The Flyers come into tonight hoping to extend their winning streak to four straight games and home-winning streak to six straight games… The Blue Jackets are winless in their last nine games, earning just one point in the standings in that stretch, going 0-8-1… The Flyers have outscored their opponent 12-5 during their three-game streak and 19-9 during the five-game home winning streak, while the Blue Jackets have been out-scored 39-18 during their nine-game skid… Columbus has missed 102 man-games due to injury this year, including all 15 from forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Nathan Horton, while starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has missed the club’s last seven games.
The Flyers own the NHL’s third-best power-play on home ice at 31%, going 9-for-29, while also owning the second-best penalty-kill at home in the NHL at 96% - they have allowed only ONE goal to the opponent on the penalty kill this year, killing off 24 of 25 chances… Nearly 50% of the Flyers goals this season have come on the power play (20 of 45: 44.4%)… The Blue Jackets killed off their first 11 penalties through their first five games to start the season, but have given up at least one power-play goal in nine of their last 10 games, going 33-for-46 (71.7%)… However, Columbus is 11th in the NHL on the power play at 21% (13-of-62) and has scored on the man advantage in 11-of-15 games this season and has 34% of their goals on the year on their power play (13-of-38).
This is the first of five meetings on the year against the Blue Jackets (Carolina being the only other team they face five times this season)… It will also be the first of three meetings against the Blue Jackets in less than a month (26 days)… Last year the Blue Jackets took three games in the season series, with the Flyers going 1-3-0… Flyers have a 5-1-1 record against Columbus on home ice, with their only regulation loss in Philly coming the last time these two teams met, a 2-0 shutout loss on Apr. 3… Overall, the Flyers have a 7-5-3 record in 15 meetings since Columbus joined the NHL in 2000-01… Tonight’s game will see several players & coaches with Flyers-Blue Jackets connections including Scott Hartnell’s first trip to Philly since being traded this past summer… Others include: Former Flyers assistant coach Craig Hartsburg, (F) Jody Shelley, (G) Sergei Bobrovsky, (F - prospect) Michael Chaput, current assistant coach Gord Murphy, (G) Steve Mason, (D) Nick Schultz, (F) R.J. Umberger and (F) Jakub Voracek.
Jake is back in the seat again as the player to watch… Despite five days off of game action, he is tied for second in the NHL (DAL - Tyler Seguin) in scoring with 22 points and second overall with 16 assists - second only two Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby… If Voracek records a point tonight, he will tie his career high point streak with nine straight games - he has 11 assists and 14 points on his current eight-game point streak… Voracek has recorded a point in all but one game for the Flyers this season (13 of 14)… and if his stats aren’t enough, then he’ll also be motivated by the match up against his only former team - he averages OVER a point per-game against the Blue Jackets with five assists and seven points in five games since being traded to Philadelphia in 2011.
For the first time Scott Hartnell returns to the city where he spent the last seven years of his career… He ranks sixth all-time among left wingers in Flyers history with 326 points and twice posted 30 or more goals in a season including a peak of 37 goals in 2011-12… Hartnell is off to a hot start with the Blue Jackets as well, posting five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 15 games, including four goals in his last three… Tonight’s game will be Hartnell’s first game against the Flyers in almost eight years dating back to Nov. 29, 2006 at Philadelphia, a 3-2 win by the Nashville Predators… In six career games against the Flyers, Hartnell has two assists.