The Philadelphia Flyers closed January with a resounding 4-0 win on the road against the Winnipeg Jets.
The line of Noah Cates, Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee was effective for much of the month as the Flyers finished 8-4-2 in January.
The Flyers will look to that line to start February in much the same manner as they host the New York Islanders on Monday.
Cates, 24, has shown improvement this season, totaling 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 51 games.
“Catesy is one of our top players as far as positioning, and also the battle on the puck and winning puck battles, so this game was right up his alley,” Philadelphia head coach John Tortorella said after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 26.
Kevin Hayes will play in his first game since returning from his first All-Star Game. Hayes, who has 15 goals and a team-leading 30 assists, went through an up-and-down first half of the season with two benchings by Tortorella.
“It’s definitely been a weird last couple of years for myself, injury-wise and personal-wise,” Hayes said. “It’s nice to be nominated for the All-Star Game after going through stuff like that. A lot of it has to do with the people who are in our circle, my fiancee, my family, close friends. I’m able to celebrate this weekend with those people, so that adds to the weekend as well.”
The Islanders will look for their third win in a row on Monday when they battle the Flyers.
New York posted a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 27 and a 2-1 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights the following day.
The Islanders will feature a different look against the Flyers with the addition of Bo Horvat, who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected 2023 first-round draft pick.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Horvat said Thursday. “But I’m getting more and more excited. I’m really anxious to meet the guys, and kind of get my bearings around the dressing room and start getting on the ice again. This is great (All-Star weekend), but I kind of want to get back out there.”
After spending nine seasons with the Canucks, this will be a fresh start. It’s also not an easy transition.
“It’s a city that I don’t know a ton about, obviously,” Horvat said. “I know a couple of the guys, but just meeting all the new players, getting used to the new systems and just everything, the culture there, it’s really nerve-racking.
“I’m not gonna lie. I’ve never been traded before. So this is different for me, and I’m really excited.”
Horvat has scored 31 goals in 49 games this season, tying a career high that he set over 70 games in 2021-22.
“He’s gonna bring a huge element to our team up front, depth, scoring,” teammate Brock Nelson said. “He does a little bit of everything, kills, power play, five-on-five. So he’s gonna be a huge part of our team.”
–Field Level Media