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Preview: Flyers at Blue Jackets

Philadelphia makes line adjustments; goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to start for Columbus

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (21-15-5) at BLUE JACKETS (27-7-4)

6 p.m. ET; FS-O, TCN-PH, NHL.TV

 

Flyers team scope

The Philadelphia Flyers' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday ended a five-game losing streak and was their second victory in nine games (2-5-2) since a 10-game winning streak. "Just seeing guys in and around after, it's nice to win a hockey game," coach Dave Hakstol said after the game. "It's been a while since we've had that feeling, doesn't matter how well you've played in a couple of games along the way. It's important to get the two points, it's important to do it the right way and it's the first of two competitive games we have this weekend. It's time to turn the page and get ready for [Sunday]." Among the moves Hakstol made was reuniting forwards Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek. Couturier and Konecny scored, and Voracek had two assists, against the Lightning. "I don't think it has anything to do with the changes necessarily," Hakstol said, "I think it was really the determination today of our entire group. That line was good, but I thought each of our other three lines did a good job too. We had contributions from everyone up and down the lineup." The win was the Flyers first in regulation since a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 14.

 

Blue Jackets team scope

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky won 14 in a row until a 5-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday ended the Blue Jackets' 16-game winning streak. Backup Curtis McElhinney started and struggled in a 5-4 defeat to the New York Rangers on Saturday after Columbus held a 4-1 lead in the second period. "I thought for the most part we were OK throughout," coach John Tortorella said after the game. "We do need a save from [McElhinney]. When that [New York rally] starts happening you feel nervous. Our team got nervous. We couldn't find a way." The Blue Jackets pride themselves on strong third-period play but were outscored 3-0 by the Rangers. "This one stings," captain Nick Foligno said. "Last game you can say the streak or whatever, and get over it. This one bothers us because we had enough goals to win the game. We're going to find it in here. Good teams do. We've got a huge game less than 24 hours away. It gives us an opportunity to answer the right way. We know we have better in the room." The Blue Jackets have won eight straight against the Flyers at Nationwide Arena since Dec. 27, 2008 and are 10-2-0 against them since Dec. 21, 2013.

 

Flyers projected lineup

Michael Raffl -- Claude Giroux -- Matt Read

Travis Konecny -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Dale Weise -- Brayden Schenn -- Wayne Simmonds

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Roman Lyubimov

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Nick Schultz -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michael Del Zotto -- Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Nick Cousins, Boyd Gordon

Injured: Mark Streit (shoulder)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Scott Hartnell -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- David Savard

Markus Nutivaara -- Ryan Murray

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Scott Harrington, Dalton Prout, Markus Hannikainen

Injured: David Clarkson (lower body) 

 

Status report

Mason is expected to start for the Flyers. Neuvirth made 24 saves against the Lightning in his first start since injuring his left knee in the first period against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 12. … The Blue Jackets and Flyers did not hold morning skates.

 

Who's hot

Giroux has three assists in a three-game point streak. Voracek has two goals and four points in his past two games. Schenn has two goals and three assists in his past five games. … Atkinson has 11 goals and 18 points in his past 15 games. Foligno has three goals and eight assists in his past seven games. Gagner has six goals and 17 points in his past 15 games.

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