Better With Popcorn

Flyers Preview: Back to Work

The Flyers look to continue their three-game winning streak this weekend after five days of rest against division foe Columbus and NHL top dog Montreal.

Friday, November 14, 2014 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-10-1, 9 points, 8thMetropolitan)

Columbus rolls into Philadelphia losers of nine in a row dating back to Oct. 23. During that span, the Jackets have yielded at least three goals against; not coincidentally, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has missed the past seven games with a broken hand.

Bobrovsky will be sidelined for Friday’s game, leaving the net to Curtis McElhinney, who has been less than impressive this season (0-5-1, 3.76, .887).

The net is not the only place where Columbus is hurting, as they will likely also be without forwards Artem Anisimov (concussion), Brandon “Lumpy” Dubinsky (lower body injury), Nathan Horton (back), Mark Letestu (groin) and Ryan Murray (knee).

One healthy body is old familiar face Scott Hartnell, who will make his return to the Wells Fargo Center Friday for the first time since being traded in the offseason. This season, Hartnell has scored five goals (third on the team) and 14 points (third) in 15 games.

Other contributors to the 21st-ranked offense (2.53 goals per game) are Nick Foligno (seven goals, first) and Ryan Johansen, whose 16 points are first on the club.

Jack Skille, David Savard and Letestu are the only other Blue Jackets with three or more goals.

The Columbus powerplay ranks 12th in the league at 21 percent lead by Foligno’s four. On the flip side, their penalty kill ranks 23rd at 77.2 percent.

Saturday, November 15, 2014 @ Montreal Canadiens (12-4-1, 25 points, 1stAtlantic)

Montreal comes into Saturday’s game on a four-game winning streak after dismantling the Bruins Thursday, 4-1. In the four games, the Canadiens have allowed a grand total of three goals.

Carey Price was in net for the last three of those wins, improving his overall record to 9-3-1. For the season, he has a 2.45 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. In his personal three game win streak, he has saved 70 of 72 shots (.972).

The Canadiens average 2.65 goals per game, led by Max Pacioretty’s eight. He also leads the club with 13 points. Tomas Plekanec’s six goals rank second, and Alex Galchenyuk has five, as does Lars Eller.

During the win streak, everybody has chipped in offensively. There have been eight different goal scorers and sixteen different players have scored at least one point. The hot hands have been Pacioretty and Lars Eller, both have scored three goals. Brendan Gallagher has scored a goal and three assists and Jiri Sekac has totaled two of each during the streak.


Dan MacNeal
Staff Writer
Twitter: @Realdeal411@TCLFlyers