Better With Popcorn

Flyers Look to Rebound in Winnipeg

The Matchup:

Philadelphia Flyers (5-7-1) at Winnipeg Jets (5-5-1)
MTS Centre — Winnipeg, MB, Canada
8:00 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage:

The Flyers are looking to put behind them the miserable outing they had last in. They lost 5-2 to the Maple Leafs despite out-shooting them 46-24 in the game. It was arguably the worst loss of the season for Philadelphia and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

For the Flyers, Sean Couturier still has the flu and was sent home. Harrison Zolnierczyk was recalled from Adirondack and will play tonight.

The Jets last played on Saturday, beating the Senators 1-0. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the game-winner early in the third period.

Dustin Byfuglien returns to the lineup tonight for Winnipeg.

What to Expect:

The Flyers are coming off a tough loss the night before whereas the Jets have had two days off prior to tonight's game.

Zolnierczyk should add some much needed energy to the Flyers, especially with Couturier still out with the the flu.

The Flyers have scored three or more goals only three times out of 13 games this season. With scoring troubles like that, it should be interesting to see them against Winnipeg, who is 26th in goal allowed this season.

The Masked Men:

It isn't known yet whether Ilya Bryzgalov or Brian Boucher will make the start tonight in Winnipeg. Last night, Bryzgalov was pulled early in the second period after allowed his fourth goal. He stopped only 10 of 14 shots for the loss. Boucher made his first appearance of 2013, stopping 9-of-10 in the last 33 minutes of the game.

Al Montoya is the projected starter for the Jets. Montoya is 2-0 with a 2.68 GAA and playing well while Ondrej Pavelic is out with the flu. He shut out the Senators on Saturday.

Keys to the Game:

1. Rebound. Losing 5-2 should leave a bad taste in the Flyers' mouths. They came out hard against Toronto yesterday before falling apart. They will need to come out strong again, this time maintaining the early pressure and make Montoya work early.

2. Paging Giroux. The Flyers captain needs to stop pulling his disappearing acts. The Flyers need offense in a bad way and their scoring leader from last season is nowhere to be found. He has just one goal and two assists in the month of February, and the same amount of points in his last eight games.

3. Battling Big Buff. Dustin Byfuglien will be back in the lineup tonight for Winnipeg. The 6'5", 265 pounder is a physical presence down low for the Jets. Guys like Tye McGinn and Mike Knuble cannot be afraid to step onto his porch if the Flyers want to finish their chances.


“The chances are there. They’re just not going in right now. It’s my last worry right now because I feel the team is playing well. We had what, 40-some shots [versus Toronto]? It was one of our best offensive games. We had chances. It’s just a matter of time before they go in.”

- Center Claude Giroux on finding the net for himself and the team.