Is the bye week coming at a bad time?
Maybe, considering the Flyers (18-23-6) have a chance to tie their season-best win streak of three games Saturday when they visit the Canadiens (27-17-5).
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Let's look at the essentials:
• When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Bell Centre
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• Under interim head coach Scott Gordon, the Flyers have played noticeably better in close games. They own five wins in one-goal games through 16 contests with Gordon behind the bench. Prior to his arrival, the Flyers had three such wins in 31 games.
Their improved fortitude will be tested Saturday because the Canadiens play a lot of close games. Montreal is tied for second in the NHL with 13 wins in one-goal games, while it has 11 losses in such situations - six in regulation, five in overtime.
• After Saturday's game, the Flyers won't play again until Jan. 28 because of the bye week followed by the All-Star break.
The extended hiatus will give general manager Chuck Fletcher and the front office greater time to focus on big decisions ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
At the same time, the Flyers probably wouldn't have minded staying on the ice. They've scored 11 goals over the last two games and have won three of the last four, playing their best spurt of hockey since Oct. 30 to Nov. 10, when they won five of six.
To give you some context of how much 11 goals are for the Flyers in two games, they scored just 15 goals during their eight-game losing streak prior to this four-game stretch.
• The Flyers aren't expected to see Carey Price, but that might not be a huge break. Backup goalie Antti Niemi is 5-1-0 with a 1.40 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in six career games against the Flyers.
Niemi is also coming off a 52-save victory his last time out, while he's made 127 saves on 132 shots over his last three games, all victories.
The Flyers will be confident with their option in net. Carter Hart is facing too high a volume of shots, though, something the Flyers can help cut down.
Since Jan. 5, Carter Hart is 3-2-1 with 2.69 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. In those six starts, he's made an NHL-most 196 saves.
The next closest is Andrei Vasilevskiy, with 170 saves in six starts.
Hart has faced a TON of shots and has more than held his own.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) January 18, 2019
• Saturday night will be a battle of the NHL's worst power-play units, with the Flyers and Canadiens ranked 30th and 31st, respectively.
However, the Flyers' five-forward man advantage has produced goals in back-to-back games. Before the unit was put together, the power play was 0 for its last 14.
James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl-Phil Varone-Jori Lehtera
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Robert Hagg-Radko Gudas
Shayne Gostisbehere-Andrew MacDonald
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