Flyers (15-13-7, 37 PTS) @ Blue Jackets (21-13-2, 44 PTS)
Philadelphia heads to Columbus, Ohio for their final game before the NHL’s Christmas break. This is the Flyers’ second game of a back-to-back, as they were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres last night by a score of 4-2 in New York.
The Blue Jackets on the other hand, are completing a two-game swing against teams from Pennsylvania, as they lost to the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout Thursday night.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
LISTEN: 93.3 WMMR
PUCK DROP: 7:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
After a tough loss in Buffalo last night, it’ll be interesting to see if Coach Hakstol will do any tinkering with his line combinations in preparation for tonight’s matchup against Columbus. Jori Lehtera is expected to continue playing in the place of Taylor Leier, who has been out since December 20th while dealing with an upper body injury.
Giroux – Couturier – Simmonds
Raffl – Filppula – Voracek
Weal – Patrick – Weise
Lehtera – Laughton – Konecny
Provorov – MacDonald
Hagg – Gostisbehere
Sanheim – Gudas
Despite the loss last night, Brian Elliot put in a stellar performance in goal for Philadelphia. With a four-day break in between games, it’s expected that he’ll make his 11th consecutive start for the Orange and Black. Alex Lyon will continue to wait in the wings for his chance to get on the ice.
Columbus: Blue Jackets Line Combinations
Despite missing regular starters; Zach Werenski, Ryan Murray and Brandon Dubinksy, the Blue Jackets sit in third place in the Metropolitan division. They might be down another starter tonight, as Alexander Wennberg left the game in the third period against Pittsburgh and did not return.
Panarin – Luc Dubois – Anderson
Atkinson – Foligno – Bjorkstrand
Calvert – Jenner – Hannikainen
Schroeder – Sedlak – Motte
Nutivaara – Jones
Johnson – Savard
Harrington – Carlsson
The Blue Jackets didn’t hold a morning skate, so there lineup will be unclear until closer until puck drop. It’s expected that former Flyer Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod in net from Coach John Tortorella. “Bob” started all four games against the Flyers last year, going 3-1 with a shutout victory and a 2.00 GAA.
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
The past six games between the Flyers and the Blue Jackets have all been decided by one goal or less. Five of the those six games have needed overtime or a shootout to decide a winner, you can bet that tonight’s contest will be a tight one throughout.
After their power play was rendered ineffective during the ten-game losing streak, the Flyers have been clicking on the man advantage going 7/23 in their past eight games before going one for five last night in Buffalo.
Claude Giroux is currently on a four-game point streak with seven assists and 13 points over the past eight games for Philadelphia. Jake Voracek is also on a five-game point streak with one goal and six assists to up his league-leading assist total to 36.