Can Flyers start to find last season's form, make contenders sweat?


Following Monday's trade deadline, the Flyers will push forward with 15 games left in their 2020-21 season.

The stretch begins Tuesday night when the Flyers (19-16-6) visit the Capitals (27-11-4).

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: Capital One Arena
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Last season, from Jan. 8 to when the NHL had to suspend the 2019-20 campaign in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Flyers had gone 19-6-1. The regular season was deemed complete when the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament began in the summer. The Flyers finished the regular season as a top-six club and had the NHL's fourth-best goal differential at plus-36.

The Flyers had many believing last season with their body of work from Jan. 8 to the stoppage. 

But after coming a game away from the Eastern Conference Final in the playoffs, the Flyers found themselves selling off pieces and not adding at the 2021 trade deadline Monday. They have taken a perplexing step backward in 2020-21 and the odds are stacked against them in their push for the playoffs. The focus at deadline had become next season.

Just ahead of the deadline, Scott Laughton was signed for five more seasons in Philadelphia. He was a popular player on the trade market. Ultimately, though, Laughton wanted to be here and the Flyers wanted him here for many reasons. General manager Chuck Fletcher called Laughton "part of the solution for us going forward."

He'll be an important piece as the Flyers evaluate their holes and aim for a rebound in 2021-22.

“Last year, I mean, we played some of our best hockey — probably our best hockey since I’ve been here," Laughton said Tuesday. "We have a really good group of guys, a lot of young guys coming up. [Joel] Farabee has made huge progress and we still have some guys down in the minors that can do it. We had a really good year last year and COVID hits and we kind of haven’t been the same. I really do believe we are close. I know the results don’t show it this year and some of the times the way we’ve been playing, but I believe in this group, I want to be here and bring a Cup back to Philly."

• An intriguing aspect moving forward is the Flyers can offer opportunities to younger players who are pushing for jobs next season — and do so in meaningful games. The Flyers are still in the East Division race, which creates an optimal stage for evaluation.

The Flyers are four points back of the Bruins, who hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. Boston loaded up at the deadline and has two games in hand on the Flyers. The Bruins also have a favorable schedule down the stretch with six more matchups against the Sabres and two with the Devils.

The Flyers could make things interesting for a few teams, including the Capitals. Washington is in first place via a tiebreaker and has four more matchups with the Flyers.

• Michael Raffl, who was traded to the Capitals on Monday, is a bit banged up, so Washington won't ask him to jump into action yet.

Projected lineup



James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee

Jakub Voracek-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny

Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Nolan Patrick

Oskar Lindblom-Tanner Laczynski-Nicolas Aube-Kubel


Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Robert Hagg

Samuel Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere


Brian Elliott

Carter Hart

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