Curtis McElhinney Post-Game
Nick Foligno Post-Game
James Wisniewski Post-Game
Todd Richards Post-Game
BLUE JACKETS 4 | FLYERS 3
Well, it's just going to be a special teams kind of night, apparently. The Blue Jackets and Flyers are scoring goals almost exclusively on the power play tonight, and the Blue Jackets scored two more in the second period to take a 4-2 lead into the intermission. The lone even strength goal so far was a brilliant finish by Foligno - his second goal of the night - and it was a tremendous display of patience. Ryan Johansen hit Foligno with a pass in the left circle and Foligno worked his way across the face of goal and out-waited Steve Mason, lifting the puck into a semi-open net to regain the lead. And then, a 1:23 5-on-3 was a catalyst for the Jackets, and they cashed in on the tail end of it. Johansen got the puck toward the net, and after a scramble in front, Wisniewski slammed it behind Mason for a 4-2 lead. Shots are 24-17 Blue Jackets through 40 minutes, and for the final 20, the M.O. is clear: keep this a 5-on-5 game and continue to play their game.
Wisniewski's second goal
Foligno's second goal ANALYSIS:
Probably the best first period the Blue Jackets have played in a couple of weeks, would you say? They were back on their game, getting the puck deep, establishing their forecheck and making the Flyers work to get the puck back. They've drawn two penalties and cashed in on both, with James Wisniewski getting it started with a one-timer that deflected a couple of times on its way in. The second PPG was created by a great seam pass from Tim Erixon, and it was pretty much a lay-up for Nick Foligno, who continues to put up points early in the season. The only Philadelphia goal was a PPG from Claude Giroux, and it looked as though it took a nasty carom in front of Curtis McElhinney (not much he could do anyway). Shots are 9-5 in favor of the Blue Jackets and they didn't have a shot on goal until six minutes into the first period. 'Twas a good start and a good reminder of what makes them successful.
Nick Foligno's goal
James Wisniewski's goal UPDATE (3:00 PM):
Bob is BACK! Sergei Bobrovsky has been activated off injured reserve, and he'll serve as backup to Curtis McElhinney tonight vs. the Flyers. Read more on Bob's return HERE
Scott Hartnell speaks before his return to Philadelphia:
Michael Chaput speaks after the morning skate:
Todd Richards' morning press conference: UPDATE (12:00 PM):
Anisimov and Bobrovsky are both out tonight against the Flyers but they're getting closer to returns. FSO's Jeff Rimer says Curtis McElhinney gets the start in goal for Columbus.
UPDATE (11:35 AM): Hello from the morning skate! The Blue Jackets are on the ice at Wells Fargo Center, getting set for tonight's game against the Flyers. Here are some quick updates...
- Artem Anisimov is on the ice, in a normal jersey, and taking part in the skate. We'll get an update from Todd Richards re: his status after practice.
- As mentioned earlier, Jack Johnson is back tonight and is likely to pair with Dalton Prout.
- From FS Ohio's Dave Maetzold: Sergei Bobrovsky is in the building but didn't begin the morning skate with the team. We'll have an update on Bob later this morning, as well.
The Blue Jackets meet up with a familiar foe tonight, taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center - one of the league's more entertaining places to play. As if the locals needed another reason to get fired up for this Friday night match-up, Scott Hartnell makes his return to Philadelphia after an offseason trade to Columbus.
Here are some other pre-game nuggets to get you set for game day. Reminder: the Blue Jackets will skate at 11:30 a.m. ET today, so check back here during your lunch hour for the latest news on the lineup, starting goalies, and interviews with the players and Todd Richards.
- Artem Anisimov (upper body) and Sergei Bobrovsky (broken finger) traveled with the team to Philadelphia. Both players were full participants in Thursday's practice and are feeling better, however, their statuses for tonight's game are very much in doubt.
- Bobrovsky said he hasn't yet found a suitable glove set-up that's comfortable (and legal) for a game situation. His practice gloves offer extra padding and protection for the left index finger, but as of Thursday, he was still looking for a solution. Watching these games is just eating him up.
- Matt Calvert and Jack Skille (both upper body) did not travel to Philadelphia and will not play tonight. They skated Wednesday in the OhioHealth Ice Haus but there was no update re: their availability for Saturday or beyond.
- Here's how the Blue Jackets skated in practice yesterday: Hartnell-Jenner-Atkinson, Gibbons-Johansen-Foligno, Tropp-Wennberg-Cracknell, Tyrell-Chaput/Anisimov-Boll. And, on defense: Tyutin-Savard, Erixon-Wisniewski, Johnson-Prout.
- Curtis McElhinney is expected to start in goal tonight barring a change in Bobrovsky's status, Richards said.