What to watch in Flyers’ season finale
Playing their final game of the 2020-21 season, the 24-23-8 Philadelphia Flyers are home on Monday to take on the 19-23-7 New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers annual team awards will be presented before the game. Monday night is also Military Appreciation Night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Here’s what to watch:
A season finale
With the 2021-22 NHL regular season slated to start in late October — just a couple weeks behind the usual early October start — Monday night’s game will be the last for the Flyers (excluding the 2021-22 preseason) for the next five-plus months. It could be the final game as a Flyer for multiple players on the roster. Just how many remains to be seen.
There are only two ways that an NHL team can win its final game before the offseason. One is to win the Stanley Cup, the other is the cold comfort of winning the final regular season game while failing to qualify for the playoffs. The only “prize” if the Flyers win tonight will be to finish above .500 in points percentage, not much of an inspirational goal.
History vs. Devils and a look in for Monday night
The Flyers are 3-4-0 against the Devils in the season series this season. A week ago, the Flyers played four straight games against the Devils, winning the first one via shootout in comeback fashion. and then losing the next three in regulation. New Jersey snapped a 10-game winless streak (0-9-1) against the Flyers’ in the second game.
Head-to-head against New Jersey this season, Jakub Voracek leads the team in scoring across the seven games played to date. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier share the team lead in goals. As with Giroux, James van Riemsdyk has posted seven points against the Devils this season.
For the Flyers, Joel Farabee needs a two-goal game to hit the 20-goal mark for the season. Oskar Lindblom needs a two-goal game to reach double-digit goals (all at even strength, unless he were to unexpectedly get power play time and score). Nolan Patrick has been stuck on nine points for the season since April 27 and at four goals since March 27.
Brian Elliott will get the start in goal for the finale. Lyon will be the backup.
Shayne Gostisbehere has completed the two-game suspension the NHL imposed for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Mark Friedman after the ex-Flyer scored an empty net goal in last Tuesday’s game. Gostisbehere is eligible to return for the season finale Monday.
The Flyers held a final morning skate in Voorhees Monday. Head coach Alain Vigneault will go over the lineup with the media at 4:30 P.M. E.S.T.
28 Claude Giroux -14 Sean Couturier – 11 Travis Konecny
86 Joel Farabee – 13 Kevin Hayes – 93 Jakub Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk – 21 Scott Laughton – 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
23 Oskar Lindblom – 19 Nolan Patrick – 57 Wade Allison
9 Ivan Provorov – 6 Travis Sanheim
45 Cam York – 61 Justin Braun
55 Samuel Morin – 5 Phil Myers
53 Shayne Gostisbehere (eligible to return, could replace one of Saturday’s starters)
37 Brian Elliott
[34 Alex Lyon]
PP1: Giroux, Couturier, Allison, Voracek, York
PP2: Hayes, Farabee, JVR, Konecny, Provorov
Scratches: 8 Robert Hägg (healthy), 59 Jackson Cates (healthy), 79 Carter Hart (MCL sprain, out for the remainder of the season).
NHL suspension: Shayne Gostisbehere (suspension completed, lineup spot TBD).
Injured reserve: 48 Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery), 58 Tanner Laczynski (hip surgery).
COVID-19 protocol: None.
59 Janne Kuokkanen – 86 Jack Hughes – 17 Yegor Sharangovich
37 Pavel Zacha – 13 Nico Hischier — 63 Jesper Bratt
44 Miles Wood (if available) – 20 Michael McLeod – 14 Nathan Bastian
25 Nolan Foote – 90 Jesper Boqvist – 11 Andreas Johnsson
22 Ryan Murray – 28 Damon Severson
8 Will Butcher – 71 Jonas Siegenthaler
88 Kevin Bahl – 7 Matt Tennyson
29 Mackenzie Blackwood
[41 Scott Wedgewood]
PP1: Hischier, Zacha, Hughes, Bratt, Butcher
PP2: Kuokkanen, Sharangovich, Wood (?), Johnsson, Severson
Injuries:5 Connor Carrick (healthy), 12 Tyce Thompson (healthy), 23 Mikhail Maltsev (lower-body injury), 24 Ty Smith (upper body), 39 Nick Merkley (healthy), 47 Aaron Dell (healthy).
COVID-19 protocol: 76 P.K. Subban.
When: 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram.