Flyers-Avalanche 5 Things: Taking Shot at Best Streak in 31 Years

Flyers (18-10-3) vs. Avalanche (11-15-1)
10 p.m. on TCN, and the NBC Sports App; Pregame Live at 9:30
Can they make it double digits?
The Flyers will try to extend their winning streak to 10 games when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center.
Here are five things you need to know before puck drop.
1. The meaning of 10
For one, a 10th straight win would keep the Flyers on pace with the scalding-hot Metropolitan Division. Somehow, the Flyers are no higher than tied for fourth in the division. That’s because the Penguins have won six in a row, the Blue Jackets seven and the Capitals five, while the Rangers just had a three-game streak snapped.
“When you look at the Metro, everybody is winning,” Jakub Voracek said Tuesday. “If we didn’t have this success, I don’t think we’d be in a playoff spot right now.”
As for the history of the streak, a win over the Avalanche would give the Flyers their most consecutive victories since Oct. 19-Nov. 17, 1985, when they went on a 13-game run. Also, among Philadelphia’s four major franchises, it would mark the city’s longest streak since the Phillies won 11 in a row from Sept. 12-24, 2010.
2. Protection plan tweak
Fortunately for the Flyers, their defense will see only some change, not drastic.
Mark Streit is out two weeks with a sprained left shoulder. Michael Del Zotto will likely be his replacement.
“I’ve been happy with my game — I’ve been defending hard, reliable with the puck, making smart plays. I’ve contributed with some offense, a couple of goals, a few points,” Del Zotto said. “That’s all I’m really trying to do, there’s no secret to my game. I just want to defend hard, be responsible in my own end and if an opportunity does arise offensively, try to make the most of it.”
The Flyers were potentially going to be without their top-two power-play quarterbacks, but Shayne Gostisbehere’s swollen right hand has improved since the 23-year-old missed last Sunday’s game. Gostisbehere practiced Tuesday and is ready to play.
“It’s good right now, I think I’m playing out there,” he said. “I’ll be effective and good to go.”
3. A snowball effect
The Avalanche are having a rough 2016-17.
Their now-former head coach Patrick Roy surprisingly resigned on Aug. 11.
Then, after a .500 start through 18 games, Colorado has now lost seven of its last nine and is in the basement of the NHL standings with 23 points.
The Avalanche haven’t been able to score or stop many teams from doing so. Colorado is 28th in the NHL in goals per game (2.22), while surrendering the league’s second-most per game (3.15).
4. Keep an eye on …
Flyers: In Streit’s absence, 19-year-old Ivan Provorov will see greater minutes running the power play, where he can be dangerous with his hockey acumen. The rookie blueliner is a plus-6 over the nine-game winning streak with five points, and his window of opportunity is open even wider.
Avalanche: Young Mikko Rantanen is starting to come on for Colorado. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound 20-year-old has nine points (three goals, six assists) over his last 11 games.
5. This and that
• Flyers goalie Steve Mason, on a personal-best seven-game win streak, is 7-7-3 with a 2.99 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 17 career games against the Avalanche.
• Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard is in net for the injured Semyon Varlamov. Pickard, who has never faced the Flyers, is 5-3-1 on the season with a 2.72 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
• With a hat trick and overtime winner last weekend, Brayden Schenn has four goals in his last two games.
• The Avalanche have lost nine of their 13 home games.

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