Game Day Preview: Philadelphia vs Detroit

Gameday Preview Game 29

Philadelphia Flyers (17-10-3) Preview: The red hot Flyers skate into the Joe having won 8 in a row, Including a 4-2 victory against the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon, in that game they found themselves down 2-1 with just four minutes to play and the Flyers did what they’ve done most of this season…Comeback! They’ve been a extremely resilient team this season. Flyers sit fourth in the Metropolitan division, and have the first wildcard spot. Wings and Flyers have met two times this year both at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. On November 2nd the Flyers came back to beat the Red Wings 4-3 as Jakub Voracek had the game winner on a 2 on 1 pass from Claude Giroux. A week later they met again and the Wings got the best of the Broad Street Bullies 3-2 this time Andreas Athanasiou was the hero in the shootout and finally the Wings defeated the Flyers in Philadelphia for the first time since 1997,  snapping a 12-game regular-season losing streak.

Detroit Red Wings (13-12-3) Preview: On the other hand the Detroit Red Wings come in 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. The most recent game was on Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets a game which the Red Wings played decent but couldn’t muster up more than one goal against the superb Sergei Bobrovsky. The Wings come into this game 2-7-2 in their last 10 games at Joe Louis Arena, and the boys from Hockeytown will have a chance to change that with four games at the Joe in the next six days. The Red Wings are 6th in the Atlantic division and are in 9th in the Eastern conference but 9th is a bit misleading as the Wings are just six points back of the Washington Capitals who are in the 2nd wildcard spot in the East. The Wings come into this game having earned at least a point in seven out of ten games.

Keys to the game: The Key for the Wings in this game will be to weather the Flyers forecheck (Something they have struggled with this season), figure out how to score on the putrid powerplay, not give up “easy” backbreaking goals, and find a way to stifle the blazing hot Flyers powerplay (1st in NHL). On the other hand for Philadelphia the keys will be not to run out of gas in the first two periods because as mentioned earlier the Flyers played yesterday afternoon. Other keys will be to really get in on the forecheck against the Wings(Detroit panics when teams have an aggressive forecheck), finally not fall behind Detroit because it might be hard to come from behind today as said before the Flyers played yesterday afternoon.

Players to watch for: Jakub Voracek (32 points) has two goals and six assists in his past two games and at least a point in seven out of the last eight for a total of 15 points. Just behind Voracek is Claude Giroux who has nine goals and twenty assists, and as always the imposing figure the Flyers power forward Wayne Simmonds who has fifteen goals and twelve assists. Other players for Philadelphia to look out for are the two young players on the Philly blueline Shayne Gostisbehere(16 points), and rookie Ivan Provorov(13 points).

 For Detroit the ageless Henrik Zetterberg has looked very good as of late with at least one point in seven out of ten points. Anthony Mantha(7 points) may not have the results to show for it but to me it looks like he’s getting ready to break out his speed has been a factor and his bullet of a shot has rung the iron a few times. Other things to know is Detroit only has one player with twenty points (Zetterberg), and the Flyers have three not including Brayden Schenn who had a hattrick in yesterday’s game against the Stars who has nineteen points. Lineups haven’t been confirmed on the Wings side as they only had an optional skate this morning. One can assume that Jimmy Howard will get the start for the Wings.

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason has played every game on this winning streak besides one, but since Mason played yesterday the man between the pipes could be Anthony Stolarz.

Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines:

Michael Raffl Claude Giroux Jakub Voracek
Travis Konecny Brayden Schenn Wayne Simmonds
Nick Cousins Boyd Gordon Dale Weise
Chris VandeVelde Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Roman Lyubimov
Ivan Provorov Andrew MacDonald
Mark Streit Radko Gudas
Brandon Manning Shayne Gostisbehere
Steve Mason
Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Nick Schultz, Michael Del Zotto, Taylor Leier

Injured: Sean Couturier (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Matt Read (upper body)

Detroit Red Wings Projected Lines:

Anthony Mantha

Henrik Zetterberg

Tomas Tatar

Gustav Nyquist

Riley Sheahan

Thomas Vanek

Luke Glendening

Frans Nielsen

Dylan Larkin

Tomas Jurco

Andreas Athanasiou

Steve Ott

Danny DeKeyser

Mike Green

Brian Lashoff

Alexey Marchenko

Niklas Kronwall

Xavier Ouellet

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Drew Miller, Ryan Sproul

Injured: Darren Helm (Upper Body), Brendan Smith (lower body), Tyler Bertuzzi (Ankle), Justin Abdelkader (Lower Body), Jonathan Ericsson (Back)

Watch the game at 5:00 pm on Fox Sports Detroit, CSN Philadelphia, NHL.TV


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