Flyers

Flyers

A fun goalie matchup will be on display Saturday as the Flyers (14-15-4) welcome the Blue Jackets (19-12-3).

Let's look at the essentials:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• It'll be 20-year-old rookie Carter Hart against two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky.

Hart has fans excited again after winning his first two NHL starts as he made 51 saves on 54 shots to give the Flyers back-to-back wins for the time since Nov. 5-10, when they won three straight.

Bobrovsky, the former Flyer who can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, is 3-0-1 with 106 saves on 110 shots in his last four games. He's also always been a thorn in the Flyers' side, going 12-3-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .929 save percentage lifetime against his old club.

• Since Nov. 23, the Flyers have the NHL's sixth-best penalty kill at 86.8 percent. Overall, the unit is still tied for 29th in the league, which shows you just how low it was before these improvements.

Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon has been known for his PK work at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. The Flyers killed off all six of the Predators' power-play opportunities in Thursday's 2-1 win. Gordon had a good quote Friday about how things work now with assistant coach Ian Laperriere, who oversees the penalty kill.

 

We sit and we have conversations and we talk about the different challenges that each team brings. So as we sit and we talk, there's a situation that Nashville does, as we're talking about what they're doing and how we're going to defend it, I said to Lappy, 'This is what we did in Lehigh, but you make the decision. If you think the guys are going to be more comfortable doing what we're doing, then we stick with it. If you think that this might be a good adjustment, then we'll make the adjustment.' So I leave it in his hands. 

Sometimes different ideas open up different thought processes. Like yesterday, we talked about the neutral zone, how we wanted to do something, and I had it mapped out and (assistant coach) Kris Knoblauch said to me, 'What do you think if we put this guy in this spot instead of the original spot?' So there's always a sharing of information that goes on when you're discussing what your strategy is going to be against a different opponent.

• The Flyers' power play, however, is now dead last in the NHL at 12.1 percent, which is mind-boggling considering all the talent on the unit. 

The man advantage is 7 for 79 (8.9 percent) since Oct. 13. The Blue Jackets have the next-fewest power-play goals over that span with 12.

• Here's a look at why Gordon likes Claude Giroux at center for now — and it has something to do with Nolan Patrick.

Projected lineup

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny 
Jakub Voracek-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Michael Raffl
Oskar Lindblom-Phil Varone-Dale Weise

Defensemen
Travis Sanheim-Ivan Provorov
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere
Andrew MacDonald-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Carter Hart
Michal Neuvirth

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