October 4, 2023

3 storylines as Flyers face winless Coyotes


Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Returning home from a quick three-game road trip, the Flyers host the winless Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Heres’ three storylines:

Returning home off a successful-trip

The Flyers went 2-1-0 on their western Canada road trip.

Carried by strong goaltending and some opportunistic goal scoring, the Flyers fought out to a 5-3 win in Edmonton last Wednesday and then to a 2-1 win in Vancouver despite getting into penalty trouble. On Saturday, a tired Flyers team played horribly in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Calgary Flames.

Following Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes, the Flyers go on the road to play archrival Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

“We haven’t talked about those two games,” captain Claude Giroux said. “We’re just worried about the next game coming up here.”

Gostisbehere returns

Shayne Gostisbehere has never played against the Flyers in his NHL career. The 2012 third-round draft pick came up with the organization and played six seasons in Philadelphia. He was traded to Arizona during July (along with a pair of 2022 draft picks) and the Flyers gained cap relief in return.

The push-the-pace, offensive-minded defenseman experienced success immediately when he started with the Flyers. He was a Calder Trophy runner-up in 2015-16 and scored 65 points in 2017-18.

Gostisbehere suffered knee injuries during the later years of his time with the Flyers. As a result, he became expendable with the Flyers’ objective of revamping their back end over the summer.

“I really like Shayne,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Monday. “He always gave you the best of himself. He had some real good moments with our team, he was real solid on the power play and real good on puck retrievals. But at some point, organizations have to make decisions. It’s part of the business. To free up a little bit of cap space, we had to make an adjustment, a move there in his case.

“But he was good to the Flyers, I hope that he remembers his time here as a good time and a positive time. Now he has moved on and he’s trying to make the best of it with Arizona.”

Among defensemen in Flyers history, Gostisbehere ranks fourth in goals with 60 and fifth in points with 219.

“I have a lot of good memories with Shayne here,” Claude Giroux said Monday. “We just hope he has a good season. It’s going to be weird to see him in another jersey.”

Gostisbehere leads the Coyotes in scoring with five points, all of which are assists.

On the Coyotes side

Arizona has heavily struggled. They’re the only team without a victory and owns the league-worst -26 goal differential.

The Coyotes are amid a difficult six-game road trip (0-4-0) with matchups against the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, Flyers, and the Anaheim Ducks.

Their last game was a 2-1 loss to the undefeated Hurricanes.

“We’ve got one job to do tonight and it’s to get the win, get two points,” Sean Couturier said Tuesday after morning skate. “We’ll have to be ready from the start. Their record doesn’t show the kind of team they are, they compete hard and they’ve been in some really tight matches against some really good teams. We’ve got to be ready from the start.”


When: 7:00pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

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