The Blue Jackets head into Wells Fargo Center tonight looking to salvage yet another set of back-to-back games.
It’s not an excuse nor is it an out, but merely something they have to deal with as they keeping plugging away at the early hole they dug for themselves. No sense hanging your head after a shootout loss to Florida last night, as coach John Tortorella would say, just get back on the horse and get back to work.
Here’s the task at hand: the Philadelphia Flyers are red-hot, entering tonight’s game on a four-game winning streak after an overtime win over New Jersey last night.
They had to earn it, too, after the Devils tied the game late in regulation and nearly stole it, but Matt Read’s overtime goal sent the Flyers back across the river with an extra point.
Yes, the offense is struggling for Columbus – so it should be no surprise that they’ll make some changes tonight and get some bodies back in the lineup.
Fedor Tyutin, out since Nov. 20 with a broken nose, returns tonight as will Dalton Prout, who’s been out as a healthy scratch after Justin Falk and Andrew Bodnarchuk earned minutes as the third pairing. Falk was returned to Lake Erie last night.
Scott Hartnell, a healthy scratch Friday night, is back in the lineup and it’s a pretty good time to get him back in there. Hartnell gets to face his former team tonight and there’s no doubt he will be fired up and ready to go.
A couple other notes before tonight’s 7:30 p.m. puck drop:
- Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for the Blue Jackets, and he’s now double-dipped in three of the Blue Jackets’ last four back-to-backs. The outlier was Nov. 19-20, when he and Curtis McElhinney split games in Ottawa and at home vs. Nashville.
- The Blue Jackets’ much-maligned power play could use an injection of net presence, and perhaps that’s where Hartnell can impact this game the most. They had little to no traffic in front of Al Montoya last night and it was relatively stress-free for the Panthers’ goaltender.
- Kevin Connauton is the scratch on defense.