banner

NHL

more stats

2
Final 123Score
Philadelphia0202
Columbus1225
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
5


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

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Rangers rally to top Canes in shootout, 3-2
Canes visit Rangers on backside of home-and-home

The New York Rangers will attempt to post their longest winning streak in over three years on Sunday evening when they go for a sweep of their home-and-home series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Related Stories
  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
4th
TOR 101
NYK 86
 
2nd
CLE 51
MEM 38
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
 
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
2nd
HAMP 58
NARZ 42
 
2nd
SDU 63
SDCHR 49
 
2nd
BC 51
USC 56
 
2nd
NICST 41
TROY 27
 
2nd
BRAD 27
UCI 32
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
2nd
STL 10
NYG 20
 
2nd
OAK 7
BUF 7
 
2nd
DAL 28
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA