Flyers Storylines: How long will streak last?

Flyers Storylines: How long will streak last?

Flyers streaking behind offense, goaltending

November 24, 2013, 3:00 pm
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The Flyers have earned at least one point in each of their last seven games. (USA Today Images)

The Flyers have earned at least one point in seven consecutive games, but how long can they keep that streak alive?

Since an embarrassing 3-0 shutout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 7, the Flyers have gone 6-0-1 and have averaged 3.86 goals per game.

That's a far cry from the team that got off to the worst start in franchise history and averaged just 1.47 goals per game through the first 15 contests.

Now, a busy week awaits the Flyers. They have two games in Florida on Monday (Panthers) and Wednesday (Lightning) before they host the Jets on Friday and travel to Nashville for a matchup with the Predators on Saturday.

The Flyers have some very winnable games this week and yet another chance to pile up some points. With that in mind, here are a few other storylines we'll be following:

Lecavalier's return to Tampa
Wednesday's matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning will be an emotional one for Flyers center Vinny Lecavalier.

Lecavalier will suit up against the team that drafted him with the first-overall pick in 1998 for the first time in his NHL career when the puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The 33-year-old spent 14 seasons with the Lightning, registering 383 goals and 491 assists in 1,037 games.

Lecavalier also served as team captain in Tampa two separate times (2000-01, 2008-2013) and helped the club to its first and only Stanley Cup championship in the 2003-04 season.

The Flyers signed Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract on July 2, less than a week after he was bought out by the Lightning. He's already made an impact with the orange and black as he is tied with Matt Read for the team-lead in goals with eight this season.

Third line clicking
A few weeks ago, head coach Craig Berube was switching up the Flyers' lines almost every game in hopes to find some chemistry in an anemic offense.

Berube may have struck gold when he placed wingers Steve Downie and Read on the third line with shutdown center Sean Couturier. Over the past three games, the trio have combined for five goals and eight assists and have been flat-out fun to watch.

Whenever the Couturier-Read-Downie line is on the ice, you notice. They're winning almost every puck battle, sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and constantly throwing their bodies around. Even better, they've been shutting down the opposition's top lines.

Couturier, Read and Downie have all the makings of being a solid line for the Flyers the rest of the season. Couturier has the potential to be a solid two-way center, Read has proven he can score goals and Downie is a high-energy guy who can rack up points.

If the Flyers can continue to get this type of play out of their third line, they will have no problem climbing their way towards to top of a very weak Metropolitan Division.

Power switch
Believe it or not, the Flyers have actually become somewhat of a threat on the man advantage.

Claude Giroux registered the Flyers' seventh power-play marker in their last six games when he beat Kevin Poulin in the second period of Saturday's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders.

The power play was an area of weakness for the Flyers in the early going, but the team has been getting better looks, moving the puck with more ease and getting quality chances while a man up over the past two weeks. They've netted a PP goal in each of their last six games.

Players to watch for
Florida: He hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoresheets this season, but second-year forward Jonathan Huberdeau has scary offensive potential. The 20-year-old has also had some success against the Flyers, collecting two goals and two assists in four games. Keep an eye on No. 11 on Monday.

Tampa: With Steven Stamkos out of the lineup for awhile with a leg injury, the Lightning need to find scoring elsewhere. One player they hope will contribute reguarly is former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula. The centerman, who signed with Tampa in the offseason, got off to a great start but has slowed down. He has just three goals and one assist in his last eight games.

Winnipeg: Dustin Byfuglien has been on a tear since his two-goal performance against the Flyers on Nov. 15. The towering defenseman has five tallies and two helpers in his last five games. He's always a threat to jump up on the rush, as the Flyers learned in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Jets, so the Flyers should pay closer attention to the 6-5, 265-pounder on Friday.

Nashville: The Flyers will get their first look at defenseman Seth Jones on Saturday. Jones slid to the fourth-overall pick in the 2013 draft and the Predators jumped on the opportunity to select him. In 23 games this season, he's registered three goals and six assists. He's made some rookie mistakes, as expected, but is looking to improve his minus-7 rating.