Columbus (37-28-5) at Flyers (35-24-11)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV–NBCSP; radio–93.3 FM.
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull @samdonnellon
KEY PLAYERS: For Columbus, it always starts with the franchise goalie the Flyers gave away. Sergei Bobrovsky was the first star in Monday’s 5-2 victory over Montreal, stopping 29 shots. He has allowed two goals or fewer in nine of the past 11 games (7-3-1, 2.10 GAA, .927). … With 37 points this season, rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois is in the top 10 among rookie scorers (15G-22A). He needs just three more points to surpass Jake Voracek and Rick Nash for most ever for a Columbus rookie. … Columbus defenseman Seth Jones, who had two goals Monday, re-aggravated his ribs and did not finish the game, but is expected to play against the Flyers. Jones is second on the club in assists (34) and points (48) and leads in shots on goal (234) and ice time (24:38). Among NHL defensemen, he’s tied for third in goals (14), eighth in points (48), second in shots (234), tied for 13th in ice time, and tied for third in game-winning goals (four). “What he does on the ice, not a lot of guys can do,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. “He’s very important, if not one of the most important guys on the team.”… LW Artemi Panarin leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 61 points (21G-40A).
THINGS TO KNOW: The Blue Jackets are on a five-game winning streak, closing the double-digit gap the Flyers held just a couple of weeks ago to two points. With a regulation victory tonight, they would still trail the Flyers for third place because they have fewer regulation and overtime victories (33-32). The Blue Jackets’ five-game win streak is their longest since a six-game streak from Nov. 11-24. They’ve scored 21 goals in those five games.
HEAD TO HEAD: Thanks largely to Bobrovsky, the Flyers own a 13-16-3 all-time record against the Blue Jackets, but after a 2-1 loss in Columbus back in December, they have won two straight, both by 2-1 scores. Their shootout victory on Feb. 17 broke an 11-game winless streak in Columbus. At home, however, the Flyers own a 10-5-1 record.
Saturday at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Sunday vs. Washington, 5 p.m.
Tuesday at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.