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Preview: Philly Finale

The longest road trip of the year thus far ends in the City of Brotherly Love.

Colorado Avalanche v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

One final game on this five-game road trip for the Colorado Avalanche is on tap with an early matinee affair with the Philadelphia Flyers. Currently at 2-2 record away from home this time around, the Avs look to end the trip above .500.

However, this is far from a pushover matchup. Philadelphia took the first game against these two 5-2 in Ball Arena in December. We’ll let our friends at Broad Street Hockey describe the Flyers at the moment.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs head into Philly off the back of a disappointing 5-2 loss against the Boston Bruins. A David Pastrnak hat trick, plus falling behind early due to their own mistakes did not help their cause in a comeback effort which fell short.

We’ve seen Colorado do this time and time again - recently with success. But, this can’t be the strategy moving forward down the final stretch of the season quickly approaching. Regardless, it has been good to see some fight within the team, even shorthanded.

They may get some help, with Artturi Lehkonen waiting in the wings for his return from a neck injury he suffered in November against the Seattle Kraken, along with Bowen Byram. If both are unable to go in this one, expect both to return next game at home against the Washington Capitals. Can Colorado end the road trip on a high?

Projected Lineup

Jonathan Drouin (27) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Ross Colton (20) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Miles Wood (28) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Joel Kiviranta (94)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Frederik Olofsson (22) - Jason Polin (41)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Sam Girard (49) - Bowen Byram (4)
Jack Johnson (3) - Josh Manson (42)

NOTE: If Byram and/or Lehkonen aren’t going, expect Sam Malinski and Kurtis MacDermid to slot in respectively as they have done recently.

Philadelphia Flyers

As mentioned earlier, the Flyers are an absolute wagon at the moment. They have been the surprise of the Eastern Conference and arguably in the entire NHL with their success, most recently dominating the Dallas Stars 5-1 Thursday night.

It’s all part of their current five-game winning streak, their last four against Central Division opponents. It has propelled them up to second in the Metropolitan Division, two points shy of the New York Rangers.

This matchup is the first of a back-to-back for them, both on home ice. Hence, they will need to get consistent scoring up and down the lineup as they have recently. Will Owen Tippett pull off another spectacular move to win Philly’s sixth straight game?

Projected Lineup

Owen Tippett (74) - Sean Courtier (14) - Travis Konecny (11)
Joel Farabee (86) - Morgan Frost (48) - Cam Atkinson (89)
Tyson Foerster (71) - Scott Laughton (21) - Garnet Hathaway (19)
Ryan Poehling (25) - Noah Cates (27) - Bobby Brink (10)

Travis Sanheim (6) - Jamie Drysdale (9)
Nick Seeler (24) - Sean Walker (26)
Cam York (8) - Rasmus Ristolainen (55)

Goaltenders

With the Avalanche sending Justus Annunen back down to the Colorado Eagles, we should see Alexandar Georgiev in net with Ivan Prosvetov backing him up. For the Flyers, their usual No. 1 Carter Hart should get the nod in the first of this back-to-back.