The Flyers had a promising start to Saturday afternoons round three versus the Penguins, but a week in Pittsburgh can take a toll on anyone. They couldn’t find the gusto for another comeback and eventually fell to the Penguins 4-3.
No time to dwell, the Flyers are finally back home and facing the 2nd place Capitals. Here is a quick-hit edition of Flyers/Caps three Storylines To Watch.
Power of Fans
March 10th, 2020 was the last time the orange and black played in front of their home fans, felt the power, the passion, the frustration, and calls for shoooootttt.
3,100 fans enter the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night against the Capitals.
We have seen the “first game back for fans” spark another level in teams like the Penguins and Rangers and hoping the Flyers can find that magic as well Sunday night.
Fan attendance should help mentally, but the Flyers will still need to dig deep to find some more energy because they were running on empty in the 3rd period against the Penguins.
Brian Elliott played a solid two games this week, but the soft goal he let in during the closing minutes of the second seemed to suck the wind out of the Flyers for the remainder of the game.
The five icing calls in the first five minutes of the third indicated that the Flyers were going for the bigplay versus the process of breakouts and sticking to the game plan. The Flyers were also playing with a short bench as Michael Raffl was out for the back-half of the game, seeming to take a shot that dinged his hand.
Players like Ivan Provorov and Kevin Hayes, who have been through the full schedule gauntlet are noticeably sucking wind. The Capitals are rested and the Flyers are coming off a tough loss to conclude a week on the road.
But, with the likely injection of either Connor Bunnaman or Carsen Twarynski to fill in for Raffl, the strong play of Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee, a rested Carter Hart, and the presence of fans, can the Flyers find enough gas to topple the Caps?
One element of Sunday’s matchup that goes in favor of the Flyers is the absence of the Capital’s Tom Wilson. The league announced he will be suspended for seven games, including all three against the Flyers this week, due to a pummeling hit-to-the-head on Boston’s Brandon Carlo.
Wilson is a nightmare to play against. He is big, strong, chippy, irritating, and he’s sort of talented. With seven goals and 10 assists on the year, Wilson plays on the top line with Ovechkin providing size, grit, and the benefits of scoring stats playing with Ovie.
The loss of Wilson could be vital as it breaks up some of the lines and continuity the Capitals have and allows for the Flyers to match up better with that top line.
Photo Credit – Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire