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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
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13