The Philadelphia Flyers have been on fire at home recently, winning seven straight games at the Wells Fargo Center. Tonight, the Flyers are taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets in hopes of adding another game to the win column and put them over .500 for the first time this season.
LAST TIME THEY MET
It's been over two years since the Flyers and Blue Jackets have met in the Wells Fargo Center. The last time they played each other in Philly was on November 5, 2011. At the end of that game, the Flyers skated away with a 9-2 victory over the Blue Jackets. By the end of the first period, the Flyers were already up 5-0. The interesting thing about this is that the goalie for the Blue Jackets at the time is currently the Flyers number one goalie: Steve Mason. He let the puck get by him seven times before he was pulled.
FLYERS TO WATCH TONIGHT
THE FRONT LINE
Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Giroux has been playing with Voracek all season. However, Raffl was placed on the top line three games ago. Since then, the three players have combined for 14 points and have become the hottest line on the Flyers. Raffl has one goal and three assists. Giroux has two goals and three assists. Voracek has three goals and two assists. Out of the three players, Voracek has been the hotter of the shots with all three of this goals coming in the past two games. He scored twice on Tuesday.
Giroux and Voracek are the top two in points for the team. Giroux has 26 points while Voracek trails him with 19 points. Raffl is starting to climb the stat sheet rapidly since being placed on the top line and he currently sits in the middle with eight points.
With Raffl, Giroux and Voracek getting hot recently, their names should be hitting the stat sheet tonight. Look for at least one goal and two assists to come from the top line tonight.
SIDE NOTE: Voracek scored twice and tallied an assist for the Flyers when the last played the Blue Jackets in Philly in Nov. 2011. It was the first time Voracek had played against his former team as a Flyer.
WHO IS STARTING BETWEEN THE PIPES?
Steve Mason gets the nod to play against his former team tonight in hopes of backing the Flyers to their eighth straight win at home and to put them over .500 for the season. Mason currently has a 2.34 goals against average and a .924 save percentage this season. He is also coming off of a huge win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday where he saved 24 of the 26 shots against him en route to a 5-2 victory.
Due to injury, this won't be a battle of the former goaltenders. Former Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky hasn't played since the beginning of the month due to a groin injury. In the 23 games that Bob has played for the Blue Jackets this season, he has a .909 save percentage and a 2.72 goals against average. He is 10-11-2 for the season as well.
BRAYDEN SCHENN IN THE LINEUP
Brayden Schenn is in the lineup tonight after taking a hard, head-first hit to the boards Tuesday night when Capitals rookie Tom Wilson put Schenn into the boards from about three to four feet away. A scrum immediately ensued after the hit as Schenn tried to make his way to the bench. He fell to the ice three times before being helped to the locker room.
The biggest surprise out of all of this was that Schenn never took a concussion test. He wasn't going to be going back out to the game on Tuesday so the doctors told him to see how he felt on Wednesday to see if he needed the test. Schenn said that he actually felt really good on Wednesday as well as this morning. Schenn said that if he felt anything out of the ordinary, he wouldn't have considered playing tonight.
Tags: Brayden Schenn, Claude Giroux, Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey, Jakub Voracek, Michael Raffl, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Sergei Bobrovsky, Steve Mason, Wells Fargo Center