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FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs Columbus Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (15-15-4--34pts)

vs
  Columbus Blue Jackets (14-16-4--32pts)
TV: CSN RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic

GAME NOTES  I NHL.com Preview
1. CRAZY EIGHT?
The Flyers will be looking for their eighth consecutive win on home ice, a streak that began on Nov. 9 vs Edmonton - since then, the Flyers have out-scored the opposition, 27-11, averaging 3.85 goals-per-game… The last time the Flyers have won eight straight on home-ice came in the 2008-09 season from Dec. 9-Jan. 10, while the last nine game stretch on home-ice came in the 2005-06 season from Oct. 7-Nov. 12… During this seven-game win streak at home, Matt Read leads the team in goals (5) and is tied for the team lead in points (8) and plus-minus rating (+8)… Jakub Voracek is also tied for the team lead in points and leads the squad with six assists in the seven-game span… Steve Mason is 6-0-0 at home since Nov. 9.

2. NEW OPPONENT - SAME DIVISION
The Flyers face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first of four times this season since they made the switch to the Eastern Conference AND Metropolitan Division… Previously, the two teams have faced each other just 11 times since Columbus joined the NHL in 2000 - it's the fewest number of games for the Flyers against any active NHL franchise… In fact, this is the third time in the last seven seasons that the Flyers have faced the Blue Jackets at home… The Flyers are unbeaten in regulation play all-time against Columbus at home, going 4-0-1, and own an overall mark of 6-2-3 against Columbus.

3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
With a win of any kind tonight, the Flyers will have 36 points and move into third place, and the final playoff spot, in the Metropolitan Division, leap-frogging the Carolina Hurricanes, who have 35 points… The Flyers have earned points in the standings in four of their last five games, going 2-1-2 in that span… The Flyers will not face former teammate Sergei Bobrovsky, who is out of the line-up due to a groin injury since Dec. 4 - he is expected to miss 4-5 weeks… The Blue Jackets are unbeaten in regulation when leading after the second period under their current head coach, Todd Richards, going 36-0-1… Columbus is 4-2-1 in their last seven games, five of which have been decided by one goal.

4. Player to watch FLYERS:  Jakub Voracek - (RW) #93
Voracek will try and extend his point streak tonight to six games after posting points in five straight… He has goals in four of those five games and a total of five goals and seven points during this span… Voracek will be facing his former team tonight for just the second time in his career, spending his first three seasons in Columbus after being drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2007 (7th overall)… In his only game against his former club, Voracek posted a three-point night with a goal and two assists… Voracek currently is tied for second on the Flyers in scoring with 19 points (8g-11a).
 
5. Player to watch BLUE JACKETS: Ryan Johansen - (C) #19
Johansen could be the hottest player in the NHL right now - he is riding a nine-game point streak in which he has four goals and 11 points dating back to Nov. 29… With a point in tonight's game he could tie RJ Umberger for the franchise record for points in 10 straight games… In his third NHL season, the fourth overall pick in 2010, leads Columbus in goals (12) and points (27) in 34 games… This will be Johansen's second career game against the Flyers - he was held scoreless in 12:21 of ice-time in the first game.

QUOTABLE
"I have nothing to prove to that organization. They gave me this chance to come here; start from scratch and have a fresh opportunity, and there's no hard feelings what-so-ever."
- Steve Mason
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