Flyers vs. Canadiens: Preview, Odds, How to Watch

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Flyers' Joel Farabee
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 13: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Joel Farabee (86) skates on the ice during the game between the Pittsburg Penquins and the Philadelphia Flyers on January 13, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Wrapping up a four-game homestand, the Philadelphia Flyers (20-14-6) host the Montreal Canadiens (17-17-5). Tonight represents the halfway mark of the 2023-2024 NHL season, and a win will serve as an all-important boost.

Philadelphia and Montreal meet three times, yet this is the only contest held at the Wells Fargo Center. The next two games take place at the Bell Centre on March 28th and April 9th.

On Monday, the Flyers were hit hard by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1, but the result was an afterthought of a newsworthy evening. Daniel Briere made a trade during the first period on Monday, shipping Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks for Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 second-round pick.

Entering tonight, Philadelphia is 1-3-1 in their last five games. The Canadiens aren’t much better, owning a 2-3-0 record over their last five.

How to Watch

When: 7pm
Where: Wells Fargo Center
How: NBC Sports Philadelphia (telecast) and 93.3 WMMR (radio broadcast)

Montreal Canadiens

Last Saturday, Montreal defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout, 4-3. After three days of rest, they’re aiming to add another two points.

Samuel Montembeault stopped 45/48 shots on goal. At no other point this season did Montembeault exceed 40 saves.

Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, and Joel Armia helped the Canadiens to a 3-0 lead, but the Rangers resurged. Cole Caufield scored the shootout game-winner. In his last five games, Caufield is credited with three goals. In a shootout, goals aren’t counted toward season totals.

Lowly on special teams, Montreal ranks 23rd on the powerplay and 28th on the penalty kill. On average, the Canadiens aren’t much better in their overall offensive and defensive metrics. An average of 2.74/GF and 3.44/GA in each game ranks the offense at 28th and the defense at 26th.

Montembeault will have the night off. Cayden Primeau will start. His father, Keith Primeau, donned the Flyers logo for six seasons. Primeau is 4-4-0 with a 3.3GAA and an 89.8%SV this season but plays above average against Philadelphia.

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Montreal Canadiens:

Caufield-Suzuki-Slafkovsky
Gallagher-Evans-Anderson
Heineman-Monahan-Ylonen
Pezzetta-Stephens-Armia

Matheson-Savard
Guhle-Barron
Struble-Harris

Primeau
(Allen)

Philadelphia Flyers

Taylor Swift would ‘Shake It Off.’

‘It’ being a loss to the Penguins. Allowing 40 shots, and more than half were high-danger scoring chances, means the defense wasn’t offering a lot of help for Carter Hart, who was under siege. John Tortorella made it a point of emphasis:

Drysdale makes his debut. Philadelphia added a skater who fills a premium team need and who will be inserted into the lineup effective immediately in a rebuilding season. All eyes are on Drysdale and his highly touted skillset along the blue line versus Montreal.

Inconsistency is beginning to rear its ugly head for the Flyers. Before Christmas break, they finished 3-1-1. Hosting the Canadiens means another chance to get out of that rut.

Part of the special teams works in Philadelphia. The ‘power kill’ is more dangerous in a man-down scenario than the powerplay on the man advantage. The Flyers rank 31st on the powerplay and 2nd on the penalty kill.

Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier, and Travis Konecny are buzzing along the top line. The middle six are like Starbucks; hot or cold. The second and third lines are critical in keeping Philadelphia in the fight, especially via point production. Bobby Brink and Morgan Frost are the only two forwards to score an even-strength goal in the last five games, not including the top line.

Sam Ersson will start. He took a losing decision in a shootout versus the Columbus Blue Jackets but made 26/28 saves. In 2022-2023, Ersson is 9-5-3 with a 2.5GAA and a 90.4%SV.

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers:

Farabee-Couturier-Konecny
Tippett-Frost-Atkinson
Foerster-Laughton-Hathaway
Poehling-Brink

Sanheim-Drysdale
York-Walker
Seeler-Ristolainen
Zamula

Ersson
(Hart)

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Philadelphia Flyers (-185)
Montreal Canadiens (+154)
Cole Caufield anytime goal (+140)
Joel Farabee over .5pt (-130)

(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)