Skip to main content

Headlines

game preview

Flyers stick with shuffled lines vs. Canadiens

Schenn up with Giroux, Voracek back on right side; Condon in goal for Montreal

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (25-21-10) at CANADIENS (27-27-4) 

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-PH, RDS, SNE 

MONTREAL -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol will stick with his recent line changes against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Friday.

Hakstol separated his top line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds on Tuesday and Philadelphia responded with a 6-3 win at the New Jersey Devils. 

Voracek moved to right wing on a line with center Nick Cousins and left wing R.J. Umberger. Brayden Schenn took Voracek's spot at left wing on Giroux's line. 

"I think most guys somewhere along the way have played different positions so I don't want to downplay it at all," Hakstol said. "But I think that versatility is valuable in players. I think our guys have done a good job, whether it's bouncing from one position to another, they've done a good job going in and just doing the job. I don't know if it's systems related; I think it's more players being adaptable and doing a good job." 

Goalie Michal Neuvirth will make his second straight start for the Flyers and his third in four games since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him out of the lineup for six games. 

"He's coming off a good performance. Hopefully he can carry that momentum into tonight," Hakstol said 

Giroux's next point will be the 500th of his NHL career. 

"It's an important milestone but it's not exactly the thing I'm thinking about most right now," Giroux said. "Playing against the Canadiens in Montreal there's going to be a lot of emotion and we have to play our game." 

Philadelphia, which plays at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, is six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. 

The Canadiens are eight points behind the Lightning following a 0-3-0 road trip. 

Goalie Mike Condon will start for Montreal. Otherwise coach Michel Therrien is going with the same lineup he used in Montreal's 3-2 loss at the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. 

"I really liked the way we played against the Avalanche," Therrien said after the morning skate at the Canadiens' practice facility in Brossard, Que. "I thought we were aggressive. I liked the way we moved the puck. There were a lot of things that I really liked. I liked the fact the young kids we put in a position, they responded really well." 

"[Jacob] De la Rose played really well as the center on the third line; he was really responsible out there. Lucas [Lessio] did the same thing on the fourth line; I thought he used his speed well and he was good on the forecheck. I liked the balance of our lines. I even liked Lars Eller's line with [Max Pacioretty and Sven Andrighetto]. I liked the chemistry of our team last game and I want to make sure we keep trying to play the same way." 

Here are the projected lineups: 

FLYERS 
Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds 
R.J. Umberger - Nick Cousins - Jakub Voracek 
Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Matt Read  
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White   

Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere   
Nick Schultz - Mark Streit   
Evgeny Medvedev - Radko Gudas   

Michal Neuvirth   
Steve Mason   

Injured: Sean Couturier (lower body), Michael Del Zotto (upper body), Jordan Weal (upper body) 
Scratched: Sam Gagner, Brandon Manning   

CANADIENS 
Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Sven Andrighetto 
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher  
Paul Byron - Jacob De La Rose - Dale Weise  
Lucas Lessio - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly  

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban  
Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert  
Alexei Emelin - Greg Pateryn  

Mike Condon 
Ben Scrivens  

Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Jeff Petry (lower body), Daniel Carr (knee), David Desharnais (lower body), Brian Flynn (lower body) 
Scratched: Mark Barberio, Tomas Fleischmann  

Status report: Laughton draws into the lineup after being a healthy scratch three of the past four games. "He's got to go in and he's got to add to the group," Hakstol said. "He's got to help us win a road game, so look for his energy, his pace, and hopefully he can bring that tonight." … Petry practiced for the first time since he was injured Feb. 7. 

Who's hot: Gostisbehere has four goals and 12 assists during a 13-game point streak that is an NHL record for rookie defensemen and the second-longest by any player in the League this season. … Schenn, who had three points Tuesday, has three goals and five points in his past four games. … Gallagher has three goals and three assists in the past six games.

View More