Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 7 Preview

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2-22-2018_FlyersvsBlueJackets_2ndedit_credKateFrese-38

(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers have played three different types of games on home ice in their last four games overall — a lopsided defeat, a gut-wrenching loss late in regulation and a high-scoring shootout. They hit the road briefly, stopping to face the Columbus Blue Jackets, looking to find more consistency.

Columbus started off the season pretty strong with three wins in their first four games before falling last Saturday in a lopsided game of their own, an 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Having four full days to sit on that result, Columbus should be coming in ready to put that behind them. 

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Columbus Blue Jackets GP G A P
Claude Giroux 6 3 5 8 Artemi Panarin 5 3 4 7
Jake Voracek 6 2 6 8 Nick Foligno 5 2 2 4
Wayne Simmonds 6 5 1 6 Cam Atkinson 5 2 2 4
Radko Gudas 5 0 5 5 Josh Anderson 5 3 0 3
Scott Laughton 6 3 1 4 Anthony Duclair 5 1 2 3
 
Player to Watch
21 Scott Laughton 9 Artemi Panarin
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, +1 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 4 A, 7 P, +1
 
Against Columbus, this is the kind of game where a greasy depth goal might be what it takes to win. Scott Laughton has been a big part of the third line and now that he's back at center, we'll see what happens to his game.
 
All eyes are on Artemi Panarin this season for a different reason with trade rumors swirling around him, but for now, he's off to a great start on the ice with three goals and seven points in his first five games.
 
Goalie Matchup
33 Cal Pickard 72 Sergei Bobrovsky
2-0-0, 3.80 GAA, .868 SV% 1-2-0, 4.38 GAA, .860 SV%

One day after Dave Hakstol proclaimed that Brian Elliott was the No. 1 goalie despite pulling him in the third period of Tuesday's shootout win. Despite that, Cal Pickard will get the start on Thursday after emerging with the victory on Tuesday. Hakstol said this is a scheduled start for Pickard and has nothing to do with the result on Tuesday.

You probably weren't expecting to see numbers like that associated with Sergei Bobrovsky, but he has struggled early in the season. The numbers are a bit inflated over three starts. He allowed three goals to Carolina in a loss in his first game of the season and two to Colorado in a win, but stayed in for the duration of last Saturday's 8-2 loss. Bobrovsky does have excellent numbers against his former team, posting a 10-3-1 record with a 1.91 GAA against the Flyers in 14 career starts.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick, James van Riemsdyk, Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Mikhail Vorobyev, Andrew MacDonald

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
23 Oskar Lindblom 40 Jordan Weal 11 Travis Konecny
12 Michael Raffl 21 Scott Laughton 17 Wayne Simmonds
22 Dale Weise 15 Jori Lehtera 10 Corban Knight
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
8 Robert Hagg 26 Christian Folin  
6 Travis Sanheim 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
33 Cal Pickard    

Lineup Notes

The Flyers made an in-game line adjustment on Tuesday that they will stick with on Thursday, moving Michael Raffl to the third line left wing slot and Scott Laughton to third-line center. Mikhail Vorobyev was dropped to the fourth line on Tuesday and will come out of the lineup for Corban Knight, who makes his season debut.

Blue Jackets Projected Lineup

Injuries: Seth Jones, Brandon Dubinsky

Scratches: Markus Hannikainen, Dean Kukan

Left Wing Center Right Wing
9 Artemi Panarin 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois 13 Cam Atkinson
71 Nick Foligno 10 Alexander Wennberg 91 Anthony Duclair
38 Boone Jenner 20 Riley Nash 77 Josh Anderson
22 Sonny Milano 45 Lukas Sedlak 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
Defense    
8 Zach Werenski 58 David Savard  
27 Ryan Murray 65 Markus Nutivaara  
4 Scott Harrington 6 Adam Clendening  
Goalie    
72 Sergei Bobrovsky    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (16th, T-12th on road), Blue Jackets (19th, T-21st at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (25th, 19th on road), Blue Jackets (T-28th, T-15th at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Blue Jackets
    • Dec. 23, 2017 – Blue Jackets 2, Flyers 1 F/SO (at CBJ)
    • Feb. 16, 2018 – Flyers 2, Blue Jackets 1 F/OT (at CBJ)
    • Feb. 22, 2018 – Flyers 2, Blue Jackets 1 (at PHI)
    • March 15, 2018 – Blue Jackets 5, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Blue Jackets
    • Claude Giroux – 25 GP, 8 G, 14 A, 22 P
    • Travis Konecny – 7 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P
    • Jake Voracek – 21 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 P
    • Cal Pickard – 1 GP, 0-1-0, 2.03 GAA, .905 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Jake Voracek needs two assists to pass John LeClair for 12th all-time in Flyers history.
    • Jordan Weal will play in his 100th game as a Flyer tonight.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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