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Game #28 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Philadelphia Flyers

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Cam Atkinson leads the Blue Jackets into Philadelphia to face the Flyers tonight from Wells Fargo Center. Columbus won the first meeting, 6-3, in October.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 7:00 PM EST
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets, 15-10-2, 32 points, 2nd Metro, t-5th East

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Philadelphia Flyers, 11-12-2, 24 points, 7th Metro, 15th East

Looking to break their first two-game losing streak in a month, the Columbus Blue Jackets face the Philadelphia Flyers for the second time this season, as the season series shifts to the Wells Fargo Center. The season has gone in opposite directions for the clubs since the teams’ first meeting. While the Jackets are within striking distance of first place in the Metro, the Flyers occupy seventh place.

The Blue Jackets are coming off a bizarre 9-6 loss Tuesday against the Flames, a game where the Jackets’s 4-1 lead was erased in the second period and the Flames scored five-straight goals. Meanwhile, the Flyers last played on Saturday, beating the Penguins 4-2. Cam Atkinson, riding a career-best 11-game points-streak, is coming off his second hat trick of the season. He scored two goals in the Jackets’ 6-3 win over the Flyers at Nationwide Arena in October.

Player to Watch

Claude Giroux has 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 26 prior meetings against Columbus. On the current season, he has nine goals, 21 assists. Leading the club in assists and points, Giroux is just one off the Flyers’ team lead for goals. He only has one power play goal to date.

Giroux has played every game each of the last two seasons, and last season, scored 34 goals, 68 assists, both career-highs. The 68 assists led all players last season.

Jackets Notes

Cam Atkinson extended his personal-best points-streak to 11 games with three goals against Calgary on Tuesday. ... The hat trick was his second of the season and sixth of his career, surpassing Rick Nash for most hat tricks in Blue Jackets history. ... Ryan Johansen holds the Blue Jackets franchise record for consecutive games with a point at 13 games. ... Columbus allowed five goals in the second period. ... It is the fourth occurrence the Blue Jackets have allowed five goals in a period at home, first since 2012. ... The nine goals allowed was the third time that has happened, and the most goals the Blue Jackets allowed was 10 against the Sharks in 2002. ... Sergei Bobrovsky gave up eight goals for the second time this season. ... John Tortorella already declared Bobrovsky tonight’s starter. ... Bobrovsky has dominated the Flyers in his career (11-3-1, 1.98 GAA, .931 SV%). ... Dean Kukan was loaned to the Monsters on a conditioning assignment Wednesday.

The Other Bench

Philadelphia has had a rough go at it during the majority of the season to date. They fired General Manager Ron Hextall Nov. 27 as they have toiled near the bottom of the Eastern Conference the majority of the season. Chuck Fletcher was appointed as the next GM of the Flyers on Tuesday. Fletcher was most recently the GM of the Wild until last April, with whom he spent nine seasons with.

Philadelphia also fired assistant General Manager Chris Pryor and Assistant Coach Gord Murphy, with longtime hockey coach Rick Wilson taking over for Murphy on the bench.

Goaltending continues to be an issue for the Flyers, as the team allows 3.52 goals-per-game, 29th in the league. Compounding the issue have been injuries to Brian Elliott, out after a groin injury, and Michal Neuvirth (groin). Elliot has been out since Nov. 15, as Calvin Pickard and Anthony Stolarz have filled in net. Pickard took the 6-3 loss against Columbus in October and was recently picked up by the Coyotes on waivers. Stolarz was the draft pick the Flyers received in their trading of Bobrovsky in 2012.

The Flyers are also without the services of Corbin Knight (broken collarbone), Pascal Laberge (hip), and Samuel Morin (torn ACL). Wayne Simmonds is expected to play Thursday after dealing with an upper-body ailment.

Season Series

10/18/18 PHI 3 @ CBJ 6
12/6/18 CBJ @ PHI
12/22/18 CBJ @ PHI
2/28/19 PHI @ CBJ

Stats

Philadelphia Columbus
3.00 (15) GPG 3.56 (7)
3.52 (29) GAPG 3.37 (24)
15.1% (27) PP% 17.2% (22)
71.3% (30) PK% 76.8% (21)
51.10% (10) EV Corsi % 49.39% (18)
99.3 (22) EV PDO 100.9 (10)
Sean Couturier, 10 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 19
Claude Giroux, 21 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 22
Claude Giroux, 30 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 30
Wayne Simmonds, 41 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 34
5-7-1 Home / Road 8-5-1
4-5-1 Last 10 6-4-0

Projected Lineups

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