Winners of three in a row, the Philadelphia Flyers (14-10-2) conquered the Pittsburgh Penguins twice and stopped the buzzing Arizona Coyotes.
Tonight, they visit the Colorado Avalanche (16-8-2) in a legitimate test of might.
Second in the Metropolitan Division, a victory could help separate from the New York Islanders and chase the New York Rangers. John Tortorella is 2-0-1 against the Central Division. His lineup takes on the leaders of the Central Division at Ball Arena.
Artturi Lehkonen, Gabriel Landeskog, Pavel Francouz, and Samuel Girard are unavailable for the lineup. Lehkonen (neck; week-to-week) and Girard (personal; undisclosed) dressed earlier this season, but Landeskog (knee; season) and Francouz (lower body; season) will not return. Jared Bednar pointed out that missing star players didn’t help them overcome the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday:
“I still think we need some stars to be better than they were tonight. All of our guys throughout our lineup. Every team relies on their stars. They’re going to produce more than other teams. You look at their roster [the Jets]; the guys who did the most damage tonight was their top line. We rely on those guys; you have to.”Jared Bednar; 12/7/2023
Nathan MacKinnon scored and notched an assist versus the Jets. In 25:01, he took five shots, blocked a shot, accepted a neutral zone feed from Devon Toews to scorch Connor Hellebuyck, and sped past Brenden Dillon to feed Joel Kiviranta at the crease.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Colorado Avalanche:
Ryan Poehling will not return to the lineup. Tortorella advised that the Flyers will carry an extra defenseman, Marc Staal. Suddenly, the lineup sacrifices a bit of speed against a very game Colorado rush:
“It’s just being above the puck. We’ve been more consistent since that Rangers game; we haven’t had many games where we were cheating. Anticipating offense is a really big part of our team right now. I think we’ve explored that and we’re really good at it. It’s our job as coaches when we start getting three flat and hanging over on the weak side, hoping the play gets there instead of starting back; that’s where odd-man rushes start happening.”John Tortorella; 12/9/2023
Morgan Frost has to help elevate the forwards in this lineup, and with Poehling out of the lineup, he might see an increase in ice time. In 17:20, Frost took a shot on goal, blocked three shots, and was charged with one giveaway against the Coyotes.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers:
Place Your Bets (via DraftKings)
Philadelphia Flyers (+154)
Colorado Avalanche (-185)
Nathan MacKinnon over 1.5pts (+110)
Morgan Frost anytime goal (+310)
Watch the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Colorado Avalanche at 9pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The radio broadcast can be heard on 97.5 the Fanatic.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)