Back from the holiday break, the Philadelphia Flyers (19-11-4) completed the sweep of the Vancouver Canucks last night. A statement victory, the Canucks were the top goal-scoring team in the NHL. However, the Flyers held them to one goal in the 4-1 win.
Despite a scoreless first period, the Flyers piled it on in the second, netting three goals in just over two minutes. Yegor Zamula started the scoring with a powerplay goal. Sean Walker followed shortly after that with the eventual game-winner on a sliding feed from Owen Tippett on a transition into the offensive zone by Travis Konecny:
“TK [Konecny] realized that we had them caught, so he tried to make the play to Tip [Tippett]. Unbelievable awareness and pass for Tippett to pass that over to me. I was happy with the shot.”Sean Walker; 12/29/2023
Joel Farabee scored the third goal of the period as Bobby Brink stole the puck in the neutral zone, giving Farabee a clear lane to the net. Garnet Hathaway scored another, a shorthanded goal, in the third period after Teddy Blueger netted one near the beginning of the final stanza.
Tonight, the Flyers finish a back-to-back, visiting the Seattle Kraken (13-14-9).
The Kraken are riding three straight wins and hope to extend a seven-game point streak. Recently, Seattle edged the Calgary Flames, 2-1, on the road. Similarly, the Kraken are winning because they’re outworking their opponent. Oliver Bjorkstrand spoke about the recent victory:
“Overall, we’re just playing better. Everybody’s contributing all the way down the lineup; that obviously helps us out. When we win games, it’s just really everyone helping out in their own ways. We just picked it up a little bit, and been able to close out the games.”Oliver Bjorkstrand; 12/29/2023
If Seattle are to beat the Flyers, they will need to limit scoring chances since they do not generate many goals. The Kraken ranks 28th in the NHL, averaging 2.67 goals per game.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Seattle Kraken:
Coming off of an impressive win, two games in a row on the West Coast is a stubborn schedule to mind. John Tortorella noted his lineup checked well, leading to goals on the powerplay, on the penalty kill, and during even-strength hockey. Zamula said this about his role on the powerplay as Tortorella searches and continues to develop a quarterback for the man advantage:
“It’s a new look in the powerplay. I tried to put pucks on the net. It’s the most dangerous shot, from up top. I tried to put [the] puck on the net, and I see a couple guys in front; good traffic and it goes in. This goal, I think it helped the whole team play better, and we just scored more after that.”Yegor Zamula; 12/29/2023
Carter Hart was expected to start the second half of the back-to-back. He finished last night after Sam Ersson left due to dehydration. Hart stopped all eight shots on goal after filling in the third period.
Konecny also left prematurely in the third period due to a ‘bug’ around the team. Tortorella advised Konecny would be fine, but he didn’t return to the bench.
Special teams are where Philadelphia has the advantage in tonight’s tilt. The Flyers’ penalty kill is elite. There is space for the powerplay to improve against a poor Seattle penalty kill.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers:
Place Your Bets (via DraftKings)
Philadelphia Flyers (+114)
Seattle Kraken (-135)
Jordan Eberle over .5pt (+110)
Sean Couturier anytime goal (+200)
The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena at 10pm. The telecast is available on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The radio broadcast is available on 93.3 WMMR.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)