John Tortorella warned everyone the season wouldn’t be without its share of lumps. The Philadelphia Flyers (25-17-6) are on a three-game skid, leaking at least four goals per contest with a goaltender between the pipes.
“I have full confidence in Sam [Ersson]; just the way he’s handled himself mentally, and through some tough times early in the year, [and] last year when he went through some things. He’s a solid goalie and I’m not saying a damn word to him. I trust in how he thinks the game, how he readies himself for games, and we’re gonna’ let him go.”John Tortorella; 1/25/2024
A split in the season series will be decided. The Detroit Red Wings (24-18-5) clashed twice with the Flyers. First, Sam Ersson recorded a 1-0 shutout, and then the Red Wings got their revenge in a 7-6 shootout.
Ersson and Alex Lyon will go head-to-head in a goaltending clash when Philadelphia battles Detroit.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are 3-2-0 in their last five games, unable to complete a comeback recently on the Dallas Stars in a 5-4 loss. Derek Lalonde emphasized how critical it is to keep the play out of their zone against the Flyers’ forecheck:
“I think that’s a big part of our success. We’re getting out of the zone and winning those wall battles; we constantly talk about it. Especially early; not allowing a team to establish a forecheck, and a team [the Flyers] like that, whose huge identity is the forecheck, will be a big part of the game.”Derek Lalonde; 1/25/2024
Dylan Larkin is on a nine-game point streak (6G, 6A). He had a hand in turning up the temperature on the Stars in the third period with a powerplay goal and a secondary assist, though Jake Oettinger held on. In his only tilt versus Philadelphia this season, Larkin managed a multi-point outing (1G, 1A) in the 7-6 shootout win. Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen helped block shooting lanes, but Larkin remained dangerous, scoring the game-tying goal after the Flyers led from a 5-1 deficit. From behind the extended goal line, Larkin squeezed the puck where the post should’ve been hugged tighter, and it made the difference in winning in regulation or competing for the extra point in a shootout.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Detroit Red Wings:
Owen Tippett (lower body) is on the injured reserve list, and Tortorella has stuck to his 11 forwards and seven defensemen format when constructing his lineup. His absence due to injury creates a huge hole in the lineup for Tortorella to address:
“That’s one thing about our group; it’s a tight group and it gives other people opportunities to take some of Tip’s [Tippett] ice time. Tip, make no bones about it, that was a huge hole for me, not having him. I’ve been double shifting him when we’ve been playing eleven and seven. He generates so much offense on his own; he drives the offense. It’s a big hole for us, but it gives other people opportunities.”John Tortorella; 1/25/2024
Travis Konecny is on a little bit of a dip in point production, but not from a lack of effort, just a lack of execution. His latest stretch of games haven’t jumped off the map, especially the recent loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In two games against Detroit, Konecny notched two assists. He had a couple decent shots on goal, but his playmaking helped give Philadelphia a late lead before Larkin snuck that puck to take the momentum back. Unfortunately for Konecny, his partner in crime was Tippett.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers, per Jackie Spiegel:
Place Your Bets (via)
Philadelphia Flyers (-105)
Detroit Red Wings (-115)
Travis Konecny anytime goalscorer (+130)
Travis Konecny over .5pt (-180)
Dylan Larkin over .5pt (-190)
Dylan Larkin under 2.5SOG (+120)
Watch the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Detroit Red Wings on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The radio broadcast is available on 93.3 WMMR. The puck drops at 7pm.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)