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Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 64 Preview

12-6-2018_FlyersvsBlueJackets_1st_credKateFrese-7

(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A win on Tuesday moved the Flyers ahead of the Buffalo Sabres in the standings. The Flyers have a ways to go before the pass the next team in front of them, but they can put a dent into things on Thursday night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets may have loaded up at the trade deadline, but they currently sit outside of the playoff picture with 19 games to play. The Flyers are six points behind Columbus, looking to cut into that margin.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Columbus Blue Jackets GP G A P
Claude Giroux 63 19 46 65 Artemi Panarin 59 24 45 69
Sean Couturier 61 25 34 59 Matt Duchene 53 28 32 60
Jake Voracek 63 17 37 54 Cam Atkinson 60 35 24 59
Travis Konecny 63 18 20 38 Pierre-Luc Dubois 62 23 30 53
James van Riemsdyk 47 17 14 31 Ryan Dzingel 58 22 23 45
 
Player to Watch
23 Oskar Lindblom 95 Matt Duchene
Last 5 Games: 4 G, 1 A, 5 P, +3 Last 5 Games: 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, -2
 
The Flyers best forward in Tuesday's game was Oskar Lindblom. Not only did Lindblom get the first goal early in the game, but he was always around the puck, active on the forecheck and making plays throughout the game. Lindblom has scored seven of his 12 goals this season in the last 14 games.
 
Since being traded from Ottawa to Columbus, Matt Duchene has one goal and one assist in three games. In February, he was a force in Ottawa. As February concludes, Duchene enters Thursday's game with eight goals and five assists in 12 games.
 
Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott 72 Sergei Bobrovsky
18 GP, 8-7-0, 2.51 GAA, .919 SV% 46 GP, 26-19-1, 2.78 GAA, .907 SV%

Brian Elliott made 34 saves in Tuesday's win, continuing his recent hot stretch since returning from injury. He gets another start on Thursday night, looking to keep the Flyers winning ways going.

A loss on Tuesday was Sergei Bobrovsky's first slip-up in a while. He had back-to-back shutouts over the weekend against Ottawa and San Jose. He has four wins in his last seven games, but three of those wins have been shutouts. He's also had the Flyers number all season with wins in all three meetings.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Carter Hart, Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Andrew MacDonald, Sam Morin

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 19 Nolan Patrick 11 Travis Konecny
23 Oskar Lindblom 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk 21 Scott Laughton 38 Ryan Hartman
12 Michael Raffl 10 Corban Knight 44 Phil Varone
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 6 Travis Sanheim  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 61 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
37 Brian Elliott    

Lineup Notes

The Flyers will go back to the 12 forward, six defenseman lineup. Andrew MacDonald comes out of the lineup and Phil Varone returns.

Blue Jackets Projected Lineup

Injuries: Ryan Murray

Scratches: Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak, Alexander Wennberg, Dean Kukan, Keith Kinkaid

Left Wing Center Right Wing
9 Artemi Panarin 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois  13 Cam Atkinson
19 Ryan Dzingel  95 Matt Duchene 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
71 Nick Foligno 38 Boone Jenner  77 Josh Anderson
50 Eric Robinson 20 Riley Nash  17 Brandon Dubinsky
Defense    
8 Zach Werenski 3 Seth Jones  
65 Markus Nutivaara 58 David Savard  
4 Scott Harrington 54 Adam McQuaid  
Goalie    
72 Sergei Bobrovsky    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (23rd, 29th on road), Blue Jackets (26th, 27th at home)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (28th, T-25th on road), Blue Jackets (T-3rd, 9th at home) 
  • Recent History vs. Blue Jackets
    • Oct 18, 2018 - Blue Jackets 6, Flyers 3 (at CBJ)
    • Dec. 6, 2018 - Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 3 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Dec. 22, 2018 - Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Blue Jackets 
    • Claude Giroux - 28 GP, 9 G, 18 A, 27 P
    • Travis Konecny - 10 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 P
    • James van Riemsdyk - 18 GP, 8 G, 6 A, 14 P
    • Brian Elliott - 11 GP, 6-3-2, 2.26 GAA, .916 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Radko Gudas needs one point to reach 100 for his career.

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

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