The competitive nature and full meaning of the Round Robin games was certainly debatable over the last week. The four teams playing did not have to worry about elimination just yet. And maybe that didn't mean anything to the teams in that position.

The games did mean something to the Flyers though. While there was certainly a strategy to playing out those games to ensure health and the level of preparation for the first round, the Flyers did go out and win all three Round Robin games they played, vaulting from the fourth seed to the first seed. That set up a first-round series matchup against the shocker of this 24-team tournament on the Eastern Conference side, a meeting with the 12-seed Montreal Canadiens.

For the Flyers, they are in a new position. They are resting their playoff hopes on a 21-year-old (soon to be 22-year-old) goalie who has shown all the potential in the world to lead a run. At the other end of the ice stands his idol, veteran netminder Carey Price, who will certainly present a challenge to a franchise with a lot of young talent and entering their first playoff series in eight years as the team with the higher seed.

Game 1 is set for 8 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPMontreal CanadiensGPGAP
Scott Laughton3325Shea Weber4224
Kevin Hayes3044Paul Byron4134
Nicolas Aube-Kubel3202Jeff Petry4213
Travis Sanheim3112Artturi Lehkonen4123
Joel Farabee3112Jesperi Kotkaniemi4202
Player to Watch
11 Travis Konecny62 Artturi Lehkonen
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, +3Last 5 Games: 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, +6
Travis Konecny had two assists in the Flyers win over Washington last Thursday, but otherwise has been held off the scoresheet. The Flyers top goal scorer in the regular season has yet to get one in the playoffs, but he could make a huge statement in Game 1 if he and the rest of his line helped lead the way again. In 11 career games against Montreal, Konecny has five goals and eight points.
Don't overlook this Montreal team, they have depth. Artturi Lehkonen is proof of that. The forward plays on their third line, and yet he is a plus-6 and has three points from their four-game series with the Penguins. Lehkonen was arguably the best Montreal player, outside of the netminder, in the clinching game against Pittsburgh, and got the payoff with the winning goal late in the third period. He's part of an energy line for the Canadiens that can certainly drive play.
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart31 Carey Price
2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .966 SV%4 GP, 3-1-0, 1.67 GAA, .947 SV%

Carter Hart does technically have two playoff games under his belt, but this is the real deal now. He starts his first playoff series with his idol in the other crease. So far, Hart has looked every bit the part of a top goaltender. He has allowed one goal in each of his Round Robin starts and has a .966 save percentage, which is best in the league among goaltenders with more than one start in the playoffs.

While the Canadiens series win over Pittsburgh wasn't all Carey Price, it was largely due to his performance. From the start, Price was sharp, making 18 saves in the opening period of the series. That set the tone for the rest. Price allowed just seven goals in the series - Pittsburgh had an empty-net goal as well to total eight in the series - and posted a .947 save percentage over the four-game series, capping it off with a 21-save shutout.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
28 Claude Giroux14 Sean Couturier49 Joel Farabee
21 Scott Laughton13 Kevin Hayes11 Travis Konecny
62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel38 Derek Grant93 Jake Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk44 Nate Thompson18 Tyler Pitlick
9 Ivan Provorov15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim5 Phil Myers
53 Shayne Gostisbehere61 Justin Braun
79 Carter Hart37 Brian Elliott

Canadiens Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
90 Tomas Tatar14 Nick Suzuki11 Brendan Gallagher
92 Jonathan Drouin15 Jesperi Kotkaniemi40 Joel Armia
62 Artturi Lehkonen24 Philip Danault41 Paul Byron
22 Dale Weise13 Max Domi60 Alex Belzile
8 Ben Chiarot6 Shea Weber
77 Brett Kulak26 Jeff Petry
61 Xavier Ouellet53 Victor Mete
31 Carey Price39 Charlie Lindgren

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Jake Voracek is going to be a game-time decision, according to Alain Vigneault, but said he is good to go for the game, so assume he plays. Vigneault did not disclose line combinations, but did say the Joel Farabee and the top line of Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux had their best game on Saturday against Tampa Bay, so don't expect that to be broken up. Vigneault also did not announce the defenseman that will be starting on the third pairing with Justin Braun, but did once again praise Shayne Gostisbehere's game on Saturday. Perhaps that's an indication of who will get the start.
  • Canadiens: Head coach Claude Julien was also tight-lipped on lineups, but don't expect many, if any, changes to the Montreal lineup from their Game 4 clinching win last Friday.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-22nd), Canadiens (T-22nd)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (5th), Canadiens (14th)
  • Recent History vs. Canadiens
    • Nov. 7, 2019 - Flyers 3, Canadiens 2 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Nov. 30, 2019 - Flyers 4, Canadiens 3 (F/OT) (at MTL)
    • Jan. 16, 2020 - Canadiens 4, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Canadiens
    • Jake Voracek - 31 GP, 7 G, 22 A, 29 P
    • Shayne Gostisbehere - 13 GP, 2 G, 12 A, 14 P
    • Claude Giroux - 36 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 P
    • James van Riemsdyk - 39 GP, 16 G, 9 A, 25 P
    • Sean Couturier - 27 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 19 P
    • Carter Hart - 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.85 GAA, .913 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia/NBCSN
Radio: 97.3 ESPN

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

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