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Drop the Puck Already: Flyers-Jackets

News, Notes & Storylines to come out of the morning skate for tonight's game

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

Looking to build a three-game winning streak, Alain Vigneault's Flyers are home on Saturday night to take on John Tortorella's Columbus Blue Jackets. 

After a complete day off on Friday, the Flyers held a morning skate on Saturday. Here is some news and notes heading into the game.

* The skate did not reveal any changes to the lineup or to the lines. That includes between the pipes.

* Brian Elliott will get the call, his third straight start - he has been outstanding in net in each of the last two games. Against Vegas, he turned back 33 of 35 shots. In Chicago, he denied 23 of 24 including 15 of 16 in the third period.

* Carter Hart will start on Long Island as the Flyers travel after the game to meet the Islanders on Sunday.

* The other wildcard that the morning skate would reveal is the status of forward Michael Raffl... Vigneault stated that Raffl, who left late in the game at Chicago after he blocked a shot and needed considerable assistance to leave the ice, is good to go for tonight. He went even further to applaud the forward's character.

VIGNEAULT: "What I loved about that play is that it was 4-1 and you pay the price and you block the shot. It's a great message for our team - you gotta play the right way from the beginning to the end and that's what he did. Raffy's played some good hockey for us so far."
 
* The Flyers have gotten balanced scoring in each of the last two games; a 6-2 win over Vegas at home on Monday and a 4-1 triumph on the road in Chicago on Thursday. In both games, the Flyers received goal production from three different forward lines. The Vegas game also saw the Flyers get a pair of goals from the defense (Matt Niskanen and Ivan Provorov).

LINE PLAY -- FLYERS 
25 James van Riemsdyk - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek
23 Oskar Lindblom - 14 Sean Couturier - 11 Travis Konecny
21 Scott Laughton - 13 Kevin Hayes - 49 Joel Farabee
12 Michael Raffl - 24 Mikhail Vorobyev - 44 Chris Stewart

9 Ivan Provorov - 15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim - 61 Justin Braun
53 Shayne Gostisbehere - 8 Robert Hägg

37 Brian Elliott
[79 Carter Hart]

BEHIND ENEMY LINES (Quote Courtesy: @BlueJacketsNHL)
The Blue Jackets didn't hold a morning skate at the rink, only a few extras and goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, indicating that Joonas Korpisalo will get the call in net. He is 5-2-1, 2.72 GAA, .901 sv pct. this season.

* Korpisalo has had just one career start against the Flyers, but it was a good one AND a memorable one, earning a 3-2 shootout win in 2015 for his first career victory in the NHL. Tonight will be the 25-year old's 99th game played in the NHL.

* Pierre-Luc Dubois (4g, 2a) and defenseman Seth Jones (1g, 5a) are tied for the team scoring lead through 10 games. A regular thorn in the Flyers' side, Cam Atkinson has five points (3g, 2a) through 10 games. The close games and success as of late is noted from team captain Nick Foligno, who has three of his five points on the road this season.

FOLIGNO: "We know if we play the style that if we're playing right now, we're going to give ourselves a great chance to win. We've played some really good hockey of late, and I like what I see in this group. I think it's only going to get better." 

LINE PLAY -- BLUE JACKETS
71 Nick Foligno - 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois - 13 Cam Atkinson
14 Gustav Nyquist - 10 Alexander Wennberg - 28 Oliver Björkstrand
22 Sonny Milano - 38 Boone Jenner -77 Josh Anderson
42 Alexandre Texier - 20 Riley Nash - 52 Emil Bemstrom

8 Zach Werenski - 3 Seth Jones
27 Ryan Murray - 58 David Savard
44 Vladislav Gavrikov - 4 Scott Harrington 

70 Joonas Korpisalo
[90 Elvis Merzlikins]

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