Friday was an interesting day around the NHL, as several teams proved that this 24-team tournament can bring all sorts of unpredictability. Outside of the Round Robin, it was safe to expect the unexpected.

Both fifth-seeded teams went home. So did a sixth-seeded team. Toronto was nearly upset by Columbus before an epic comeback forced a Game 5 on Sunday.

For the Flyers, the equation is simple ahead of the first round. They play the Tampa Bay Lightning in a battle for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The winner of the game will play their first-round series against the 12-seed Montreal Canadiens. The loser gets the second seed and plays the winner of the series between Toronto and Columbus.

Game time is 8 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPTampa Bay LightningGPGAP
Scott Laughton2314Tyler Johnson2112
Kevin Hayes2044Alex Killorn2112
Travis Sanheim2112Brayden Point2112
Michael Raffl1112Nikita Kucherov2112
Travis Konecny2022Mitchell Stephens2101
Player to Watch
14 Sean Couturier21 Brayden Point
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, +1Last 5 Games: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, +1
Despite the two wins in the Round Robin, the Flyers top line has accounted for no points in either of the two games. Sean Couturier, the centerpiece of the top line, noted that while the offense does need to start clicking, the line has not allowed a goal in the Round Robin either. Still, against a powerful Lightning team, making some contributions on the scoreboard would go a long way.
While no Tampa player has more than one goal and two points in the two Round Robin games -- both tightly-contested 3-2 victories (including one in a shootout) -- Brayden Point has been one of their most dangerous players. He's difficult to miss at the front of the top line and has been going hard to the net and has the finishing capability to take over a game.
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart88 Andrei Vasilevskiy
1 GP, 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .971 SV%2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.92 GAA, .933 SV%

After getting Thursday's game off, Carter Hart gets back between the pipes for Saturday's game. This should be another big test for the young goalie with something on the line, playing for the top seed. While Hart has put together several solid starts dating back before the pause and has been very good since the team returned in Toronto, he does have poor numbers in his career against Tampa Bay, with three losses in his three games against them.

The Lightning enter the Round Robin finale with a unique situation in goal. Andrei Vasilevskiy is slated to get the start, and that's no surprise. He's been their mainstay in goal for several seasons. But head coach Jon Cooper also mentioned wanting to get Curtis McElhinney some time in Round Robin play too, and after Vasilevskiy played each of the first two games for the Lightning, there is a chance he could get the start or enter in relief at some point.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
28 Claude Giroux14 Sean Couturier49 Joel Farabee
21 Scott Laughton13 Kevin Hayes11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk38 Derek Grant62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
82 Connor Bunnaman44 Nate Thompson18 Tyler Pitlick
9 Ivan Provorov15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim5 Phil Myers
53 Shayne Gostisbehere61 Justin Braun
79 Carter Hart37 Brian Elliott

Lightning Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
18 Ondrej Palat21 Brayden Point86 Nikita Kucherov
17 Alex Killorn71 Anthony Cirelli9 Tyler Johnson
19 Barclay Goodrow37 Yanni Gourde20 Blake Coleman
14 Patrick Maroon67 Mitchell Stephens13 Cedric Paquette
77 Victor Hedman24 Zach Bogosian
27 Ryan McDonagh81 Erik Cernak
98 Mikhail Sergachev22 Kevin Shattenkirk
88 Andrei Vasilevskiy35 Curtis McElhinney

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: A lot of changes to the Flyers lineup. James van Riemsdyk re-enters the lineup and goes back on the third line with Derek Grant and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Joel Farabee moves to the top line. Jake Voracek is not available for the game. On defense, Shayne Gostisbehere gets back into the lineup for Robert Hagg.
  • Lightning: There is really only one absence for the Lightning, and it's a big one. Steven Stamkos is still not available and will not play in Saturday's game.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-21st), Lightning (1st)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-1st), Lightning (T-8th)
  • Recent History vs. Lightning
    • Jan. 11, 2020 - Lightning 1, Flyers 0 (at PHI)
    • Feb. 15, 2020 - Lightning 5, Flyers 3 (at TB)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Lightning
    • Claude Giroux - 37 GP, 6 G, 32 A, 38 P
    • James van Riemsdyk - 36 GP, 16 G, 13 A, 29 P
    • Sean Couturier - 25 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 P
    • Ivan Provorov - 11 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 P
    • Carter Hart - 3 GP, 0-3-0, 3.83 GAA, .867 SV%

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/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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