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Game #35 Preview and Gamethread: Saturday Matinee in Philly

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Another important Metro division game

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers
“So I says to the guy, you gotta put cheez whiz on the cheesesteak”
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 1:00 EST
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (19-12-3, 41 points, 2nd Metro, 6th East)

at

Philadelphia Flyers (14-15-4, 32 points, 7th Metro, 14th East)

We’ve got an early start today, with puck drop today at 1:00 p.m. Therefore this preview will serve as the game thread as well. Come chat below during the game. I’ll be watching while wrapping my Christmas presents!

Player to Watch

Carter Hart

The Philadelphia Flyers have themselves a Steve Mason situation. I mean, not like when they actually had Steve Mason. I mean like when Steve Mason was a fresh-faced rookie that took the league by storm. In the wake of injuries to Brian Elliott and Anthony Stolarz and poor play from Michael Neuvirth, the 20-year-old Hart has started both games this week in his NHL debut and won both of them. He has allowed just 3 goals against while stopping 51 of 54 shots. The team at Broad Street Hockey took a look at other notable debuts by Flyers rookie goaltenders. There’s a familiar name on the list (with a win against the Penguins, remarkably!)

Jackets Notes

In case you missed it, the Jackets finished their homestand with a 2-1 win on Thursday night over the Devils ... After an 0-2 start, they finished that homestand with a 3-2-1 record. That means they’re riding a four game point streak ... Cam Atkinson scored a penalty shot on Thursday for his 20th goal of the season. In franchise history only Rick Nash has scored 20 before Christmas.

The Other Bench

The Flyers have won two straight, including a win Thursday against the Predators ... When last we saw the Flyers, they had just fired GM Ron Hextall. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Chuck Fletcher ... After much anticipation - and in the wake of a four game losing streak - Fletcher fired head coach Dave Hakstol and replaced him with AHL Lehigh Valley coach Scott Gordon ... Gordon has an interesting habit of shuffling his lines at practice and in the early shifts as a way of throwing off his opponents. So keep an eye out for that today.

Season Series

10/18/2018 PHI 3 @ CBJ 6
12/06/2018 CBJ 4 @ PHI 3 (OT)
12/22/2018 CBJ @ PHI
02/28/2019 PHI @ CBJ

Stats

Philadelphia Columbus
2.94 (18) GPG 3.24 (10)
3.61 (29) GAPG 3.09 (20)
12.1% (31) PP% 14.5% (26)
74.8% (28) PK% 80.2% (14)
50.99% (9) EV Corsi % 49.74% (18)
99.5 (22) EV PDO 100.2 (16)
Sean Couturier, 13 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 20
Claude Giroux, 29 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 25
Claude Giroux, 41 P Leader Artemi Panarin, 35
Wayne Simmonds, 47 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 38
7-7-2 Home / Road 9-5-1
4-4-2 Last 10 5-4-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Anthony Duclair
Oliver BJORKSTRAND Boone Jenner Josh Anderson
Riley Nash Brandon Dubinsky Markus Hannikainen
Ryan Murray Seth Jones
Zach Werenski David Savard
Markus Nutivaara Scott Harrington
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Philadelphia Flyers
Jakub Voracek Sean Couturier Wayne Simmonds
James Van Riemsdyk Claude Giroux Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton Nolan Patrick Michael Raffl
Oskar Lindblom Philip Varone Dale Weise
Ivan Provorov Travis Sanheim
Shayne Gostisbehere Robert Hagg
Andrew McDonald Radko Gudas
Carter Hart
Michael Neuvirth