Monday, December 22, 2014

5 Things to Watch Tonight

COLUMBUS -- Brian Boucher will get his second consecutive start tonight when the Flyers take on the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

5 Things to Watch Tonight

Brian Boucher will start in goal tonight for the Flyers. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)
Brian Boucher will start in goal tonight for the Flyers. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)

COLUMBUS -- Brian Boucher will get his second consecutive start tonight when the Flyers take on the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

The Flyers have lost just once to Columbus in their 10 years of existence, holding a 5-1-3 record.

Boucher actually played 3 games for Columbus in 2006-07, one of the 6 NHL teams he has played for in his 11-year NHL career.

“I thought he played well last game,” Peter Laviolette said after the team’s morning skate. “I think right now we’ve got 2 goaltenders that we’re comfortable with. I just don’t want to go down the road with 1 guy and then have the other guy sitting out too long.”

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Laviolette said that now that he has seen a sampling of what Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky can do, he can pick based on specific skill sets or trends against a particular opponent.

In 4 starts, Bobrovsky has a 2.78 goals-against average and .901 save percentage with a 2-2-0 record. In 3 starts, Boucher has a 2.33 goals-against average with a .889 save percentage and 1-1-0 record.

“We’ve wanted to get both guys in there right away,” Laviolette said. “But now we can go a little more of feel, watch the game and see who’s going well and check past records and see how they do.”

5 Things To Watch tonight:

-Nikolay Zherdev: Zherdev spent 4 years with the Blue Jackets, who drafted him 4th overall in 2003. He has 1 goal and no assist in his first 7 games as a Flyer after leading the team in scoring in the preseason with 5 goals in 6 games.

-Pounding pucks: The Flyers have had a combined 147 attempts at the net over the last 2 games, which resulted in a win and a loss. They had 82 total shots on target.

-R.J. Umberger: Former Flyer R.J. Umberger will play his 400th NHL game tonight for Columbus. R.J. leads the B.J.’s with 4 goals.

-Sean O’Donnell: Tonight is Sean O’Donnell’s 1100th career NHL game. He has been a steady influence on the Flyers’ blue line so far.

-Jody Shelley: Jody Shelley spent parts of 7 seasons with the Blue Jackets. Does the Flyers’ heavyweight have a fight in him tonight?

SLAP SHOTS: Andreas Nodl will be a healthy scratch in favor of Dan Carcillo ... Oskars Bartulis is still not back from his conditioning assignment with AHL Adirondack yet, after playing 2 games against Hershey this weekend ... Columbus is without winger Kristian Huselius tonight (foot/ankle), according to the Columbus Dispatch ... The Blue Jackets have not drawn well this season at Nationwide Arena. They had just 11,324 on opening night, 9,082 against Anaheim and 10,784 against Calgary, but did sell out (18,305) against Chicago. That’s a lopsided average of 14,054. Columbus has 137 sellouts in 9+ seasons, averaging 91.6-percent capacity.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.

About this blog
Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Staff Writer
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