|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 18, 2018
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 13,492
Flyers, Jackets aim to find footing
Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets
- Since the start of the 2014-15 season, all eight Flyers games at Columbus have been decided by a single goal; this is tied for the second-longest active streak between any two clubs at a single location. Philadelphia won a 2-1 OT game at Columbus last February 16, snapping an 11-game losing streak there.
- The Flyers have given up 25 goals, second most in the league; this is tied for the third-most goals ever yielded by Philadelphia in the first six games of a season. The Flyers have allowed at least four goals in four of their six games.
- Columbus suffered an 8-2 defeat at Tampa Bay on Saturday; it was the first time since November 5, 2011 -- a 9-2 loss at Philly -- that a Blue Jackets team allowed as many as eight goals in a game. Columbus has allowed 12 goals in its last two games after giving up only seven goals in its first three contests.
- Claude Giroux has 17 points in 13 career home games against the Blue Jackets, but only but only five -- and a single goal -- in 12 visits to Columbus. Dating back to March 20, 2018, Giroux has 26 points in his last 15 regular-season games.
- Sergei Bobrovsky's eight goals allowed on Saturday are a career worst for the ninth-year netminder, who played his first two seasons with the Flyers. Bobrovsky had a 1.97 GAA in October 2017 but has a 4.38 mark through three games in October 2018.
- The Flyers (.868) and Blue Jackets (.877) have the second- and fourth-worst save percentages in the NHL. Philadelphia is 25th in penalty-kill percentage (72.0), while Columbus is tied for 28th (64.7 percent).
- Sens hire ex-Leafs asst. Smith as coach
- Isles sign C Nelson for 6 years, $36M
- Marchand avoids injury in scrimmage
- Arbitrator upholds Voynov's suspension
- Pens re-sign D Ruhwedel to 2-year deal
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two teams trying to find their footing in the first month of the season meet Thursday night when the Philadelphia Flyers face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
The Flyers (3-3-0) blew a three-goal lead on Tuesday but survived for their first home win of the young season with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers.
The Blue Jackets (3-2-0) have not played since they were roughed up at Tampa Bay in an 8-2 loss to the Lightning on Saturday.
The teams' No. 1 goaltenders didn't have their best games the last time out.
Philadelphia's Brian Elliott was in goal when the Flyers surrendered the big lead against the Panthers, but coach Dave Hakstol remains confident in the team's Elliott even though he pulled him from that game in the third period with a 5-4 lead.
"We have a plan going forward," Hakstol said. "Moose is our No. 1 guy, plain and simple. (Tuesday) night's a tough game for a goaltender to play. Was it his very best, no. When I took him out, he just got scored on on a breakaway that we gave up in a two-goal hockey game. So, there's a lot of things that went into that."
Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky has been in goal for both of the Blue Jackets' losses, including the debacle at Tampa Bay. The eight goals were the most he has allowed in his NHL career.
But Bobrovsky has owned his former team, posting a 10-3-1 career record against the Flyers that includes two shutouts, a 1.91 goals-against average and an .933 save percentage.
"He's unreal. He plays amazing against us every time," Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think he's the hardest goalie to score on. He's athletic. He makes saves and your jaw drops (because) you wouldn't expect him to make them."
A big problem for the Blue Jackets in the blowout loss was their special teams. The Lightning converted 4 of 7 power play chances after going 0 of 8 in their first two games.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets were unable to capitalize with their own power play (0 of 5). They had a four-minute power play early in the second period and managed only two shots on goal.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is trying to figure out the right combinations on his forward lines and special teams. The top line of Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson is not the problem, having accounted for 14 points and six of the Blue Jackets' 16 goals in five games.
"It's a constant monitoring, I guess, of where we're at," Tortorella said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. "I know people always go, 'He's changing his lines.' It happens to all coaches. But then, when you're not changing your lines to try to get some offense, (people say) 'Why didn't he change his lines?' It's just something I have to watch closely, especially so early in the year."
In addition to trying to get more contributions from centers Alexander Wennberg, Riley Nash and Lukas Sedlak, Tortorella hopes to give his fourth line of Oliver Bjorkstrand, Sonny Milano and Sedlak more playing time.
"I just simply have to get (them) in more offensive situations without taking it away from other people, too," Tortorella said. "It's a hard thing to do because I'm still concerned about just our overall flow of the offensive game. So that's what I'm juggling."
The Flyers hit the road looking to play more consistently than they did their last time out. Jakub Voracek and Jordan Weal scored the goals in the shootout that allowed Philadelphia to avoid an embarrassing cave-in loss to Florida.
Weal also had a goal in regulation and an assist as the Flyers bounced back from a 1-0 home loss to Vegas on Saturday.
"He built on what he did Saturday afternoon," Hakstol said of Weal. "(Tuesday) night, he and his linemates went out and played the exact same way as they did Saturday afternoon and they were able to chip in some key offensive numbers for us."
Updated October 17, 2018