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Flyers at Lightning preview

Philadelphia can take over first place in Metropolitan Division; Kucherov game-time decision for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / Correspondent

FLYERS (34-20-10) at LIGHTNING (44-17-4)



The Game

The Philadelphia Flyers can move into first place in the Metropolitan Division when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

The Flyers are 10-1-2 in their past 13 games and are second in the division with 78 points, one behind the first-place Washington Capitals.

Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov will be a game-time decision after missing the past two games because of an upper-body injury. He leads the NHL with 82 points (33 goals, 49 assists) in 63 games.

The Lightning are 5-0-1 in their past six games. They lead the Atlantic Division with 92 points, six points ahead of the second-place Boston Bruins, and are three points ahead of the Nashville Predators for first place in the NHL.


Players to watch

Flyers forward Claude Giroux has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in the past 11 games.

Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.


They said it

"We know that down the stretch that things are so close and everybody's fighting so hard for something that you have to be at your very best to have a chance to win. We weren't at our best [Thursday]." -- Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, on the 4-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday

"We came out determined. We deserved to get those goals [in the second period] and then we kind of had to hold on in the end there. A little unfortunate how the game went to overtime, but the boys found a way." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper, after a 5-4 win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom -- Nolan Patrick -- Jakub Voracek

Taylor Leier -- Scott Laughton -- Michael Raffl

Jori Lehtera -- Valtteri Filppula -- Dale Weise

Ivan Provorov -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Robert Hagg -- Andrew MacDonald

Brandon Manning -- Radko Gudas

Petr Mrazek

Alex Lyon

Scratched: Johnny Oduya, Mark Alt, Matt Read, Jordan Weal

Injured: Brian Elliott (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Wayne Simmonds (upper body)


Lightning projected lineup

Chris Kunitz -- Steven Stamkos -- Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Adam Erne -- Tyler Johnson -- J.T. Miller

Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde -- Cory Conacher

Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman

Mikhail Sergachev -- Dan Girardi

Braydon Coburn -- Andrej Sustr

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek, Jake Dotchin, Michael Bournival, Cedric Paquette

Injured: Ondrej Palat (lower body), Ryan McDonagh (upper body), Peter Budaj (lower body)


Status report

Oduya practiced with the Flyers for the first time Friday after being claimed off waivers from the Ottawa Senators on Monday. He had been waiting for his immigration status to be cleared. He could make his Flyers debut Saturday. Simmonds skated for part of practice, the first time he has been on the ice with his teammates since sustaining an upper-body injury against the New York Rangers on Feb. 18. He is expected to miss his sixth straight game. Gostisbehere and MacDonald had maintenance days Friday and did not practice. ... Paquette likely would play if Kucherov misses his third straight game.


Stat pack

Mrazek is 3-1-0 with a .197 goals-against-average and .928 save percentage in his four starts with the Flyers. ... Stamkos has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in the past 18 games.

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