Preview: Flyers head to Columbus for second game in five days
They started their losing streak in Columbus, and now they can break it in Columbus.
The Philadelphia Flyers have headed on the road again after suffering a terrible loss at the hands of the Dallas Stars. This time, they’re back in Ohio to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets, looking to bounce back and potentially find a way out of the rut that they find themselves in currently.
Over their last 10 games, the Flyers hold a record of 3-5-2, with the loss against the Stars being their third in a row. They’re headed to play a Columbus team sitting at the bottom of the standings with a record of 4-9-1. If there’s anything to take away on the surface, the Flyers can and should be able to get back on track against John Tortorella’s former team.
Flyers at Blue Jackets
When: 7:30 pm ET
Where: Nationwide Arena
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
The last time these two teams met, the Flyers lost 5-2. The Blue Jackets got out to a strong start, taking a 3-0 lead with two goals in the first by Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner, plus an early second-period tally from Boone Jenner. And despite responses from Tony Deangelo and Ivan Provorov, it wasn’t enough to claw all the way back. Now, the Flyers have a chance to exact revenge.
Columbus was the first team the Flyers lost to on their current three-game losing streak, and they have a chance to break it against them, but it’s going to take a much better effort than the one they gave last time. With Travis Konecny seemingly catching a bit of fire and leading the team in every box score category (goals, assists, and points) over the last five games, they have a better chance now than they did before. He also leads the team in points overall, with 17 in 15 games.
Flyers Projected Lines
Owen Tippett - Kevin Hayes - Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton - Noah Cates - Zack MacEwen
Kieffer Bellows - Morgan Frost - Joel Farabee
Nicolas Deslauriers - Lukáš Sedlák - Max Willman
Ivan Provorov - Tony DeAngelo
Travis Sanheim - Justin Braun
Nick Seeler - Rasmus Ristolainen
Hart being back between the pipes is always a good thing, given his .937 save percentage and MVP-caliber performances to start the season. He took the loss in the first matchup between these two teams, but it’s one of his only two regulation losses, so a bounce back for him individually wouldn’t be a surprise.
As for players to watch, the Flyers obviously need to pay attention to Gaudreau, who leads the Blue Jackets in points with 12 in 14 games played. His linemate Patrik Laine suffered a sprained ankle against the New York Islanders, leaving him out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks and taking away a big piece of the first line. With Zach Werenski hurt as well, that’s another threat that the defense doesn’t have to consider.
It’s safe to say that if the Flyers can’t find a way to beat the bruised and battered Blue Jackets, there will be some unrest, and rightfully so. After dealing with multiple 10-game losing streaks last season, with some losses coming against teams that they should beat due to various factors, fans have every right to be frustrated if the Flyers can’t come out on top. Hockey is a strange game, but with Tortorella behind the bench, don’t be surprised to see the Flyers come out early and jump all over Columbus.