Red Wings, Flyers bring similar resumes into matchup
PHILADELPHIA — Through 33 games, the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers look like spitting images of each other.
Both teams got off to promising starts (the Red Wings won four of their first five; the Flyers won four of their first six) only to endure lengthy losing streaks (the Red Wings had skids of six and seven games; the Flyers dropped 10 in a row).
On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the Red Wings (13-13-7) will look to win its second road game in as many nights and the Flyers (14-12-7) will try to close out a successful homestand with a win.
The Red Wings are coming off a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. It was fueled by third-period goals from veteran defensemen Trevor Daley and Mike Green and three assists each from Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin, along with a 34-save effort from Petr Mrazek.
Detroit lost 10 of 11 before snapping off back-to-back wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Islanders. They are looking to put together their first three-game win streak of the season.
“The times are tough and our leader stepped up,” Larkin told reporters of Zetterberg, who has six assists in his past three games.
The Red Wings were outshot 37-22 by the Islanders and allowed two power-play goal but pulled through in the third period.
Six different players found the back of the net for the Red Wings, including Anthony Mantha, who was dropped to a fourth line after producing no points in six games.
Other goal scorers included Martin Frk, Gustav Nyquist and Luke Glendening.
The Red Wings are now 3-1-2 since a 10-1 loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 2.
“We found a way to stay in the game and in the third period we played pretty well,” Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen said.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are trying to avoid the reputation of being a streaky team, even though they followed an 0-5-5 stretch with a 6-0-0 run before losing to the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Monday.
“I think we’ve played really good hockey over the last 10 days or two weeks,” said Flyers right winger Jakub Voracek, who scored the lone goal on Monday. “We’ve just got to make sure we don’t get stuck on losing. We have to find a way to win on Wednesday and hopefully start another streak.”
With Michal Neuvirth (lower body injury) skating but not yet cleared for game action, look for Brian Elliott (12-7-6, 2.66 GAA, .913 SP) to make his ninth straight start.
Jimmy Howard (10-9-6, 2.83, .908) is expected to get the call for the Red Wings, who are 2-0-1 in the second half of back-to-back games this season.
Asked if Elliott feels capable of making a ninth consecutive start, he seemed to suggest he’d rather have it no other way.
“I mean, that’s not a question for me, that’s a question for the coach,” he said. “I will take the opportunity any time I get it.”