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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 23rd (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Flyers (25-20-6) at Columbus Blue Jackets (25-20-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Sergei Bobrovsky gets a chance to face his former team for the first time when his red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the Philadelphia Flyers for Thursday's battle at Nationwide Arena.

Bobrovsky was signed by Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and he spent two seasons with the Flyers before being traded to Columbus in the summer of 2012. Although he was primarily a backup with the Flyers, he made Philadelphia regret the move by winning the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender during last year's lockout-shortened season.

The 25-year-old Russian did not get off to a good start in 2013-14, but has played his best hockey of the season since returning in early January from a month-long absence due to a groin injury. Bobrovsky has won his last eight starts and has been a major reason Columbus is currently on a club-record seven-game winning streak.

Bobrovsky anchored his club's most recent victory, stopping 26 shots in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. R.J. Umberger scored twice to help the Blue Jackets break their previous record of six straight wins set between March 24-April 3, 2006.

"We have a lot of confidence right now and that makes it easier," said Umberger.

Ryan Johansen, Nathan Horton and Artem Anisimov also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have vaulted themselves into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets are currently tied for the last spot with Detroit.

Columbus has qualified for the postseason just one time in its history and that was back in the spring of 2009, when they were swept out of the first round by the Red Wings.

While Bobrovsky gets to face his former club for the first time on Thursday, it's unclear if ex-Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason will get the opportunity to play his first game back in Columbus. Mason started Wednesday's 3-2 home loss against Carolina and Ray Emery could get the call with the Flyers playing this evening on consecutive days.

Mason won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie with the Blue Jackets back in 2008-09, but struggled for the next three-plus seasons before getting traded to Philadelphia late last season. He is 19-12-5 with a .915 save percentage and 2.57 goals against average in 2013-14, signing a three-year contract extension last Saturday.

The 25-year-old Mason stopped 25 shots in Philadelphia's 5-4 home win over Columbus on Dec. 19. That game was the opener of a home-and-home series and the Blue Jackets answered two days later with a win over the Flyers at Nationwide Arena. Emery yielded five goals on 28 shots in Philadelphia's loss on Dec. 21, while Bobrovsky missed both games due to his groin injury.

The Blue Jackets' win over the Flyers last month was only their third victory in the last eight meetings in this series. However, it was the club's third straight win over Philadelphia on home ice.

The Flyers have lost two straight, three of four and five of their last seven games. Philadelphia was able to tie the Hurricanes after falling behind 2-0 on Wednesday, but Jiri Tlusty's goal with 6:10 left in the third proved to be the game-winner for Carolina.

The contest was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but a winter storm caused the game to be postponed a day.

Andrej Sekera fired a shot from the point that Mason could not control. Tlusty gathered the puck and lifted the rebound into the net to give Carolina a 3-2 edge with a little over six minutes remaining.

Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist, while Scott Hartnell supplied the other marker. Mason allowed all three goals on 32 shots as the Flyers lost their second straight game by one goal.

"We're just not playing our best hockey for the first 10 to 15 minutes and then we turn it up after that. It's biting us in the butt, you're not going to be able to do that for the rest of the year," said Wayne Simmonds.

Simmonds extended his point streak to five games and he has two goals and six assists during that stretch.

Philadelphia, which is 12-11-5 as the road team this season, is just two points ahead of the Blue Jackets in both the Metropolitan Division and conference standings.

01/23 10:49:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
7th
WAS 2
CHC 0
 
6th
ARI 1
STL 2
 
1st
SDP 0
ANA 0
 
1st
ATL 0
LOS 0
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
2nd
HOU 43
GSW 50
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
3rd
ANA 2
CHI 3
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR