Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators Pick & Prediction MARCH 2nd 2024

The Philadelphia Flyers are hanging onto a playoff position, but that grasp is tenuous as they return home to face the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

The Flyers sit third in the Metropolitan Division, but thanks to a 5-2 road loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday, their buffer has been cut. The Capitals are four points in arrears but have two games in hand.

Philadelphia has lost three of four games and has claimed only two wins in seven outings (2-4-1).

“These are big points we can’t be throwing away,” said Flyers forward Owen Tippett said, who had a goal and an assist in the latest setback.

Granted, Philadelphia has been without leading goal-scorer and point-producer Travis Konecny the past four games. It’s possible he could return to oppose Ottawa.

Against Washington, the Flyers held a 2-0 lead after the first period before surrendering five unanswered goals.

“It was a wasted opportunity to move up in the standings,” Philadelphia captain Sean Couturier said. “It’s too bad, but we’re still right there and have to think about (Saturday), forget about this one, and get two points.”

The Flyers have been something of a surprise squad this season after missing the playoffs the previous three seasons. The focus will be on not panicking amid the swoon.

“It’s a little frustrating, not going to lie. These last couple games, especially last weekend, there’s another opportunity to gap ourselves from the pack and we haven’t,” Couturier said. “But we play again (Saturday) and it’s behind us. We’re in a great spot.”

The Senators are kicking off a four-game road trip that includes clashes with all three California teams. They arrive in Philadelphia after a disappointing 5-3 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

The Senators found themselves in a three-goal deficit less than 16 minutes into the clash, drew even by the end of the second period, but were left in the dust by a Coyotes team that won for the first time since Jan. 22. Arizona ended a 14-game skid (0-12-2).

“We have to be ready from the start,” said Ottawa forward Tim Stutzle, who collected two assists in the loss. “We’ve played some good hockey before and we haven’t been playing good. We just have to get back to playing the way we play.”

Ottawa, which is 17 points outside a playoff position and all but mathematically eliminated with 24 games remaining, has been outscored 15-6 during a three-game losing streak.

“We’re fighting back too much lately,” said Senators forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who very well could be traded away before the March 8 deadline. “We need to find a way to start games better and on time. Some nights, you’re able to fight back, but it’s not going to work every time.”

The news was even worse beyond the loss. One day after the Senators announced that center Josh Norris was placed on long-term injured reserve, captain Brady Tkachuk left the game late in the third period after a collision with Arizona’s Liam O’Brien.

Also, just before puck drop, expected starting goaltender Joonas Korpisalo came down with an illness, which pressed Anton Forsberg to play against the Coyotes. If Korpisalo is not well enough to face the Flyers, the Senators likely will turn to third-stringer Mads Sogaard.

–Field Level Media

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