Hyping for this Saturday NHL match between Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning? This pregame review and prediction is perfect for you.
Prepare for an exciting afternoon this Saturday as the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning will meet in an NHL action to wrap up Eastern Conference round-robin playoff seeding tournament.
Things are gonna be straightforward this Saturday: The winner becomes Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs and the loser gets No. 2. – competition cannot get more intense than this.
How about the odds and predictions? Find right out in this pre-game preview.
Flyers vs. Lightning NHL Playoff Pregame Previews
Again, the upcoming match will be one of the most intense games for both of the teams. The Flyers has been gearing up quite well with impressive victories. They plowed through Washington and Boston with a 7-2 lead – two of the top-three teams in the Eastern Conference – and that’s only in their first two round-robin games! This round-robin affair in Toronto will be the perfect chance for Philadelphia to take advantage of their fired-up engines.
For Tampa Bay, this matchup will be a home game, which means a huge advantage. The records also stand high for The Lightning. This season, they have had two matches with the Flyers. For those games, Tampa Bay Lightning struck a 2-0, winning 1-0 in Philadelphia on Jan. 11 and 5-3 in Tampa on Feb. 15. For this 3rd matchup, it is likely that they will also spare no mercy, just like the last times.
Flyers in for a victory towards No. 1 seed
Philly entered the round-robin as the No. 4 seed in the East but is now the conference’s hottest team. They are in really good shape after two greatly impressive victories over Boston and Washington – two of the three powerhouses of the season.
In Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Caps, they exhibited a stellar defensive performance where backup Brian Elliott stepped in for No. 1 netminder Carter Hart and delivered some top plays. Elliott made 16 saves out of 17 shots that Washington was able to blow at the goal of the Flyers.
For this Saturday round-robin, The Flyers are planning to turn to Carter Hart to welcome the Lightning. The 21-year-old has made his way into becoming one of the top goaltenders in the NHL in just his second season with Philadelphia Flyers. He stopped an overwhelming 34 of 35 shots in his only game since the NHL Restart and went 24-13-3 with a .914 save percentage during the regular season.
Although Hart lost to Tampa Bay both of the times in this regular season, he posted a respectable 2.61 GAA and .902 save percentage in those matchups. There will be no question that Hart will be there this Saturday to cause the Lightning some serious problems.
Lightning in high hopes after the win vs. Bruins
The Tampa Bay Lightning will play this Saturday game with all seriousness as they are locking their eyes tightly on the top seed.
The Lightning have won each of their first two round-robin games taking down the Boston Bruins 3-2 last Wednesday by a final score of 3-2. Judging from their last battle with Washington, Tampa Bay’s lineup will be a reason for fans to be excited about their Saturday performance. Andrei Vasilveskiy dished out another strong play between the pipes by stopping 25 out of 27 shots. Tyler Johnson scored with 1:27 left to break a 2-2 tie. Brayden Point and Alex Killorn also both goaled to help the Lightning remain unbeatable on neutral ice in Toronto.
Another reason for the Lightning to be confident? Netminder Vasilevskiy. The man is expected to be between the pipes for Tampa Bay this coming game. His performance had been stellar and that is exactly why Tampa Bay fans can believe in a glorious victory this Saturday. The man finished the regular season with a stunning 35-14-3 overall record to go along with a 2.56 GAA and .917 save percentage in 52 starts. During the regular season, the 26-year-old netminder has had two matchups against Philadelphia and was both victorious. Want more concrete support for Lightning? Vasilevskiy has got 10 career meetups with the Flyers, going 8-2-0 with a .927 save percentage.
However, Tampa Bay is in for some resource problems as they have to continue the round-robin without star forward Steven Stamkos. Head coach Jon Cooper decided to sideline Stamkos for the team’s Saturday game versus the Flyers as he is still in the recovery phase from a lower-body injury suffered during the team’s Phase 2 matches. The 30-year-old was in the middle of another good season before the injury, scoring 66 points and 29 goals in 57 games this year.
- 10w – 1l in their last 11 games following a win
- 7w – 1l in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record
- 5w-2l in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite.
- 37-16-4 in the last 57 games versus Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa Bay Lightning
- 5w-0l in their last 5 games following a win
- 15w-5l in their last 20 games against a team with a winning record
- 106w-50l in their last 156 games with the Flyers
Predictions: Philadelphia Flyers for the No. 1 seed
Philadelphia Flyers are in a really good spirit and is arguably one of the best teams in the NHL before the season shuts down. Star goalie Carter Hart has never beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning but with the Flyers locking their targets on the No. 1 position, this Saturday game seems like a good time for the man to make that happen. Philadelphia got serious values as the underdog in this matchup. For all those reasons, expect the Flyers to come out on top in this round-robin affair.