The Philadelphia Flyers come home with their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins tied at one game a piece after a great bounce-back effort in Game 2 on Friday night. They overcame a Game 1 drubbing and turned things around in Game 2, taking down the Penguins by a final score of 5-1.
The Flyers will look to build on that momentum with their home-ice advantage against the Penguins.
Here are the projected lines, pairings, and five things to watch for in Game 3 against the Penguins
The Flyers are coming home with a chance to take a series lead. They stole the Penguins’ home-ice advantage with a win in Game 2, and are looking to keep it that way with a win here on home ice.
Not only will the Flyers have their raucous fans into it, but Dave Hakstol will also be able to get most of the matchups that he wants. They have the last change as the home team and will look to take advantage of that.
The Flyers put some doubts into the minds of the Penguins with their performance in Game 2, and they can continue making a statement with a win in Game 3. They stymied the Penguins in Game 2, getting under their skins and keeping them to just one goal, and another game like that could go a long way.
If the Flyers play their game like they did on Friday night and don’t let the Penguins gain momentum, they could go into Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead.
Sticking with the balanced attack
Dave Hakstol was criticized after Game 1 for choosing to keep his lines the same in practice leading up to Game 2, but those doubters were silenced after a 5-1 win. The Flyers got contributions from up and down the lineup, with the top guys stepping up and the bottom-six chipping in as well. They were able to play their game, get shots from down low, and cycled the puck well while also getting chances off the rush.
They will continue to go with those same lines in Game 3. They have four solid lines that are mostly reliable. The top three lines all have players that scored in Game 2, and the fourth line had a few scoring chances once again.
It’s been said over and over again, but a balanced attack is crucial in the playoffs. The Flyers will look to continue their success in Game 3.
Projected forward lines
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Michael Raffl
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Jake Voracek
Travis Konecny – Valtteri Filppula – Wayne Simmonds
Scott Laughton – Jori Lehtera – Matt Read
Healthy Scratch: Taylor Leier, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise
Keep stepping up
The Flyers defensemen played well in Game 2 after a poor effort in Game 1. It was a much better team effort and they were a big part of that.
After a Game 1 that saw the Penguins shooting from the slot at will, the Flyers did a great job of limiting their chances. They kept Pittsburgh to the outside and only allowed a handful of high-quality chances.
They will need the defensemen to keep playing well and stymy the Penguins’ deep offense.
Projected defensive pairs
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Healthy Scratch: Robert Hägg
Injured: Johnny Oduya
Elliott grabbing the series by the horns
There were a lot of doubts surrounding Brian Elliott and the Flyers’ goaltending after an embarrassing Game 1 loss, but Elliott came up with a huge effort in Game 2.
Elliott won his first playoff game in over two years on Friday night to get his confidence back. We’ve seen him get hot earlier in the season to keep the Flyers in a lot of games, and he can do that here in the playoffs as well.
Puck drop for Game 3 is set for 3:00 p.m. in South Philadelphia.
(Photo by Heather Barry/Sons of Penn)
Sons of Penn Radio
Make sure you rate and subscribe to SOP Radio on iTunes or follow on SoundCloud!
Be sure to follow Ryan Gilbert and Sons of Penn on Twitter and Facebook for analysis, insight, GIFs and more regarding your Philadelphia Flyers.
Join us on our Facebook pages to connect with us and continue the discussion. We can be found at Sons of Penn and The Orange Update. Until next time, friends.