KINGS (11-6-0) at FLYERS (6-8-3)
TV: CSN-PH, FS-W
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will play his fourth NHL game Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, but he's already smart enough to realize when his team's captain says something, he'd better listen.
Gostisbehere will play the point on the Flyers' top power-play unit for the second straight game Tuesday, and he said after the morning skate he received pointed instructions from captain Claude Giroux on when to shoot the puck.
"They tell me to shoot I'm going to do whatever they say," Gostisbehere said. "Last game he said I want 10 shots from that place so I'm going to shoot the puck every chance I get because I don't want to get yelled at by [Giroux]."
The Flyers (6-8-3) had one power play Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes and got two shots, one by Gostisbehere. But it was his play at the point at even strength that changed the course of that game. Late in the third period he got the puck at the right point, dragged it around the Hurricanes' Chris Terry and got a shot on goal that was deflected into the net by the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds to tie the game. The Flyers went on to win 3-2 in overtime.
Prior to being recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Saturday, Gostisbehere was fourth among AHL defensemen with 10 points in 14 games. That offense is something the Flyers need at even strength and on the power play; they're 28th in the League at 1.88 goals per game and 26th on the power play at 14.3 percent.
"I think it's pretty easy to see he can make plays," Giroux said. "He can jump on plays. He's got that hockey sense to move up the puck. He played one game and played good so hopefully we can help him get better. It's going to be a good test tonight."
The Flyers also will have a new look on their top line, with Brayden Schenn going to left wing alongside Giroux and right wing Jakub Voracek. Schenn was a healthy scratch against the Hurricanes.
"No one really expects to go from going into the stands to playing with two great players," Schenn said. "This is a great opportunity for me to go out and prove that I can be a valuable piece to this team."
Schenn had two goals in his first three games but has one point in his past eight games. Coach Dave Hakstol said he wants to see Schenn create scoring opportunities in the offensive zone.
"We talked about with our defensemen, we expect guys to be able to go out and defend and move pucks and bring another element," Hakstol said. "Same with our forwards. Go out and be good in all three zones, be accountable with the puck. In Brayden's case he's so talented. He's going to gain offensive opportunities, he's going to create offense for us."
The Flyers also have a change in goal as Michal Neuvirth is out because of an upper-body injury and goalie Anthony Stolarz was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the AHL to serve as the backup to Steve Mason on Tuesday. Stolarz, 21, is third in the AHL with a 1.90 goals-against average. In nine games he's 5-3-1 with a .930 save percentage.
The Kings (11-6-0), who start a five-game Eastern Conference road trip Tuesday, will have the same lineup that beat the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
That includes left wing Milan Lucic on the top line with center Jeff Carter and right wing Tyler Toffoli. Lucic has goals in three of the past four games; when he's scored the Kings have won, and the one game he didn't score the Kings lost.
In 17 games Lucic has five goals and 10 points, but he said he feels he's finally feeling acclimated to his new team. Lucic was traded to the Kings by the Boston Bruins on June 26.
"The chemistry is building and it's moving in the right direction," Lucic said. "Things are flowing. You're not thinking and you're reacting. That's the mindset you want to have when you're out there, that you're reacting, everything is coming second nature. It's starting to become more comfortable with the new team, new linemates. Just trying to have fun. When you get rewarded for having fun and working hard, makes things a lot easier."
Lucic, Toffoli and Carter have combined for five goals and 12 points in the past four games, and coach Darryl Sutter said that line needs to continue playing well for the Kings to have success.
"They've been our most productive as individuals and as a line by a long shot," Sutter said. "Hopefully they have a good game tonight. ... It's an old story but your best players, to win in this League, have to be your best players every night. You do that you give yourself a chance to win."
Here are the projected lineups:
Milan Lucic - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik
Dustin Brown - Nick Shore - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan
Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez
Christian Ehrhoff - Jamie McBain
Injured: Matt Greene (upper body)
Scratched: Derek Forbort, Jordan Weal
Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Sam Gagner
Michael Raffl - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde
Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas
Nick Schultz - Luke Schenn
Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere
Injured: R.J. Umberger (foot), Mark Streit (detached pubic plate), Ryan White (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (upper body)
Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier, Evgeny Medvedev
Status report: Forbort and Ehrhoff had been rotating on the third defense pair, but this is will be Ehrhoff's third straight game. ... Mason did not practice Monday because of a maintenance day and learned he would be starting when he got on the ice for the morning skate. ... Neuvirth came out on the ice near the end of the Flyers' morning skate, faced a few shots and then went to the locker room. He had a brief chat with director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin and then left the locker room.
Who's hot: Gaborik had one goal and one assist Saturday against the Oilers for his first multipoint game of the season. Sutter said it was Gaborik's best game of the season. ... Giroux has one goal and four assists in his past five games.