Flyers

NHL playoffs Flyers vs. Blue Jackets: Previewing possible 1st-round matchup

NHL playoffs Flyers vs. Blue Jackets: Previewing possible 1st-round matchup

Leading up to the Flyers' Aug. 2 round-robin opener — which officially commences the team's run at the 2020 Stanley Cup in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament — we're going to break down every possible first-round matchup for the club.

Today, we look at the ninth-seeded Blue Jackets.

Flyers by the numbers

Goals per game: 3.29 (seventh overall)
Goals allowed per game: 2.77 (tied for seventh fewest)
Power play percentage: 20.8 (14th overall)
Penalty kill percentage: 81.8 (11th overall)

Blue Jackets by the numbers

Goals per game: 2.57 (tied for 27th overall)
Goals allowed per game: 2.61 (tied for third fewest)
Power play percentage: 16.4 (27th overall)
Penalty kill percentage: 81.7 (12th overall) 

How they could meet

There are a few ways that these two teams can meet in the first round:

• If every lower seed (Canadiens, Rangers and Panthers) advances to the first round of the playoffs and the Flyers come out of the round robin in their current position, they would be slated to face the Blue Jackets. 

• Should the top seeds all advance (Penguins, Hurricanes and Islanders) in addition to the Blue Jackets and the Flyers find themselves at the top following the round-robin tournament, the two teams would see each other in the first round.

Why matchup could be favorable for Flyers

The Flyers did a number on the Blue Jackets during the 2019-20 regular season — and that’s putting things lightly. Columbus lost a great deal of talent in the recent NHL offseason — one important player being Sergei Bobrovsky — and while the Flyers have the chance to see him in the first round with the Panthers, he’s no longer a threat with the Blue Jackets. 

Oftentimes, when goaltenders are on top of their game, they’re referenced as being a wall. Well, that wall was knocked down and it opened up a clear path for the Flyers to find success against this Blue Jackets team. 

There was a single game at the beginning of this season that showcased every positive aspect of the Flyers and why this season was going to have a positive outcome. That game was Oct. 26 at the Wells Fargo Center. Both teams were toe to toe for the first two periods of play, but as the final 20 minutes were on the clock, you saw a surge that proved two things almost immediately. The first being the Flyers were no longer a team that sat back on their skates and accepted defeat — it’s a storyline that seemed to appear often in a few previous seasons. The second was that this team meant business. 

Right out of the gate, the Flyers had some ground to make up and were soon down 4-2 just a little over two minutes into the third period. It was their response that sparked conversations about this new-look Flyers team. They scored five unanswered goals — because tying the game and forcing overtime wasn’t enough, one insurance goal wasn’t enough padding, they wanted to destroy them. A statement was made that night and it carried throughout the remainder of the season and times these two teams saw each other. 

Sharing the wealth

Having key players lead the way in divisional matchups is always crucial, but to have others find success as well is a recipe for a complete game.

• Travis Konecny was a force to be reckoned with. Eight of his 61 points came against the Blue Jackets, having scored three goals and tallied five assists.

• James van Riemsdyk averaged a point per game, having two goals and two assists. 

• Jakub Voracek found himself with five points (two goals, three assists).

• Kevin Hayes had an impressive six points (three goals, three assists) … not to mention, one of the most memorable goals of the season came from him on Feb. 20 in overtime. And his celebration was just as great

• The captain Claude Giroux rounded up at least one point each time he saw the Blue Jackets — having two goals and three assists. 

• Defensive duo Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen was a machine, having a combined six assists. 

The list goes on and on … and on. 

Not to mention, since the Blue Jackets’ games can’t be held in Columbus, we won’t have to hear that dreaded cannon with every goal. That alone is already a win. Thank you, Toronto bubble. 

Why matchup could be trouble for Flyers

This would be a battle of Jack Adams finalists behind the benches with the Flyers’ Alain Vigneault and the Blue Jackets’ John Tortorella. While the Flyers have been overlooked countless times and are deemed underdogs, the Blue Jackets might even have a stronger case to hold that title. 

Columbus comes alive in the playoffs — who can forget just one season ago when it swept the Lightning, the hottest team in the league, in the first round? And it did so as a wild card! It goes to show you that any team can get hot in the playoffs, so just because the Blue Jackets are currently the ninth seed, it doesn’t mean they should be counted out. 

Not to mention, while the Flyers found their success in the regular season, the Blue Jackets would definitely be out for revenge. And what better way to get it than in the playoffs? 

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Flyers vs. Canadiens NHL playoffs: Game 2 live stream, storylines, more

Flyers vs. Canadiens NHL playoffs: Game 2 live stream, storylines, more

The Flyers on Friday will look to take a 2-0 series lead when they play the Canadiens in Game 2 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff set.

Let's get into some essentials:

When: 3 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers have seen a wide range of contributors through four games in the NHL's return-to-play tournament. Balance was integral to their turnaround in 2019-20 and it has been important so far in the tournament.

The Flyers are 4-0-0 (three wins in the round robin, one over the Canadiens) and have outscored the opposition 13-4. The scary thought about the ceiling being even higher is that their top-five goal scorers from the regular season have yet to tally a marker. Travis Konecny (24 goals), Kevin Hayes (23), Sean Couturier (22), Claude Giroux (21) and James van Riemsdyk (19) have combined for nine assists but no goals — and everyone knows they can score some goals, too.

Those numbers are a true testament to the Flyers' drastically improved depth.

• Did the Flyers get underneath the skin of Montreal goalie Carey Price during their 2-1 win in Game 1?

The veteran netminder does not like being bumped or obstructed, which was evident Wednesday.

The Flyers' two goals came with a man right in front of Price. Look for a heavy emphasis on that in Game 2 and moving forward.

• The last time the Flyers took a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs was 2012 against the Penguins during the first round. They won the series and have not won one since then.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Derek Grant-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Nate Thompson-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

The first round of the NHL playoffs kicked off Aug. 11 and are officially in full swing. Between the two bubble cites in Edmonton and Toronto, there has been more than enough hockey to go around. While it’s every fan’s dream to have hockey on for the greater part of the day, there is a lot to keep up with — given the amount of games played daily with their turnaround times. 

So, in an effort to keep everyone up to date for each series in the first round — we created this playoff tracker. Consider this your one-stop shop for everything and anything you need to know. From who has the edge in the series, odds on who has the better chance at advancing per DraftKings, schedules, analysis and where to stream — it’s all right here for the taking.

This will be updated daily with the latest news and information from all eight series. 

East 
 

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CBJ +180 TB -225

Game 1: The puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. ET, but no one knew at the time it was going to run over six hours. This first game became the second-longest playoff game in the modern NHL era, going into five overtimes. You would think the team that had the goaltender that mad a record 85 saves, would have been the winners, but that wasn’t the case. 10:27 into that fifth overtimes, Brayden Point scored that game-winning goal for the Lightning on Joonas Korpisalo.  

Game 2: Blue Jackets’ net minder Joonas Korpisalo has brought his A-game in the first two games of this series. After stopping 85 shots in game one, he stopped 36 of 37 Thursday to help his team to a win over the Lightning. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 7:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Bruins vs. Hurricanes 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CAR +110 BOS -132

Game 1: After the Blue Jackets-Lightning game going far over the allotted time for their game, this series’ first game was pushed to the following day with an 11 a .m. start time. This now gave them back-to-back games to open the series. Also going into double overtime, Selke finalist Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal. 

Game 2: The hurricanes were out for revenge Thursday night when they faced the Bruins in their second matchup of the series. Even though Boston finally started clicking on their power play (scoring two goals, after having no luck prior since the round robin began), it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hurricanes. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Capitals vs. Islanders 

The Islanders lead the series 1-0

Series odds: NY -167 WSH +137 

Game 1: Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson was back in the lineup for the Capitals, but still wasn’t enough to help his team to a win. The Islanders scored four unanswered goals to rally back after being down two to take the first in this series. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on USA)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Flyers vs. Canadiens 

The Flyers lead the series 1-0

Series odds: MTL +340 PHI -455

Game 1: The Flyers had a great jump at the start of the game, but things quickly shifted in favor of the Canadiens about 10 minutes in — and then they continued to control he game through well into the second period. If it wasn’t for Carter Hart, the Flyers would have been in deep trouble. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

West 

Flames vs. Stars

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CGY -109 DAL -112

Game 1: The Flames came out swinging right from the jump to try and get an early edge on the Stars. Along with the strong efforts of goaltender Cam Talbot, Flames’ Dillon Dube dominated through that first period, scoring the first two goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Corey Perry also dropped the gloves early on, making for quite an entertaining first 20 minutes of hockey. 

Game 2: In one of the most intense games of the day, the Stars and Flames went to battle in the third period. Things were a little too close for comfort when the Flames came from behind, scoring twice with less than ten minutes to play — but in the 59th minute, Stars’ Jami Oleksiak gave his team the go-ahead goal and carried them to a win. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 14 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights 

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-0 

Series odds: CHI +1150 VGS -2500

Game 1: When the puck first dropped, the two teams looked far more balanced than they should have for a first and 12th seed. It might have taken some time, but the Golden Knights eventually shifted their gears into motion and never looked back. The third period put the Blackhawks away, when Reilly Smith scored not one, but two power play goals against Corey Crawford. 

Game 2: If there’s one thing that holds true in the playoffs, it’s that you should never underestimate Patrick Kane. In the second period, he tallied an assist for every Blackhawks goal. Their third goal, curtesy of Dylan Strome, tied the game and was the last one scored in regulation. Just over seven minutes into overtime, Reilly Smith scored the game-winning goal, officially getting the Golden Knights their second win of the series. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Coyotes vs. Avalanche 

The Avalanche lead the series 1-0

Series odds: ARI +445 COL -625

Game 1: The scoring opened up late in the third period with the Avalanche, who then tallied a second goal in just 10 seconds. They didn’t stay silent for long and scored the third and final goal of the game just over a minute later. The Coyotes were shut out and had a mere 14 shots on goal. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 5:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Canucks vs. Blues 

The Canucks lead the series 1-0

Series odds: VAN -120 STL +100

Game 1: It’s safe to say the first two periods were very evenly matched — if the Canucks scored on the power play, the Blues followed suit, if the Canucks had an unassisted goal, so did the Blues. Going into the third period, it could’ve been anyone’s game, but Vancouver finally found the stride they were looking for, scoring three more times. With three power play goals and only 22 shots on goal, the Canucks left Blues’ net minder Jordan Binnington flustered, leaving the first game of the series with a .773 SV%. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

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