Flyers hope to reverse fortune in return to Columbus

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Flyers' Scott Laughton
Flyers’ Scott Laughton. (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

A week ago, the Philadelphia Flyers lost themselves on the road against a beatable Columbus Blue Jackets club. Now, they’ll have a chance to find themselves in the same arena to begin a three-game road trip.

Over the last three games, the Flyers allowed five three point scorers. One of those three point scorers wanted to play hockey in Philadelphia. Johnny Gaudreau rattling off three consecutive scoring plays in a 5-2 victory burns.

Following the loss, John Tortorella didn’t speak to the media.

Tonight, it is critical for the Flyers to regain confidence in the place they lost it. Special teams were abysmal over the last few games. Despite the current losing streak, Tortorella believes they’re closer to improving:

“I do think its fixable. I think we have some good players there on the powerplay. It’s been a very important part of us at the beginning of this year, in some of our wins to score a goal in a game to keep us in it. You got to remember, we were winning games and we were giving up 26, 27 scoring chances. We gave up thirteen in Columbus. We gave up nine the other night. It was 15-15 going into the third period here. I think we’re beginning to improve as far as with puck possession and making plays. The powerplay is something I believe we can get going.”

John Tortorella; 11/13/2022

All eyes are on the special teams for Philadelphia.

Columbus Blue Jackets (4-9-1)

The Blue Jackets didn’t defeat the Flyers without a few fallen skaters, including Zach Werenski. In the previous tilt, Werenski accounted for a goal.

Here’s the tentative lineup for Columbus, per Jeff Svoboda:

Gaudreau-Jenner-Bemstrom
Chinakhov-Sillinger-Nyquist
Foudy-Gaunce-Johnson
Robinson-Kuraly-Oliver

Gavrikov-Peeke
Bean-Bjork
Christiansen-Gudbranson

Merzlikins
(Korpisalo)

Jake Bean (-2, 20BLK, 8TK, 45.5%CF) and Boone Jenner (4G, 4A) could make it a long evening for Philadelphia. Without Werenski, Bean could step into a playmaking role with Jenner at his disposal. The Flyers allowed four powerplay goals over the last two games.

Elvis Merzlikins (2-5-0, 86.3%SV, 4.82GAA) will start between the pipes. He allowed five goals in his most recent start against the Colorado Avalanche. Merzlikins is riding a four-game losing streak as a starting goaltender. In five career games against the Flyers, Merzlikins is 2-2-1, allowing four goals last time in a losing effort.

Philadelphia Flyers (7-6-2)

Alluded to earlier, Tortorella doesn’t believe the performances are as bad as the score says. To an extent, he is correct; Philadelphia did outshoot opponents while remaining the more physical team.

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Flyers, per Giana Han:

Tippett-Hayes-Konecny
Laughton-N. Cates-Farabee
Willman-Frost-MacEwen
Deslauriers-Sedlak-Bellows

Provorov-DeAngelo
Sanheim-Braun
Seeler-Ristolainen

Hart
(Sandstrom)

Scott Laughton (3G, 2A) came close to scoring against the Dallas Stars. He glanced the puck off the post, missed a tip-in wide of the net, and had a good look at Jake Oettinger on a rebound. Let one of those chances go in and the flow of the contest changes drastically.

Justin Braun (+1, 17BLK, 4GV, 39.3%CF) and Travis Sanheim (-3, 30BLK, 10GV, 37.7%CF) must improve their play in support to the top and bottom pairs. They didn’t play poorly, but weren’t too noticeable either. In total, the middle pair contributed three hits and one decent shot on goal where Sanheim missed wide of the net.

Carter Hart (6-2-2, 93.7%SV, 2.18GAA) will start. He is 1-4-0 in his career against Columbus, including last week’s affair.

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Game Information

The Philadelphia Flyers will battle the Columbus Blue Jackets on ESPN+ at 7:30p. You can listen to the radio broadcast on 97.5 the Fanatic.

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)

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