Preds roll into Philadelphia today to take on the Flyers for the first time this season. Preds are coming off of a recent scoring drought as the Flyers are currently in their own scoring drought. Preds ended the scoreless streak and stole the Win from Buffalo with a score of 3-2. There are not many games where you see the shot clock in favor of the opposing team and still coming away with the win, but the Preds were able to create some good shots and were able to generate.
Preds recall Colton Sissons from the Admirals due to another injury from Goose (Gaustad). Sissons could take on Goose's role with the 4th line, pairing up with Nystrom and Watson. Sissons has 1 goal in 5 games earlier this year.
My opinion, the 3 keys for the Preds this afternoon would be...
1: Keep applying pressure along all the 4 lines, not just relying on the Great Wall of Pekka and our Defense. Our forwards have to step up and keep the puck out of our zone and away from Pekks.
2: Create as much traffic as possible in front of the Flyers goaltender. Block his line of sight. We don't need "sexy" goals we just need to knock them in as we've seen Mike Fisher do several times swatting at the puck 5 or six times until it sinks into the net.
3: I would like to see the Preds set up Forsberg and Wilson in the Flyers zone. Forsberg is a set-up kind of guy. As amazing as he is running with the puck, he can't do it alone. Create some behind the net passes or some tic-tac-toe passes moving the Flyers goaltender back and forth and wait for the shot. The more the goalie moves, the more opportunities they have.
As far as Preds goaltending goes, I'd like to see the Preds play Carter Hutton and then put Pekka in the pipes on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres at home since they already know how Hutton plays. Hutts played a good game against Buffalo the other night and I think it's vital to keep that positivity going in his mind.
I believe the Preds could come away with the Win again tonight, it's just a matter of slowing down our game and creating the opportunities. I think we need to shoot the puck as much as possible to wear out the Flyers defensive core and waiting for the rebounds to come, and they WILL come as long as there is traffic in front of the net.
Let's come back to #smashville with 2 wins and end this roadtrip on a positive note.