Preview: Red Wings at Flyers
After recording a road win in regulation that was nearly 14 years in the making, the Philadelphia Flyers aim to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from ending a longer stretch of futility on Friday. The Flyers won both games against the Red Wings in Philadelphia last season to improve their home record to 15-0-1 in the series since getting swept Detroit in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.
Captain Claude Giroux scored a go-ahead power-play goal late in the second period of the Flyers' 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday, marking their first regulation win in Columbus since a 3-1 triumph on Dec. 13, 2005. While it ended that skid, Philadelphia has recorded at least a point in nine consecutive contests at home (5-0-4) -- its longest since a 10-game winning streak from Nov. 9, 2013-Jan. 8, 2014. Unfortunately for the reeling Red Wings, their streak is headed in the other direction as they have lost seven in a row (0-5-2) and have been shut out in consecutive contests for the first time since Jan. 12-16, 2004. "I don't know how much further rock bottom is, but it's gotta be pretty close so we gotta find a way to play a simple game and keep pushing forward," forward Luke Glendening said after Detroit's 6-0 shellacking by Toronto on Wednesday.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FS Detroit, NBCS Philadelphia
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (7-17-3): Goaltender Calvin Pickard is expected to face his former team after being summoned from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Thursday, one day after Jimmy Howard sustained a lower-body injury midway into the first period against the Maple Leafs. Howard gingerly skated off the ice and was replaced by Jonathan Bernier, who gamely played the rest despite being under the weather. The 27-year-old Pickard, who is his first season with the organization, has posted a 7-6-2 record with a 3.00 goals-against average and .898 save percentage in 15 appearances with the Griffins.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (13-7-5): James van Riemsdyk has struggled mightily this season, with his troubles resulting in a demotion to the fourth line just under 17 months after receiving a five-year, $35 million contract. "Obviously, I'm here to produce and score goals," the 30-year-old van Riemsdyk said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "When things aren't going in, I think there are things you can focus on. For me, focus on being good on the walls, don't turn pucks over, be a plus player. I think I've been doing all those things. You just continue to stick with it." Van Riemsdyk, who has just four goals this season, collected three points (one goal, two assists) in three meetings against Detroit in 2018-19.
1. Philadelphia has recorded at least a point in four consecutive contests (3-0-1) and in 12 of 14 games in November (8-2-4).
2. Detroit C Robby Fabbri has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his first 10 games with his new team after mustering just one goal in his first nine with St. Louis.
3. Flyers G Carter Hart, who will get the nod on Friday, sports a 5-1-2 record with a 1.60 goals-against average and .938 save percentage at home.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 2, Flyers 1