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Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers Preview and Game Day Thread

The Flyers are really really bad.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on November 28, 2022 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. Tampa Bay won, 6-5.
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers: GAME# 23

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Wells Fargo Center

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, NBCSP, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Broad Street Hockey

All eyes are going to be on Steven Stamkos tonight as he sits on 999 career NHL points. The Captain is currently on an eight-game point streak where he’s scored six goals and 14 points for the Lightning. I personally hope he gets it tonight so on Saturday in front of the home crowd he can have the full pre-game ceremony. I can’t wait for that celebration.

Preview:

Anyway, on to the real game. First thing’s first, the Philadelphia Flyers are bad. Like, really bad. Despite a jumpy start to the year, the Flyers have lost a lot of games due mostly to a non-existent offense. They have the worst goals per game in the league coupled with the worst power play in the league by a mile.

John Tortorella has made Anthony DeAngelo the team’s top defenseman, playing him 25 minutes a night in all situations, but shockingly it’s not going well (39% expected goals, no shooting value). Away from the Artemi Panarin Rangers, DeAngelo’s offense is fragile at best. And despite Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim right there, DeAngelo’s only been getting more minutes.

There’s a lot of problems with the Flyers right now, and I expect we’ll see more tonight (I’m very curious to see how they play), but this defense ice time situation seems like an easy fix. Maybe there isn’t a fix when you’re getting 39% of the chances for 25 minutes a night. Hard to make up that deficit without a major shift in philosophy. And Torts is famously not down for that.

Comparison Chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Philadelphia Flyers

Game #23 Tampa Bay Lightning Philadelphia Flyers
Game #23 Tampa Bay Lightning Philadelphia Flyers
Overall Record 13-8-1 8-10-5
Home Record 7-3-1 5-5-1
Road Record 6-5-0 3-5-4
Goals For 76 56
Goals Against 71 75
xGF 75.2 58.49
xGA 69.95 81.43
PP% 28.6% 13.9%
PK% 76.9% 73.6%
Stats via NHL and Natural Stat Trick

As for the Lightning, they shifted their lines against the Bruins, with Stamkos and Point switching places. This was probably an attempt to help saw the top line off against Bergeron and bring some more scoring from the depth. That played into the Bruins hands and the lead never changed. For now, expect the lines to go back to what they were.

While the team has been on the road there have been no updates on Anthony Cirelli. Perhaps we’ll see him on Saturday. For now, this is pretty much the ideal roster for the Lightning. I didn’t expect to see Nick Perbix in the 2RD spot at the start of the season, but give him full credit for taking advantage when Foote, Myers, and whoever else dropped the ball.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn
Ross Colton - Vlad Namestnikov - Corey Perry
Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Cole Koepke

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix
Ian Cole - Zach Bogosian

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Brian Elliott

The Flyers have three injuries on their roster, including Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk, and DeAngelo. While I might say DeAngelo’s injury is a blessing in disguise, the next guy up is Rasmus Ristolainen. I’ll try not to laugh too hard.

Anyway, their roster looks like a 90s expansion team.

Philadelphia Flyers Lines

Forward Lines

Joel Farabee - Lukas Sedlak - Kevin Hayes
Owen Tippett - Morgan Frost - Kieffer Bellows
Nicolas Deslauriers - Noah Cates - Zack MacEwen
Max Willman - Tanner Laczynski - Patrick Brown

Defense Pairings

Ivan Provorov - Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim - Justin Braun
Egor Zamula - Nick Seeler

Goaltenders

Carter Hart
Felix Sandström