Aboard a nine-game point streak, the Philadelphia Flyers (18-10-3) exceed all expectations. At this point, a calendar year ago, they endured a ten-game losing streak. Tonight, versus the Nashville Predators (18-14-0), the point streak could reach ten, and Sam Ersson could avenge the 3-2 overtime loss earlier this month at the Bridgestone Arena.
If you look, John Tortorella has his club placed ninth in the NHL standings, two points away from the Winnipeg Jets, who are considered elite in fifth. He doesn’t want to hear it about the postseason, however.
“You don’t know what your team is until the end of January.”John Tortorella; 12/21/2023
Let’s take a look at tonight’s matchup:
The Predators lost at home two nights ago to the Vancouver Canucks, 5-2. Andrew Brunette said lessons need to be taken from that loss, highlighting the importance of keeping emotions in order, but was immediately focused on the upcoming clash against the Flyers:
“We got to play better. We talked about it a little this morning, I don’t feel that we’ve been winning games; we’ve been getting away with some things.”Andrew Brunette; 12/19/2023
Thomas Novak added a secondary assist as Nashville attempted to get back into the game versus the Canucks when Jeremy Lauzon scored. At the faceoff dot, he went 6/12 but didn’t have the best night in terms of puck control and taking hits. Novak didn’t appear on the scoresheet when Nashville hosted Philadelphia but went 2/3 in the faceoff circle. He had created scoring chances off rebounds but coughed the puck up twice, once leading to a goal by Sean Couturier.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Nashville Predators:
Carter Hart and Cal Petersen both were practicing in the morning skate. Tortorella didn’t confirm which will back up Ersson. One thing alluded to by Tortorella is how he plans to use Cam Atkinson in the lineup, who could change with Garnet Hathaway. Atkinson, on Tuesday, did drop to the fourth line in the 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils.
“The biggest thing for Cam [Atkinson], for me, is the energy. The reason why Cam has been such a good player in this league is because you just notice his energy and quickness all the time. That’s been inconsistent.”John Tortorella; 12/21/2023
Owen Tippett is among the best scorers in the league on an odd-man rush. He scored the overtime game-winner against the Devils, stripping the puck from Luke Hughes for the walk-in on Vitek Vanecek. The last time Tippett dressed against the Predators, he was ready for a physical duel and was in on two odd-man rushes, but Juuse Saros made saves.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers:
Place Your Bets (via DraftKings)
Philadelphia Flyers (-115)
Nashville Predators (-105)
Thomas Novak over .5pt (+124)
Owen Tippett anytime goal (+225)
Tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Nashville Predators at 7pm. The telecast is available for viewing on NBC Sports Philadelphia, and the radio broadcast can be heard on 97.5 the Fanatic.
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)