnie Attard. It’s a wake-up call. You weren’t called up. We needed a defensemen; you weren’t called up. So, something must be going on. Ginning, the whole thing. These two [Belpedio and Mete] are the ones who’ve played the best according to Lappy [Laperriere] through Danny [Briere] and the management. They’re going to get a chance.”

John Tortorella; 10/26/2023

Scott Laughton had quality shooting chances in Vegas but didn’t score. His forechecking was the most essential part of his game. Laughton will work to keep the pace, and possibly end up on the stat sheet as he did versus Minnesota last March.

“We’re starting to see some chemistry within guys on the back end with Sanny [Sanheim] and Yorky [York], and some other guys there. [We’re] trying to continue our good penalty killing tonight against a pretty gifted group with Kaprizov, and guys like that. [We’re] going to try to shut them down and get a couple on the powerplay. [We’ll] play the same way we’ve been playing, and we’ll be successful.”

Scott Laughton; 10/26/2023

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers, per Jordan Hall:




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Philadelphia Flyers (+100)
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Game Information

You can watch the Flyers host the Wild at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on ESPN+. The radio broadcast can be heard on 93.3 WMMR and Flyers Radio 24/7. The puck drops at 7:30pm.

(Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire)