The Flyers (13-15-1) are just above the Lightning (12-15-1) in the standings, but they are both below the eighth seed. If they both stay in these positions, neither will see a playoff run.
Since both teams are doing so poorly and are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, Monday’s game is going to be an interesting one. The Flyers and the Lightning are on an equal ground, which means that they are both going to be fighting hard to get a win at the end.
The Flyers last met the Lightning on Feb. 5 and won 2-1, but were routed 5-2 in an earlier game on Jan. 27. Considering that, Monday night’s game could really go either way.
Philadelphia has built up some momentum from the team’s shootout victory over New Jersey Devils on Friday and the Flyers are hoping it will carry over to Monday’s game. The Lightning will definitely have to be on the lookout for Max Talbot, who scored the only regulation goal for the Flyers in Friday’s game.
Talbot is not the only player that will have a target on his back in Tampa Bay. Veteran defensemen Kimmo Timonen will be turning 38 and playing in his 1,000 milestone game. Timonen will be especially be looking to score in this game.
The Lightning will also need to be on the watch for Flyers’ top goal scorer Jakub Voracek. Voracek was oddly absent in Friday’s game, but has gained a point in nearly every Flyers game since the season opened. He seems to be the only Flyers player who can right now.
For the Flyers, they need to keep in mind that although the Lightning are not doing that well, they still have the league leader in goals on their team. Steve Stamkos already has 20 goals this season, but the Flyers can’t forget about Martin St. Louis, who is second in the league with 30 assists. Stamkos and St. Louis will be looking to break down the Flyers’ crumbling defense to get past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov needs to be on top of the puck in this game if the Flyers really want to get their playoff push going.
Let’s go Flyers! Deanna Vasso is a Flyers writer for rantsports.com, you can follow her on twitter @dmvasso.