Flyers and Hakstol-led Kraken set for first-ever matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
As the Flyers look to pick up their first win of the 2021-22 regular season, they'll try to do so in their first-ever game against the Dave Hakstol-led Seattle Kraken.
The Flyers (0-0-1) continue their season-opening four-game homestand Monday night when they host the expansion Kraken (1-1-1).
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: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers are playing their second game of the season after losing their season opener last Friday to the Canucks, 5-4, in a shootout.
The Kraken are playing their fourth game ever. Seattle, the NHL's newest club, is amid a franchise-opening five-game road trip. The Kraken have played three one-goal games with a 4-3 loss to the Golden Knights, a 4-3 win over the Predators and 2-1 overtime defeat to the Blue Jackets.
"We’ve watched their games, they work extremely hard," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Monday after morning skate. "When they don’t have the puck, they protect the middle of the ice and they protect the front of their net. All their games have been real tight, they’ve all been one-goal games. It’s going to be another battle tonight."
The Flyers are much more focused on themselves. They have many new faces and are trying to build a positive start to a season in which they're vying for a return to the playoffs. The Flyers haven't lost their first two games in a season since 2015-16, which ironically was Hakstol's first year behind the club's bench. That Flyers team was 0-1-1 through two games and clinched a playoff berth on Game 81 of the season.
“You approach it the same way," Nate Thompson said. "They’re a team in the National Hockey League, they’re all National Hockey League players. You have to approach it the same way, prepare the same way and know that they’re going to come out with their best game. They’re a new team, a few of the games they’ve played, I’ve watched a little bit of them and they played well. We have to be ready tonight.”
• Hakstol returns to Philadelphia for the first time as an NHL head coach. Over the previous two NHL seasons, Hakstol was an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs. He was back at the Wells Fargo Center in 2019-20.
The 53-year-old coached the Flyers for parts of four seasons before being fired in December 2018. Hakstol has coached the third-most games in franchise history (277), behind only Fred Shero (554) and Mike Keenan (320). In Philadelphia, he went 134-101-42 with a pair of first-round playoff exits.
"It’ll be fun," Travis Konecny said of facing Hakstol's Kraken. "Obviously it’s different seeing him on different teams when you had him for so long. It’s exciting for him, it’s pretty cool for him to have that job now and step in as a head coach again. Hopefully everything goes well for him, just not tonight."
• Carter Hart will start in net for the Flyers. Vigneault wouldn't disclose when Martin Jones will get his first nod.
The Flyers host the Bruins on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/TNT) and the Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body), Patrick Brown (COVID-19 protocol) and Zack MacEwen (working on visa) are not yet available for the Flyers (see story).
Ristolainen took part in morning skate Monday and is close to a return. Vigneault said he'll have a better idea on Ristolainen's status for Wednesday after Tuesday's practice.
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