NHL Game Preview - Maple Leafs v Flyers

 
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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, December 3, 2019
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 15,811

Streaking Flyers to host hot Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers

  1. The teams split a pair of shootout decisions last month, with each team winning on the other's home ice. Last season, the home team won all three games in the series, outscoring the visitors by a combined 17-10. The year prior, Philadelphia swept the three-game season series, with one win coming in OT.
  2. Toronto is 4-1-0 since Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock as the team's head coach, scoring 20 goals and allowing 11, and killing nine of 10 opponent power plays. In the Leafs' last five games under Babcock, they were 0-5-0, were outscored 24-13, and yielded six goals in 13 times shorthanded.
  3. The Flyers have won four straight games -- three one-goal victories and a 6-1 rout of the Red Wings on Friday. Philadelphia earned its 15th victory on November 30 at Montreal, in its 27th game; last year's team needed 35 games to get win No. 15, reaching that mark on December 23.
  4. In the Maple Leafs' five games under Sheldon Keefe, John Tavares leads the club in goals (four) and points (six) -- all of them coming in the last three contests. Tavares went four straight games without a point between November 16 and November 23.
  5. Ivan Provorov won Saturday afternoon's game in Montreal with the first overtime goal of his four-year career. It was his sixth goal this season, one shy of Provorov's total from the entire 2018-19 campaign. He has six point in his last eight games and is a plus-5 in the team's last two contests.
  6. In November 2018, the Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall two days after a 6-0 loss at Toronto. Less than a month later, head coach Dave Hakstol was also dismissed; Hakstol now serves as a Maple Leafs assistant.

The red-hot Philadelphia Flyers will look for their fifth straight victory when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

The Flyers took at least one point in 14 of 16 games (10-2-4) in November with a league-best 10 victories.

Philadelphia extended its winning streak in spectacular fashion when defenseman Ivan Provorov scored just 31 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 win on the road against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon.

The Flyers improved to 15-7-5 under first-year head coach Alain Vigneault. It's the first time since the 1995-96 season that the Flyers will enter December with at least 35 points.

"Our whole bench was yelling that it was a forward playing defense as Provorov went down," said Travis Konecny, who scored one of their three goals in regulation. "It's not surprising because he did that in junior a lot. He has a lot of skill."

The Flyers have been winning and recording points in a wide variety of ways. They were being outshot 42-28 by Montreal before Provorov struck with a dazzling move on the 29th shot.

Philadelphia will now carry its momentum back home against the Maple Leafs.

"There are no easy games in this league," Vigneault said. "You've got to battle. You've got to earn your way."

Forward Sean Couturier continues to be one of Philadelphia's most steady and dependable players. Couturier has eight goals and 13 assists this season, with his 21 points ranking second on the team.

"I just try to play the right way," Couturier said. "I just try to adjust to each guy and each time, and try to use their strength and control the puck possession time."

It's unclear if second-year goaltender Carter Hart (2.57 goals-against average) or backup Brian Elliott (2.87 GAA) will start against Toronto.

Like the Flyers, the Maple Leafs will also be entering this matchup following an overtime win. Captain John Tavares scored the game-winning goal 1:45 into overtime as the Maple Leafs edged the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, on Saturday.

It was the 10th goal of the season for Tavares and helped Toronto to its fourth win in five games. Tavares also recorded the assist on Toronto's other goal by William Nylander, who also has 10 goals.

The Maple Leafs wouldn't have been in position to win without the stellar goaltending of Frederik Andersen, who made 29 saves.

"He gave us a chance to win, especially in the third period, where we had to defend," Tavares said of Andersen. "He made some big saves, even at the end of the second (period), too. That's why he's one of the best goalies in the league."

Sheldon Keefe has won four of five since replacing head coach Mike Babcock, who was fired on Nov. 20.

"It's pretty special for sure," Keefe said. "I haven't had a whole lot of time to step back, you've been so busy trying to get up to speed. ... I see it as a great opportunity. You're doing your way every day knowing there are a lot of people counting on you and a lot who care about what you're doing."

Toronto beat Philadelphia 4-3 in an epic 11-round shootout on Nov. 2, finally won when Andreas Johnsson beat Elliott. The Flyers rebounded for a 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs the following week.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 2, 2019

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