Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets meet the Philadelphia Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love for the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Blue Jackets enter on the heels of a dreadful game on Saturday night that saw the team cough up 5 unanswered goals in a 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, saw Ryan Murray break his hand while blocking a shot just 1:44 into his return from another injury, and Cam Atkinson require 17 stitches in his left shoulder after he was stepped on by Marcus Foligno in a scrum in the corner. Those injuries do not include Alexander Wennberg limping to the bench after blocking a shot (though he continued to play), William Karlsson missing a shift, Seth Jones playing his worst game of the season, and Scott Hartnell accruing literally all of the penalty minutes at the end of the second period.
But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Tonight, the Blue Jackets look to rebound against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have struggled of late, going 12-18-5 since their ten game winning streak earlier this season. The Flyers have dropped out of a wild card spot, and must make up a 6 point differential to get back into the playoff race. The Flyers will be motivated at home, and the Blue Jackets must be ready to go from the opening faceoff, especially after two lackluster performances against the Sabres over the weekend. The Blue Jackets must also stay out of the penalty box tonight, as Wayne Simmonds is a lethal power play force for the Flyers, and the Blue Jackets’ penalty kill struggled mightily on Saturday night.
A win tonight would set two records for the Blue Jackets. With a win tonight, the Blue Jackets would set a new franchise record for wins in a single season (with 44) and would also set a record for the most points in a single season (with 94).
In lineup news, as mentioned above, Ryan Murray will be out indefinitely following his injury Saturday night. Kyle Quincey will get the draw into the lineup, pairing with Markus Nutivaara. Quincey was picked up at the deadline for exactly this reason, and should slot comfortably into the third pairing. With Josh Anderson out (though he has resumed skating), as well as Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak still out, T.J. Tynan and Lauri Korpikoski remain in the lineup. Expect to see Sergei Bobrovsky in net after two days rest since he last played Friday night.
Tonight’s Metropolitan clash offers a chance for the Blue Jackets to make up some ground in the standings. With the Washington Capitals recently suffering a 4 game losing streak, the race for the division is wide open. The Pittsburgh Penguins can overtake the Capitals with a win tonight, but the Blue Jackets can close the gap to two points by defeating the Flyers tonight. With points at a premium this time of year, a win would go a long way toward helping the Blue Jackets in the race for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
UPDATE: 11:30 AM
Want some good news, fellow Jackets fans? I’ve got some! Josh Anderson and Matt Calvert will return to the lineup tonight, in place of Lauri Korpikoski and T.J. Tynan. Welcome back to the fold, fellas.
Because nothing ever comes without a price, Nick Foligno is reportedly ill, according to Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch. He will be a gametime decision.
Columbus Blue Jackets
|Nick Foligno||Alexander Wennberg||Brandon Saad|
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Scott Hartnell||Sam Gagner||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Matt Calvert||William Karlsson||Josh Anderson|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Markus Nutivaara||Kyle Quincey|
|Jordan Weal||Claude Giroux
|Brayden Schenn||Valtteri Filpulla||Jakub Voracek|
|Travis Konecny||Sean Courturier||Matt Read|
|Chris VandeVelde||Pierre-Édouard Bellemare||Roman Lyubimov|
|Ivan Povorov||Andrew MacDonald|
|Brandon Manning||Shayne Gostisbehere|
|Michael Del Zotto||Radko Gudas|