CHICAGO — Goalie Brian Elliott will make his fifth start in the last six games Wednesday night when the Flyers face skidding Chicago at the United Center.
It will be Elliott’s ninth start in the Flyers’ first 13 games. Michal Neuvirth, who has a 1-3 record, a 2.30 goals-against average, and 925 save percentage, has started the other four games.
Elliott is 5-2-1 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .884 save percentage. He is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Arizona.
In 18 career appearances against the Blackhawks, Elliott is 7-8-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
Corey Crawford (5-4, 2.12, .935) will get the nod for Chicago, which has lost three straight and five of its last six. Crawford has struggled in four career games against the Flyers, compiling a 1-3 record with a 3.51 GAA and .885 save percentage.
Expect to see Chicago’s top line — Jonathan Toews centering Richard Panik and Alex DeBrincat — matched up a lot against the Flyers’ sizzling No. 1 unit: Sean Couturier centering Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
Toews and his linemates have combined for nine goals and 21 points in 12 games.
Couturier and his linemates have combined for 17 goals and 45 points in 12 games.
The Flyers had only their extra players on the ice for the morning skate Wednesday, conserving their energy because they are playing three games in four nights. They play in St. Louis against Brayden Schenn and the Blues on Thursday.
Matt Read, Will O’Neill, and Neuvirth were the extras Wednesday morning.
Read had played the previous three games. He will be replaced tonight by Dale Weise, who had been a healthy scratch in those three games.
Based on Tuesday’s practice, Travis Konecny will move from the third to the second line, and Jordan Weal will drop down to the third line. Coach Dave Hakstol made that move in the second period of Monday’s loss to the Coyotes.
Chicago has received more scoring balance throughout its lineup than the Flyers.
Here are the teams’ lines and their production this season:
- Couturier centering Giroux and Voracek (17 goals, 45 points).
- Val Filppula centering Konecny and Wayne Simmonds (13 goals, 23 points).
- Jori Lehtera centering Weise and Weal (3 goals, 8 points).
- Scott Laughton centering Taylor Leier and Michael Raffl (2 goals, 6 points).
- Toews centering DeBrincat and Panik (9 goals, 21 points).
- Nick Schmaltz centering Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane (14 goals, 26 points).
- Artem Anisimov centering Patrick Sharp and John Hayden (6 goals, 13 points).
- Tommy Wingels centering Lance Bouma and Ryan Hartman (6 goals, 17 points).
In five-on-five play, the Flyers have outscored opponents, 23-20, while Chicago has a 27-21 advantage….The Flyers’ power play is clicking at 23.3 percent (eighth in the NHL), while the Blackhawks have converted just 12.7 percent (28th) of their chances…..The Hawks’ penalty kill is ranked 13th with an 82.4 percent success rate, and the Flyers are ranked 23rd (79.1 percent)….Simmonds will play in his 700th career game tonight.