Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 60 Preview
The Flyers have hit a crucial point in the season. There are just over 20 games remaining on the schedule, 23 to be exact. The trade deadline is in less than a week. Every game holds great importance, but one look at the standings shows just how important the next two games will be.
The Flyers currently hold the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference with 71 points. That is just one point behind the opponent for the next two games, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who technically hold the first wildcard spot with 72 points though they are tied for third in the division with the Islanders. It presents an opportunity for the Flyers to really solidify their place in the playoff race.
Game time is 7 p.m.
|Philadelphia Flyers||GP||G||A||P||Columbus Blue Jackets||GP||G||A||P|
|Sean Couturier||59||17||35||52||Pierre-Luc Dubois||60||17||27||44|
|Travis Konecny||56||19||29||48||Gustav Nyquist||60||12||25||37|
|Claude Giroux||59||16||28||44||Zach Werenski||53||18||17||35|
|Jake Voracek||59||11||32||43||Oliver Bjorkstrand||47||19||14||33|
|James van Riemsdyk||59||18||20||38||Seth Jones||56||6||24||30|
|Player to Watch|
|28 Claude Giroux||28 Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Last 5 Games: 3 G, 6 A, 9 P, +1||Last 5 Games: 2 G, 2 A, 4 P, E|
|Projected Goalie Matchup|
|79 Carter Hart||90 Elvis Merzlikins|
|35 GP, 17-12-3, 2.59 GAA, .906 SV%||28 GP, 12-8-6, 2.21 GAA, .928 SV%|
After getting two wins in his first two games back from injury, Carter Hart had a rough outing against the Lightning, making 19 saves on 23 shots in a loss. This will be Hart's first appearance of the season against Columbus and given the magnitude of these two games, likely won't be his last.
Once he was pressed into action as Columbus' No. 1 goalie, Elvis Merzlikins went on quite a run, winning 12 of 14 starts and recording five shutouts. The last four games have been very different. Merzlikins has played well, allowed three goals or less in each game, but is on a four-game losing streak.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Injuries: Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)
Scratches: Shayne Gostisbehere
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|28 Claude Giroux||14 Sean Couturier||93 Jake Voracek|
|49 Joel Farabee||13 Kevin Hayes||11 Travis Konecny|
|25 James van Riemsdyk||21 Scott Laughton||18 Tyler Pitlick|
|12 Michael Raffl||82 Connor Bunnaman||62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel|
|9 Ivan Provorov||15 Matt Niskanen|
|6 Travis Sanheim||5 Phil Myers|
|8 Robert Hagg||61 Justin Braun|
|79 Carter Hart||37 Brian Elliott|
No changes are expected to the Flyers lineup for Tuesday's game.
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
Injuries: Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson, Josh Anderson, Joonas Korpisalo, Ryan Murray, Alexander Wennberg, Alexandre Texier, Dean Kukan
Scratches: Gabriel Carlsson, Kole Sherwood
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|14 Gustav Nyquist||11 Kevin Stenlund||28 Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|71 Nick Foligno||38 Boone Jenner||24 Nathan Gerbe|
|22 Sonny Milano||18 Pierre-Luc Dubois||52 Emil Bemstrom|
|15 Jakob Lilja||20 Riley Nash||50 Eric Robinson|
|8 Zach Werenski||65 Markus Nutivaara|
|44 Vladislav Gavrikov||58 David Savard|
|4 Scott Harrington||2 Andrew Peeke|
|90 Elvis Merzlikins||80 Matiss Kivlenieks|
- Power Play: Flyers (16th), Blue Jackets (26th)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (11th), Blue Jackets (7th)
- Recent History vs. Blue Jackets
- Oct. 26, 2019 - Flyers 7, Blue Jackets 4 (at PHI)
- Nov. 27, 2019 - Flyers 3, Blue Jackets 2 (at CBJ)
- Flyers Leaders vs. Blue Jackets
- Claude Giroux - 31 GP, 10 G, 20 A, 30 P
- Travis Konecny - 13 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 P
- James van Riemsdyk - 21 GP, 10 G, 9 A, 19 P
- Jake Voracek - 27 GP, 7 G, 15 A, 22 P
- Carter Hart - 1 GP, 0-1-0, 4.15 GAA, .789 SV%
- Milestone Watch
- Claude Giroux needs one power-play assist to pass Bobby Clarke for first on the Flyers all-time list.
- Scott Laughton needs three points to reach 100 for his career.
Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.