Flyers-Senators Preview: Hart Out with Illness, Farabee Returns to Lineup
A three-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday night in Montreal in a shootout loss. While the Flyers have strung together points in four straight games – seven out of eight in just the last week alone – losing to the 31st-ranked team in the league and struggling for most of the night doesn't move the needle any when trying to build confidence.
Another of these matchups comes on Saturday night, as the Flyers face off against the 30th-ranked Ottawa Senators. But don't be fooled, the Senators have won five of their last seven games, including convincing wins over Tampa Bay and Florida in the last week.
Game time is 7 p.m.
|Philadelphia Flyers||GP||G||A||P||Ottawa Senators||GP||G||A||P|
|Claude Giroux||28||10||14||24||Drake Batherson||22||9||19||28|
|Cam Atkinson||28||12||7||19||Josh Norris||27||14||8||22|
|Sean Couturier||28||6||10||16||Brady Tkachuk||24||12||10||22|
|Travis Konecny||28||5||10||15||Thomas Chabot||27||1||16||17|
|James van Riemsdyk||28||5||6||11||Connor Brown||23||4||12||16|
Since making his return to the lineup on Dec. 1, Kevin Hayes has four points in eight games. That said, the Flyers rely on Hayes to be a catalyst at both ends of the ice, and it's reasonable to question if his health is holding him back. Despite the lack of points, Hayes has had his moments in the last few games, so maybe it's a sign that the points and production may be coming.
Drake Batherson is on quite a tear. He just had a six-game points streak snapped in the team's loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. During the six-game points streak, Batherson scored just two goals, but 10 assists, including six in the final two games of the streak.
Martin Jones will get the start for the Flyers. Jones makes his first start since last Saturday when he picked up the win over the Arizona Coyotes, allowing three goals on 32 shots. That snapped a string of five straight starts with losses for Jones.
Anton Forsberg is expected to get the start for Ottawa. In the month of December, Forsberg had started on a personal five-game winning streak before taking the loss to Tampa Bay, allowing two goals on 27 shots on Thursday.
Flyers Scratches: Carter Hart (illness), Ryan Ellis (injury), Nate Thompson (injury), Derick Brassard (injury), Morgan Frost (COVID protocol), Max Willman (COVID protocol), Nick Seeler (healthy)
Senators Scratches: Nikita Zaitsev (injury), Colin White (injury), Erik Brannstrom (injury), Shane Pinto (injury), Josh Brown (injury), Adam Gaudette (healthy)
- Flyers: Joel Farabee makes his return to the lineup after missing seven games with an injury. Max Willman entered COVID protocol along with "a staff member," giving the Flyers two players and three members of the organization in protocol. Carter Hart is unavailable for the game due to an undetermined illness. Felix Sandstrom has been called up to be the backup goalie.
- Senators: Nikita Zaitsev exits the lineup with a heel injury that will keep him out for four weeks. There may be some other changes to the lineup closer to game time, according to head coach D.J. Smith.
- Power Play: Flyers (26th), Senators (12th)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (12th), Senators (25th)
- Recent History vs. Senators
- Dec. 21, 2019 - Flyers 5, Senators 4 (F/OT) (at OTT)
- Dec. 7, 2019 - Flyers 4, Senators 3 (at PHI)
- Nov. 15, 2019 - Senators 2, Flyers 1 (at OTT)
- Flyers Leaders vs. Senators
- Cam Atkinson - 19 GP, 11 G, 7 A, 18 P
- James van Riemsdyk - 38 GP, 16 G, 16 A, 32 P
- Scott Laughton - 10 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 P
- Keith Yandle - 28 GP, 2 G, 19 A, 21 P
- Carter Hart - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2.57 GAA, .898 SV%
- Milestone Watch
- Ivan Provorov plays in his 400th NHL game tonight.
- Travis Konecny needs one goal to reach 100 for his career.
- Claude Giroux needs one assist to reach 600 for his career.
- Giroux also needs two points to pass Bill Barber for second on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
- Cam Atkinson needs four assists to reach 200 for his career.
Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.