Flyers

Flyers at Blue Jackets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Blue Jackets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Flyers (30-26-7, 67 points) will go bobbing for a victory Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets (35-24-3, 73 points) when they square off against Sergei Bobrovsky, who's looking to beat his old team for the fourth time this season.

Bobrovsky has 202 career wins since joining the Blue Jackets in the summer of 2012 — the same total of the top four Flyers goalies during that time. Steve Mason leads the way with 104, followed by Michal Neuvirth with 39 and Brian Elliott with 31.

Let's take a look at tonight's essentials:

• When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. 
• Where: Nationwide Arena
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Blue Jackets have been a stinger in the Flyers' side since the two teams became Metropolitan Division foes. Columbus holds an 18-5-1 record against the Flyers dating back to 2013-14.

Columbus is going for a four-game regular-season sweep against the Flyers. It would be its first-ever sweep of the Flyers in a series of two or more games. 

• Goaltender Brian Elliott has been very solid in four appearances since returning from a core muscle injury. Elliott is 2-0-0 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .940 save percentage (see story). He will start his third straight game Thursday.

• Defenseman Samuel Morin has been activated and is currently on the Flyers' roster, although there’s no timetable for when the 2013 first-round pick will see his first action of the season.

• The Blue Jackets made the biggest splash ahead of the trade deadline, going all-in by acquiring center Matt Duchene, forward Ryan Dzingel, defenseman Adam McQuaid and goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

With the additions of Duchene and Dzingel, Columbus is the only NHL team with six 20-goal scorers (Cam Atkinson, Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Josh Anderson).

They were already a good team and now they’ve added three or four players. Sometimes when you play a couple days after the deadline, I don’t know if it’s the right word ... ‘screw' up the chemistry the first few games, so maybe we can take advantage of that. Pittsburgh with all their injuries found a way to win it in Columbus, which I think was huge for them as well, so that means we’ve got to have the same approach.

- Jakub Voracek

• Bellmawr, New Jersey's Eric Robinson has been a mainstay in the Blue Jackets' lineup recently. Robinson played youth hockey at Hollydell Ice Arena, where his mother worked with Guy Gaudreau, the father of Johnny Gaudreau. Robinson went undrafted before playing four years at Princeton.

Atkinson, the Blue Jackets' leading scorer with 35 goals, has a special teams goal in each of his past three games (two power play, one shorthanded).

 The Blue Jackets' penalty kill has been outstanding recently. Since Dec. 31, the Jackets have allowed a power-play goal in just three of their last 24 games, a success rate of 93 percent.

Projected lineup

Forwards
Claude Giroux-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Ryan Hartman
Michael Raffl-Corban Knight-Phil Varone

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Robert Hagg-Radko Gudas
Shayne Gostisbehere-Philippe Myers

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Cam Talbot

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

VOORHEES, N.J. — Monday started with bad news for the Flyers.

Travis Konecny, their 22-year-old leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Konecny was leveled in open ice by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the first period of the Flyers' 4-3 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. He left the game and never returned.

The 2015 first-round pick is on pace to shatter his career highs. He's been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through 30 games of 2019-20.

He has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) after having 28 points through the team's first 50 games last season. The Flyers are 2-4-4 in games that he hasn't scored.

I didn’t know a ton about him. I knew he competed like hell, fiery player," Matt Niskanen, in his first year with the Flyers, said Monday. "Playing with him, that’s reinforced that thought — hungry on the puck, good quickness, really good at creating turnovers. He’s shown a pretty good scoring touch, too, so far this year. A lot of good tools and he’s been a really important player for us.

Philippe Myers left the Flyers' skill practice Monday with back spasms. With Konecny out and Myers potentially out for Wednesday's game in Colorado against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Flyers will most likely have only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen to open a three-game road trip.

Niskanen, who has 125 career postseason games on his résumé and a Stanley Cup title, said this can be a good challenge for the Flyers. The team is 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for the most points in the NHL at 28 since Nov. 1 (see weekly observations).

"Both guys have played really well for us," he said. "Hopefully they come back, we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit — and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."

As of Monday morning, the Flyers did not have plans to make a call-up. Forward Chris Stewart will enter the lineup and defenseman Robert Hagg will, as well, if Myers is unable to go in Colorado.

Head coach Alain Vigneault said it's uncertain if Konecny will or can travel with the Flyers. The team flies to Denver Tuesday afternoon.

"At this time, I would say no," Vigneault said, "but you never know how things change."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers weekly observations: Scott Laughton's importance, high praise for Ivan Provorov

Flyers weekly observations: Scott Laughton's importance, high praise for Ivan Provorov

While the Flyers lost their winning streak and point streak, they still put together a productive 2-1-0 week.

Alain Vigneault's team is 7-1-1 over its last nine games, a stretch in which the Flyers have allowed 2.11 goals per game. Since Nov. 1, the Flyers are 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for most points in the NHL at 28, continuing to make strides under the new coaching staff.

We'll get into that and more with our weekly observations:

• Scott Laughton's performance in Saturday's emotion-filled 4-3 win over the Senators served as a microcosm of his importance to the Flyers.

The team-first attitude, the hard skating, the physicality, the forechecking, the penalty killing and the secondary scoring.

He is not undervalued by the Flyers.

If I look at today’s game where it got heated, he’s one of the guys I thought that responded the best. He responded in a physical nature when the opportunity was there, but when he needed to make plays with the puck or defend, he did that — he did both of those things.

As a coach, it’s really easy to trust a player when he’s doing the right things and playing the right way on the ice.

- Vigneault

And check out these marks: the Flyers are 7-0-0 when Laughton records a point and 6-1-1 since his return following a 13-game absence because of a broken finger.

• In 30 games, Ivan Provorov has already matched his goal total from last season (seven) and set career highs on the power play (four goals, six assists).

He's projected to pass his numbers from a breakout 2017-18 season in which he scored 17 goals and 41 points. The 22-year-old's rebound from his letdown 2018-19 campaign might be the most impactful development to the Flyers' overall rebound so far in 2019-20.

Before the Coyotes' 3-1 win Thursday over the Flyers, Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet extolled Provorov.

"I think he's one of the best young defensemen in the league," Tocchet said, via Coyotes public relations.

"He plays with an edge in a sense that he doesn’t play safe. He’s up the ice, he makes plays, he’s not scared the way he plays. Not so much scared physically, just the way he plays, he’s trying to win the game. As a young guy, he wants to be in those spots. When I watch him, he wants the puck. I love young kids like that, they’re not scared.”

When asked if Provorov reminded him of anyone, Tocchet said "a little bit of Phil Housley," who is a Hall of Fame blueliner and now an assistant coach with Arizona.

• Carter Hart owns 10 wins and a 2.39 goals-against average.

By Dec. 8 of last season, Brian Elliott, Calvin Pickard, Anthony Stolarz, Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon had combined for 12 wins and a 3.30 goals-against average.

As much as some people want to knock the previous coaching staff, the Flyers were a mess in net at this point last season and things predictably unraveled. Really, from the outset of 2018-19, things were problematic between the pipes for the Flyers.

• One of the biggest signs of growth with the 2019-20 Flyers has been goal prevention. They've allowed 80 goals through 30 games. In 30 games last season, the Flyers gave up 111. That's 31 more goals.

A lot goes into that — goaltending and offseason acquisitions to name a few. But Vigneault's system has turned the Flyers into a more structured team.

Much more often compared to 2018-19, the Flyers, even if they're struggling to score, look like they're controlling games instead of letting the opposition do the honors. Through 30 games last season, the Flyers had 11 losses by three goals or more. This season, they have only four such defeats.

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers