Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 64 Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers host Columbus in a must win
Photo courtesy of Kate Frese
The Philadelphia Flyers (29-23-11) hit the ice for an important matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-30-8). This is the fifth game of a six game homestand for Philadelphia. The Flyers are 3-1-0 through the first four games. Game time from the Wells Fargo Center is 7:00.
This is the third of four meetings with Columbus this season. The Blue Jackets have beaten the Flyers in both games this season. They easily dispatched of the Flyers 4-1 in Philly in early December and followed that up with a shootout victory in Columbus a little over a week later

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Blue Jackets Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 60 17 37 54 Scott Hartnell 63 21 22 43
Jake Voracek 60 10 38 48 Brandon Sadd 64 24 17 41
Wayne Simmonds 63 23 20 43 Cam Atkinson 64 21 19 40
Brayden Schenn 61 21 21 42 Brandon Dubinsky 58 14 25 39
Shayne Gostisbehere 45 12 23 35 Boone Jenner 65 23 14 37
Player to Watch
21 Scott Laughton 43 Scott Hartnell
Last 5 Games: 2G, 0A, 2Pts, +2 Last 5 Games: 2G, 2A, 4Pts, Even
Scott Laughton has seen a dramatic improvement in his play since being moved to the wing alongside Nick Cousins. With Matt Read on the other wing, the Flyers third line has proven to be a more than serviceable threesome. They all get after the puck and are defensively responsible. Coming down the stretch and chasing a playoff spot, this line will need to continue to improve and chip in offensively.
Scott Hartnell is having another solid season. The former Flyers winger leads the Blue Jackets with 43 points. His 21 goals are tied for third and his 22 assists are good for second. His line of Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno will be the primary focus for the Flyers defense.
Goalie Matchup
35 Steve Mason 30 Curtis McElhinney
13-15-7, 2.70 GAA, .915 SV% 2-6-3, 3.10 GAA, .895 SV%

Steve Mason will return to the net tonight for Philadelphia. Mason has not appeared in a game since leaving in the Early stages of the third period in Toronto a few weeks ago. With almost a two week layoff, the Mason will try to not show signs of rust in a must win game for Philadelphia

Curtis McElhinney will get the start for Columbus. The Jackets are coming off a 6-3 win over Edmonton on Friday. Jonas Korpisalo picked up the win and will get the night off tonight. 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Jakub Voracek, R.J. Umberger, Evgeny Medvedev, Jordan Weal, Micheal Del Zotto

Left Wing Center Right Wing
10 Brayden Schenn 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 14 Sean Couturier 89 Sam Gagner
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
21 Scott Laughton 52 Nick Cousins 24 Matt Read
47 Andrew MacDonald 53 Shayne Gostisbehere  
32 Mark Streit 55 Nick Schultz  
23 Brandon Manning 3 Radko Gudas  
35 Steve Mason    

Brandon Manning looks to return to the lineup in place of Evgeny Medvedev. The forward lines should remain the same as the last few games. 

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (15th, 21st at home), Jackets (18th, 11th on road) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (22nd, 21st at home), Jackets (17th, 21st on road)
  • The Flyers are 9-11-3 all time against the Jackets including a 7-4-1 record at home.

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Bill Minchin is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow Bill on Twitter @wtfd103074.

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