Philadelphia at Columbus
When: 2:00 PM
ET, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Although the Columbus Blue Jackets' bid for the Presidents' Trophy may have taken a hit following back-to-back losses, coach John Tortorella's charges could get back in the mix among the Metropolitan Division powers on Saturday afternoon if recent history holds true. The Blue Jackets vie for their 10th straight home victory over the Philadelphia Flyers when the clubs play the third contest of their four-game season series at Nationwide Arena.
Sergei Bobrovsky, who leads the league with 39 victories, saw his seven-game winning streak end on Thursday despite making a season-high 44 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to Washington. The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner has turned aside 48 of 51 shots to win both outings this season versus Philadelphia, which continues to rue the day it traded Bobrovsky to Columbus for three draft picks in June 2012. While the Blue Jackets have dominated the Flyers at home, Philadelphia took a break from its considerable road woes Thursday with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota. Former Blue Jacket Steve Mason made 24 saves for the Flyers, who moved within six points of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference after posting just their fifth win in 23 contests (5-15-3) away from the City of Brotherly Love.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CSN Philadelphia, SN1, FSN Ohio (Columbus), NHL.TV
ABOUT THE FLYERS (34-31-8): Brayden Schenn, who scored a goal in both contests versus Columbus this season, set up a tally against the Wild to increase his point total to six (three goals, three assists) in his last six games. Rookie Travis Konecny scored twice in Philadelphia's 5-3 setback to Columbus on March 13, marking just the second time in the last eight contests that he has notched at least one point. Fellow forward Sean Couturier scored on Thursday for his seventh point (two goals, five assists) in six outings.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (47-19-7): Defenseman Seth Jones collected his 11th goal and 40th point on Thursday to give Columbus quite the offensive 1-2 punch on the blue line with Zach Werenski, who has 11 goals and 36 points. "We just try to be aggressive, both of us," the 22-year-old Jones said. "You see both of us leading the rush behind their net sometimes, and that's the way we play. The last couple games we've been a little suspect in our end as a pair, so we have to clean it up a little bit. But it's been a joy playing with (Werenski)." Jones set up captain Nick Foligno's overtime goal in Columbus' 2-1 home victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 8 and added two assists against the Flyers earlier this month.
1. Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky, who scored the game-winning goal versus the Flyers on March 13, is riding a four-game point streak and has two tallies and six assists in his last 10.
2. Philadelphia, which is 0-4-5 in its nine trips to Columbus, last emerged victorious in the Buckeye State with a 3-1 triumph on Dec. 13, 2005.
3. Although ruled out for Saturday's game, Blue Jackets RW Oliver Bjorkstrand was feeling better following a brutal boarding penalty that resulted in a two-game suspension for Toronto D Roman Polak, according to general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 5, Flyers 2
Stats and Records