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game preview

Flyers at Lightning preview

Philadelphia has won three of four; Stamkos, Kucherov could return for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

FLYERS (32-19-7) at LIGHTNING (38-15-5)



The Game

Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli could be back in the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

All three injured forwards practiced Friday, and each is expected to be a game-time decision with a lower-body injury. Kucherov and Cirelli have missed one game, and Stamkos has missed the past three.

The Lightning have won nine games in a row and 10 straight at home. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has a streak of 20 starts with a point (18-0-2). 

Philadelphia has won three of four and is 9-3-1 with a plus-15 goal differential (50-35) in its past 13 games. 

Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim practiced Friday and is likely to play after sustaining a lower-body injury Thursday in a 6-2 win at the Florida Panthers.


Players to watch

Flyers forward Claude Giroux has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a four-game point streak.

Lightning forward Brayden Point has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) during a nine-game point streak.


They said it

'I think we have a great opportunity against a team that's been hot. We've been playing well. So we're going to measure ourselves [Saturday] and I expect us to play real well." -- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault

"It's been a little frustrating, but I'm glad to be out there and practicing with the guys … feeling a lot better than I have the past couple of days. You hate missing games, but we've been on a pretty good run." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos 


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Joel Farabee -- Kevin Hayes -- Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk -- Scott Laughton -- Tyler Pitlick

Michael Raffl -- Connor Bunnaman -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov -- Matt Niskanen

Travis Sanheim -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Justin Braun

Brian Elliott

Carter Hart

Scratches: Morgan Frost

Injured: Shayne Gostisbehere (knee), Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder)


Lightning projected lineup

Steven Stamkos -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov 

Ondrej Palat -- Anthony Cirelli -- Alex Killorn

Mathieu Joseph -- Cedric Paquette -- Pat Maroon

Carter Verhaeghe -- Mitchell Stephens -- Yanni Gourde

Victor Hedman -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn -- Luke Schenn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Cameron Gaunce

Injured: Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Jan Rutta (lower body), Ryan McDonagh (lower body)


Status report

Johnson, a forward, missed practice Friday and is questionable for the game Saturday. …Gostisbehere, a defenseman, is expected to miss his fifth straight game. 


Stat pack

The Lightning record for a home win streak is 11 games (Dec. 11, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015). … Van Riemsdyk has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a four-game point streak. 

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