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Game #61 Preview: Jackets seek separation in wild card race

Four points this week could make or break the season

Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 7:00 EST
Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (30-18-12, 72 points, 4th Metro, 6th East)


Philadelphia Flyers (32-20-7, 71 points, 5th Metro, 7th East)

I normally hesitate to overemphasis any one of the 82 games of the season, but I think these next two games may determine whether or not the injury-plagued Blue Jackets can survive and reach the playoffs. A regulation sweep creates a five point buffer between Columbus and Philadelphia, and perhaps leapfrogs the Jackets over the Islanders. Two wins for the Flyers completes a season sweep and marks seven straight losses to finally torpedo the Jackets’ season for good.

Player to Watch

Boone Jenner

Jenner has scored more goals against the Flyers (9) than any other opponent in his career. This includes two goals in this arena in their first meeting of this season. His 6.9 shooting percentage is the worst of his career, but if he can finish tonight that could go a long way to sparking a Columbus offense that has been creating opportunities but struggling to finish.

Jackets Notes

Kole Sherwood was called up prior to the New Jersey game, but did not play. Might he get to suit up tonight? ... Oliver BJORKSTRAND has a four game point streak ... Andrew Peeke scored his first career goal on Sunday. He is the seventh Jacket to score their first goal this season. This leads the league, just ahead of the Flyers with six players. Those other Jackets to reach the milestone are: Vladislav Gavrikov, Dean Kukan, Emil Bemstrom, Kevin Stenlund, Jakub Lilja, and Eric Robinson.

The Other Bench

While the Jackets are playing their fourth game in six games (three of those on the road), the Flyers have been off since losing on the road at Tampa on Thursday ... Nolan Patrick has missed the entire season to date with migraines, but may be close to practicing with the team again ... Winger Oskar Lindblom is out for the season as he battles Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Season Series

10/26/19 CBJ 4 @ PHI 7
11/27/19 PHI 3 @ CBJ 2
02/18/20 CBJ @ PHI
02/20/20 PHI @ CBJ


Philadelphia Columbus
3.19 (11) GPG 2.58 (28)
2.92 (11) GAPG 2.45 (2)
19.7% (16) PP% 16.1% (26)
82.0% (11) PK% 83.0% (7)
51.5% (9) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 49.3% (19)
51.0% (12) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 51.1% (11)
8.7 (8) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (29)
.909 (26) 5v5 Save % .934 (3)
Travis Konecny, 19 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 19
Sean Couturier, 35 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 27
Sean Couturier, 52 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 44
Joel Farabee, 39 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 56
19-5-4 Home / Road 12-7-9
6-3-1 Last 10 4-2-4

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Kevin Stenlund Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Nathan Gerbe
Sonny Milano Pierre-Luc Dubois Emil Bemstrom
Jakub Lilja Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski Markus Nutivaara
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Matiss Kivlenieks
Philadelphia Flyers
Claude Giroux Sean Couturier Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee Kevin Hayes Travis Konecny
James Van Riemsdyk Scott Laughton Tyler Pitlick
Michael Raffl Connor Bunnaman Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg Justin Braun
Carter Hart
Brian Elliott