Flyers vs. Red Wings
8 p.m. on NBCSN
The Flyers (4-5-1) will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they host Detroit Red Wings (6-4-0) at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.
Here are five things you need to know for the matchup.
1. Hexy has spoken
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says it how it is and did just that when evaluating the Flyers’ first month of work.
“I think we’ve been mediocre,” he said Tuesday at Flyers Skate Zone.
“We’ve let some points slide away. Our defensive blunders have hurt us. But we’ve had a tough schedule. That certainly plays into it.”
The Flyers sure have experienced all of the above. To think they’re tied for second among the NHL in goals per game (3.50) and third in power-play percentage (27.5) but still under .500 just goes to show you how porous the defense and goaltending have been. The four other top-five goal-scoring teams are within the league’s top five in points.
Meanwhile, the Flyers are surrendering the league’s second-most goals per game (3.80), having allowed three or more markers in all but one of their October matchups, giving them nine points — tied for the Eastern Conference’s third fewest.
Maybe Hextall’s address will be a good kick in the Flyers’ butt.
2. No Brotherly Love
The Flyers have bullied the Red Wings in Philadelphia.
So much so that Detroit hasn’t won here since June 7, 1997, Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in which the Red Wings swept.
Even crazier, courtesy of CSNPhilly.com’s Tom Dougherty, Detroit’s last regular-season win in Philadelphia came before Travis Konecny was born and when Ivan Provorov was just 13 days old.
Yeah, it’s been a while — Jan. 25, 1997. The Flyers have won 11 straight over the Red Wings on home ice, where they’ve outscored them, 20-7, since the 2013-14 season.
3. Rest not the best?
Tonight marks the front end of another back-to-back for the Flyers — their fourth thus far. Last week, they played five games in seven days. This season, they have a franchise-record 18 back-to-backs, surpassing the previous most of 14.
“Do you want to play a lot of games now or in March?” Hextall said. “There’s positives both ways. If our record were a little better, I’d be pretty happy with how many games we played.
“There’s part of everybody’s schedule that is jammed up with back-to-backs. We have more back-to-backs than I’d like to have, quite frankly.”
Weirdly, though, the Flyers are 1-5-0 when coming off at least one day of rest (from games) this season. So maybe the Flyers were still tired in those games because of the busy schedule in general or possibly too relaxed.
4. Keep an eye on …
Flyers: Claude Giroux will be going for a new personal best. The Flyers’ captain has a point in nine straight games, tying the longest streak of his career. His 12 points this season are tied for second most in the NHL with the likes of Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid.
Red Wings: Longtime Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg is without a goal through 10 games, but in 16 career contests against the Flyers, the 36-year-old has 10 markers and eight helpers.
5. This and that
• Michal Neuvirth will start in net for the Flyers. The 28-year-old is coming off his first full game since the Oct. 14 season opener. Neuvirth is 3-3-1 lifetime against Detroit with a 3.18 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.
• Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek was yanked from his last start after yielding four goals on 10 shots. In two career games against the Flyers, he’s 0-1-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.
• Detroit had won six straight before losing its last two games by a combined score of 6-2.
• Red Wings leading scorer Thomas Vanek is out with a lower-body injury.
• For the Flyers’ projected lineup and more, read Dougherty’s skate update here.
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Flyers vs. Red Wings