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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

T he Flyers have earned points in the standings for season-high seven consecutive games, going 5-0-2 since a 3-2 OT win vs. Pittsburgh on Jan. 20… In that stretch, five of the games have been one-goal games with the Flyers winning three of those contests… Wayne Simmonds has been the hottest scorer for the Flyers in that stretch, recording three goals and three assists for six points… The Flyers have killed off 21 of 23 penalties (91.3%)… The Blue Jackets come into tonight having won two of their last three, but dropped their last game, 4-3 to LA… In that three-game span, they have out-scored their opponent 14-6… The Blue Jackets have all 23 of their victories when they are leading or tied after two periods and have gone winless and pointless when trailing after the second this season (0-20-0 ) .

A fter a 65-day break between facing each other, the Flyers-Blue Jackets resume their five-game season series for the fourth and final game at Columbus… The two teams played three times in a span of 26 days with the Flyers going 1-1-1 with an overtime loss at Columbus in the last meeting (3-2, Dec. 9)… The Blue Jackets own a five-game winning streak over the Flyers in Columbus dating back to Dec. 27, 2008… The two teams will now wrap up the season series playing twice in the span of five days, meeting next in Philly on Feb. 17…  They will have played nine times over the last two seasons - prior to that the Flyers and Blue Jackets met just 11 times in 12 years while Columbus was in the Western Conference… The two teams have scored 10 of 19 goals on the power-play through the first three games of the series with the Flyers going 4-for-11 (36.4%) and Columbus going 6-for-11 (54.5%). Ryan Johanson leads the Blue Jackets with five assists in three games while Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek lead the Flyers, each with a goal and four assists .

B oth teams have battled injuries all season long and both teams are currently without their starting  goaltenders — Steve Mason is expected out 2-3 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee, while Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to miss 4-6 weeks from a groin injury suffered on Jan. 21… This season, Mason has missed 11 games due to injury, while Bobrovsky has missed 14 games… The Flyers come in with 233 man-games lost, a total that includes Chris Pronger & Kimmo Timonen, while the Blue Jackets have 332 man-games lost, which includes all 52 games for forward Nathan Horton… The Flyers have had seven players appear in all 54 games so far (Voracek, Simmonds, Streit, B. Schenn, Couturier, Read & Umberger), while the Blue Jackets have had just two (Johansen & Savard) .

V oracek does well in Columbus… The ex-Blue Jacket averages over a point per-game pace against Columbus with three goals and nine assists for 12 points in eight games, including five points already in the series this year (1g-4a)… Voracek also put on a performance at this year’s All-Star Game held in Columbus, posting a hat trick and record six points with three assists… Voracek has slipped in the NHL’s scoring race, but remains tied for second with 59 points, three behind Chicago’s Patrick Kane… He is tied for NHL lead in assists (41) and is fourth in the league in power-play points (23)… Since returning from All-Star break, Voracek has three points (1g-2a) in six games .

Hartnell will be honored by the Blue Jackets for appearing in his 1,000th NHL game, which was Monday, becoming just the 297th person in NHL history to accomplish that feat… Hartnell spent seven seasons with the Flyers posting 326 points in 517 games… Hartnell has also been on a tear lately, posting a four-game point streak in which he has six points and goals in three straight games… He ranks third overall on the Blue Jackets in both goals (13), points (34) and hits (113)… Against the Flyers, Hartnell has one goal through three games of the season series.

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