Fresh off an abysmal Western road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers return home to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
This is the third of four meetings between the Flyers and Blue Jackets. They will not meet again until Apr. 6. Philadelphia has won the previous two games, outscoring Columbus 9-4. Travis Konecny scored twice in the season opener to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 victory on Oct. 12. Five different players lit the lamp for Philadelphia in a 5-2 win on Nov. 19. It was their fifth straight win at the time.
After a much-needed return back to the East Coast, the Flyers are at a crucial point. Almost midway through the season, they find themselves in a precarious position. After their 1-2-1 road trip, they sit fourth in the Metro. They are only one point out of a division spot, so not all is lost. However, they'll need to kick things into gear as the games get harder. Energy will become even more of a factor than it was recently. This could be where we find out if the Flyers are ready to play with the big teams or if their early season success was just a mirage.
And it is no surprise to see Philadelphia shaking things up ahead of their matchup with the Blue Jackets. Morgan Frost and Cam Atkinson will both be healthy scratches. This isn't new territory for Frost, but Atkinson could use the reset. He has struggled mightily this season and, at times, is hurting the team more than he is helping. He has not scored in 22 games and has just six points in that stretch.
Rhett Gardner will appear in an NHL game for the first time since Jan 18, 2022. He appeared in just four games for Dallas that season. He has played 40 games in his career, 28 of which came during the 2020-21 season. He has one goal and one assist in his career. Gardner signed as a free agent with the Flyers this offseason. He has appeared in 21 games for the Phantoms, posting three goals and four points.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Joel Farabee - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett - Ryan Poehling - Bobby Brink
Tyson Foerster - Scott Laughton - Garnet Hathaway
Nicolas Deslauriers - Rhett Gardner
Cam York - Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler - Sean Walker
Egor Zamula - Rasmus Ristolainen
Columbus Blue Jackets
It has been yet another rough season for the Blue Jackets. Under new head coach Paul Vincent, Columbus is last in the Metro by a large margin. And they are, once again, toward the bottom of the league standings, sitting in 28th place. They have been marred by injuries as, after an ankle injury, Zach Werenski had a four-to-six-week timeline starting around Dec. 30. Patrik Laine is expected to miss approximately six weeks since his IR stint began in mid-December. Boone Jenner suffered a fractured thumb in mid-December and is expected to be out until mid-to-late January.
Columbus is 3-4-3 over their last 10 games and have lost five of their last six games. Scoring has come at a premium as Johnny Gaudreau, in his second season with the Blue Jackets, leads the way with 25 points. Kirill Marchenko has the team lead in goals with 13, though he is tied with Jenner, who hasn't played since Dec. 8. Rookie sensation Adam Fantilli has chipped in with 11 goals and has seven points in his last eight games.
Daniil Tarasov will make just his fifth start for the Blue Jackets, as they have been trying out a three-goalie rotation as of late. Tarasov has just one win and has given up three or more goals in all four games. If the Flyers want to break out of their funk, Tarasov may be the goaltender they want to face right now.
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
Johnny Gaudreau - Adam Fantilli - Jack Roslovic
Yegor Chinakhov - Dimitri Voronkov - Kirill Marchenko
Kent Johnson - Cole Sillinger - Emil Bemstrom
Alexandre Texier - Justin Danforth - Mathieu Olivier
Damon Severson - Ivan Provorov
Jake Bean - David Jiricek
Jake Christiansen - Erik Gudbranson
When, Where, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Live Stream: FuboTV
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