In March 2020, on the day the NHL and the rest of the sports world paused at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Flyers were in Tampa Bay to face the Lightning in their latest test on an extended hot streak and run to a possible Metro Division title. That game never happened, but the two teams did get to meet in the Round Robin finale in the playoffs a few months later, with the Flyers claiming the win and the top seed for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That was the last time these two teams faced off. Since then, the Lightning not only claimed the 2020 Stanley Cup, but followed it up with another title in 2021. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions are in town and the circumstances remain the same. The Flyers are in for another early season test.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPTampa Bay LightningGPGAP
Sean Couturier145813Steven Stamkos148816
Claude Giroux145712Alex Killorn147714
Cam Atkinson14729Victor Hedman1421113
Travis Konecny14448Brayden Point146612
Justin Braun14178Ondrej Palat144610

Players To Watch 11-18

Oskar Lindblom will come back into the lineup on Thursday, and on Hockey Fights Cancer night, could this be the night he finally breaks through for a goal? It's been a rough stretch for Lindblom of late, eventually leading to his absence from the lineup last game, but we'll see if the reset worked.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos continues to drive the Tampa offense. While he has just four points in the last five games, Stamkos has always been a threat, especially on special teams. Keep an eye on him on Thursday night.
Goalie Matchup 11-18

Carter Hart is back in net for Thursday's game. Hart was outstanding again, making 33 saves in Tuesday's win against the Flames. His record has now improved to 5-3-2 after back-to-back wins in his last two starts, and he's made 72 saves on 74 shots in that time.

It's no surprise that the Lightning will turn to Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal. Like Hart, he's taken his share of losses in the record, but the numbers match his typical performance. Vasilevskiy has also won his last two starts, allowing just three goals on 54 shots.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 11-18

Flyers Scratches: Ryan Ellis (injury), Patrick Brown (injury)

Opponent Line Combos 11-18
Lightning Scratches: Nikita Kucherov (injury), Erik Cernak (injury), Fredrik Claesson (healthy), Alex Barre-Boulet (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Patrick Brown suffered a dislocated thumb in Tuesday's game, which will result in him being out week-to-week. Lindblom comes back into the lineup in his place. Alain Vigneault also hinted that another player may not be able to play due to injury, but that remains to be seen for now.
  • Lightning: There are no anticipated lineup changes from the Lightning's previous game on Monday.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (26th), Lightning (17th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (12th), Lightning (10th)
  • Recent History vs. Lightning
    • Aug. 8, 2020 - Flyers 4, Lightning 1 (Round Robin)
    • Feb. 15, 2020 - Lightning 5, Flyers 3 (at TB)
    • Jan. 11, 2020 - Lightning 1, Flyers 0 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Lightning
    • Claude Giroux - 37 GP, 6 G, 32 A, 38 P
    • Ivan Provorov - 11 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 P
    • James van Riemsdyk - 36 GP, 16 G, 13 A, 29 P
    • Travis Konecny - 11 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 P
    • Derick Brassard - 24 GP, 5 G, 11 A, 16 P
    • Kevin Hayes - 15 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 P
    • Carter Hart - 3 GP, 0-3-0, 3.84 GAA, .867 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Travis Konecny needs two goals to reach 100 for his career.
    • Claude Giroux needs four power-play points to pass Bobby Clarke for the Flyers all-time franchise lead.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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