Defensemen Phil Myers and Samuel Morin are the latest Flyers battling flu-like symptoms, and Myers will be missing from the lineup Tuesday night against visiting Montreal.
Morin would have been a healthy scratch even if healthy.
Ryan Hartman and Claude Giroux have also battled the flu recently.
Myers (two points, plus-3 in 13 games) will be replaced by Andrew MacDonald, who has been in and out of the lineup the last three weeks and has been a healthy scratch in five of the last nine games.
“You just have to be ready when they call your name and get extra work in on the ice,” said MacDonald, who has nine points, all assists, and a minus-4 rating in 46 games. “Just be prepared and stay mentally ready.”
Carter Hart will be in the nets Tuesday and will be trying to avenge a 5-1 loss in Montreal on Feb. 21. Hart allowed three goals on nine shots and was removed from that game midway through the opening period.
“They just outskated us in the first period. I think that game was over after the first,” right winger Jake Voracek said. “I don’t think we had much energy. Just a bad game from us.”
MacDonald said the Flyers “did a poor job of managing pucks in that game. We had a lot of turnovers. They skate hard and they’re quick team. For us, we have to have clean exits and get into their zone. I think, defensively, we might be able to expose them a bit if we can keep them in their zone.”
“We need a better start,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “They come out pretty hot and they make big plays. The first game in Montreal that we beat them, they came out hot and we weathered the storm.”
In that game, Hart was the difference as he made 33 saves – including 12 in a Montreal-dominated first period – in a Flyers’ 5-2 victory. Nolan Patrick (two goals), Travis Konecny (goal, assist), and Gostisbehere (two assists) keyed the attack.
Gordon believes the Flyers’ chances of making the playoffs are much higher than the 2.6 percent given by Sports Club Stats. “It’s all contingent on everything remaining the same,” he said of those odds, “and it doesn’t factor in that teams can go on three or four-game losing streaks – and that dramatically changes how it can go.”
With 10 games left, the Flyers are six points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot, and the Canadiens are three points behind the Blue Jackets.
Columbus plays at Calgary on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Hart (14-9-1, 2.76 GAA, .918 save percentage) will face the goalie he idolized growing up, Carey Price, who made 29 saves in the 5-1 win Feb. 21. Price is 29-22-5 with a 2.57 GAA and .915 save percentage.
In his career against the Flyers, Price, 31, is 14-11-1 with a 2.58 GAA and .917 save percentage.
Hart has a 1-1 record with a 4.25 GAA and .886 save percentage in two career games against the Habs.