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Game Preview #53 - The Plunge Begins

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The Jackets have 30 games left, and they have them all in a row, basically.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets

February 13th, 2015 - 7:00 PM EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Broad Street Hockey

If the Blue Jackets truly had designs on making the playoffs, Monday night's rather listless loss to the champs was probably a huge nail in the coffin. But, that doesn't mean you can't play spoilers just a bit! I mean, if the Jackets are done, I want them to be as bad as they can for drafting purposes. Except against the Flyers.

Philly is currently 10th in the East, and isn't out of striking distance. That said, they just suffered their own goalie injury, and will need to go a solid run themselves to get back into things. For some reason, anything that helps keep them out of the playoffs would make me happy.

But, maybe the flip side is this: if the Flyers win and sneak in, maybe they'll continue to believe that their defensive core is decent, and they won't make changes.

At any rate, the Jackets had their last big break this week, with three full off days between games. The Jackets now have 30 games left, and those 30 games happen in 58 days. In other words, not much time to rest and get/stay healthy between games. Their schedule is Metro-loaded, too, so they will play a role in the playoff picture one way or the other.

The team tonight will honor Scott Hartnell's 1,000th game played from Monday, and as many have noted it's fitting that the Flyers are in the house for the celebration. There's some talk that James Wisniewski would like to play, but we'll have to wait and see.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(23-26-3, 49 Points; 7th division, 14th conference)

Scott Hartnell Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Alexander Wennberg Artem Anisimov Jack Skille
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Fedor Tyutin Cody Goloubef
Kevin Connauton Jordan Leopold
Curtis McElhinney
Anton Forsberg

Philadelphia Flyers
(23-22-9, 55 Points; 5th Division, 10th Conference)

Brayden Schenn Claude Giroux Jakub Voracek
Matt Read Sean Couturier Wayne Simmonds
R.J. Umberger Scott Laughton Ryan White
Chris VandeVelde Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Vincent Lecavalier
Nicklas Grossmann Mark Streit
Michael Del Zotto Nick Schultz
Andrew MacDonald Luke Schenn
Ray Emery
Anthony Stolarz

Season Series

PHI - 1-1-1
CBJ - 2-1-0

11/14/14 - Columbus 4 at Philadelphia 3
11/22/14 - Columbus 2 at Philadelphia 4
12/09/14 - Philadelphia 2 at Columbus 3 (OT)
02/13/15 - Philadelphia at Columbus
02/17/15 - Columbus at Philadelphia

Head to Head Stats

Philadelphia Columbus
2.67 (19) GPG 2.52 (23)
2.80 (23) GAPG 3.08 (26)
23.6% (3) PP% 22.8% (5)
75.7% (28) PK% 80.2% (19)
Wayne Simmonds, 19 G leader Nick Foligno, 21
Jakub Voracek, 41 A leader Ryan Johansen, 30
Jakub Voracek, 59 Pts leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 50
Zac Rinaldo, 75 PIM leader Jared Boll, 70
8-15-5 Road/Home 11-14-2
6-2-2 Last 10 5-5-0
2/10 @ Montreal, L 2-1 (OT) Last Game 2/9 vs. Los Angeles, L 4-3