Flyers vs. Blue Jackets Preview: Return to Roots

Flyers vs. Blue Jackets Preview: Return to Roots

For nearly half of the 2023-24 NHL season, the Flyers have far exceeded expectations and been able to deliver results with consistency. The annual Disney on Ice road trip out of the holiday break brought about potential issues with the team’s surprise push for the playoffs.

The Flyers return home on Thursday night with three straight losses and a 1-3-2 record in their last six games, enough to knock them from second in the Metropolitan Division to fourth. Perhaps some home cooking is just what the doctor ordered for the battered, beaten, and bruised Flyers. Thursday marks the opener of a four-game homestand and the first game in a stretch of 12 of the next 17 games being played at Wells Fargo Center.

Meanwhile, the Flyers welcome in the Columbus Blue Jackets, still last in the Metropolitan Division, but giving other opponents all they can handle. The Blue Jackets have earned points in five of the last seven games.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Columbus Blue Jackets GP G A P
Travis Konecny 37 18 15 33 Johnny Gaudreau 39 7 18 25
Joel Farabee 37 12 15 27 Zach Werenski 34 1 24 25
Travis Sanheim 36 4 21 25 Adam Fantilli 39 11 12 23
Sean Couturier 35 9 15 24 Kirill Marchenko 37 13 8 21
Owen Tippett 37 12 10 22 Ivan Provorov 39 2 19 21

Flyers Blue Jackets Players to Watch

Joel Farabee was promoted to the top line in the last game and delivered, helping on both goals in the loss to Edmonton. That marked his third multi-point game in the last five games. Farabee also has nine points in the last 10 games.

Adam Fantilli continues to heat up for Columbus. He had a four-game points streak snapped in his last game and has seven points in the previous seven games that included the four-game streak. He has three goals and four assists in that time.

Flyers Blue Jackets Goalie Matchup

Carter Hart is expected to get the start for the Flyers. Hart was on the hook for the loss in Edmonton, allowing five goals on 36 shots. Hart’s last win came on Dec. 9, when he made 36 saves on 38 shots in a win over Colorado.

Daniil Tarasov gets the start for Columbus. Tarasov makes just his fifth start of the season after making his season debut on Dec. 16. He allowed three goals on 42 shots in his last start, an overtime loss against Buffalo on Saturday. He has allowed three goals or more in each of his four starts this season.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Lines

Flyers Scratches: Noah Cates (injury), Marc Staal (healthy), Rhett Gardner (healthy)

Blue Jackets Lines

Blue Jackets Scratches: Zach Werenski (injury), Patrik Laine (injury), Sean Kuraly (injury), Boone Jenner (injury), Adam Boqvist (injury), Nick Blankenburg (injury), Brendan Gaunce (healthy), Andrew Peeke (healthy), Elvis Merzlikins (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: The Flyers did not have a morning skate, so any lineup changes will be known closer to game time. In the last game, the team opted to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, sitting Nick Deslauriers. That certainly could be a possibility again if John Tortorella sees fit.
  • Blue Jackets: Ivan Provorov and Yegor Chinakhov are both considered game-time decisions with illness. Mathieu Olivier returns to the lineup after being scratched for the last three games.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (10.2% – 32nd), Blue Jackets (15.2% – 25th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (85.3% – 3rd), Blue Jackets (80.6% – 14th)
  • Recent History vs. Blue Jackets
    • Nov. 19, 2022 – Flyers 5, Blue Jackets 2 (at PHI)
    • Oct. 12, 2023 – Flyers 4, Blue Jackets 2 (at CBJ)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Blue Jackets
    • Travis Konecny: 24 GP, 13 G, 15 A, 28 P
    • Sean Couturier: 32 GP, 9 G, 11 A, 20 P
    • Rasmus Ristolainen: 23 GP, 2 G, 9 A, 11 P
    • Carter Hart: 9 GP, 4-4-1, 2.89 GAA, .901 SV%
    • Samuel Ersson: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .909 SV%

Where to Watch

  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network
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