Game 25 Preview: Winnipeg Jets @ Philadelphia Flyers

coburn-kane-flyers

Image courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets (12-11-4) @ Philadelphia Flyers (10-12-2), 11:30 AM EST, TSN-JETS, CSN-PH

RECORDS:

Winnipeg Jets (12-11-4)
Away: 5-5-1
vs. Eastern Conference: 6-1-1
vs. Metropolitan Division: 4-0-1

Philadelphia Flyers: 10-12-2
Home: 6-7-0
vs. Western Conference: 1-3-1
vs. Central Division: 0-0-1

GAME 25 PREVIEW:

After a disappointing two game road-trip in Florida, the Philadelphia Flyers (10-12-2) return to the Wells Fargo Center to host the Winnipeg Jets (12-11-4) in their annual Black Friday game.  The matchup will be televised locally on CSN-PH at 11:30 AM EST (!).  Man, that’s an early start.  FYI:  Tim Hortons can be found down at the rink between sections 109 and 110.

After this morning, the Flyers embark on a brutal six game road-trip.  The Flyers will immediately head to Nashville for the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow night; they’ll then face Minnesota on Monday night to close out a three-in-four.  This may very well be the most important stretch of the season for the Flyers.  The team will not return to the Wells Fargo Center until the second week of December.

This is the second time in two weeks these teams will face each other – Philadelphia lost 3-2 in a skills competition shootout at MTS Centre back on November 15.  Carrying a 2-1 lead into the third period courtesy of a Wayne Simmonds PP goal, the Flyers went into shutdown to preserve the late lead.  Tired after a lengthy road-trip, there was little the team could do to halt an onslaught from a well-rested Jets team playing at home.  With less than six minutes to go, the Jets forced Steve Downie to take an undisciplined penalty; Dustin Byfuglien scored his second goal of the game on the ensuing power play to tie it up.  It was a pretty awful period from Philadelphia all-around.

The Philadelphia Flyers came out and carried a large percentage of 4v4 play in overtime.  Braydon Coburn had what may be his best shifts of the season to date.  The defenseman had five attempts at the net in a little over two and a half minutes of game-time.  Ondrej Pavelec made some pretty tough saves from in-close to force the game to a shootout.  The Flyers had two attempts to win over the course of the shootout, but were unable to convert; in the fifth round, a goal by Bryan Little captured the extra point for the home team.  The loss ended a three-game road winning streak for the Flyers.

The Flyers are 6-3-1 in their last ten.  Winnipeg comes into today having played five games against the Metropolitan division without a regulation loss (4-0-1).  They’re 6-1-1 against the Eastern Conference in general.  On Wednesday, the team held on for a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden.  Winnipeg is in the midst of a six-game road-trip themselves.  It’s going to be very interesting to see how both teams come out of the gates.

Matt Read is still listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.  There’s a possibility he could sneak back into the lineup as a game-time decision.  Both Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart are in the lineup for Winnipeg; they missed the first matchup between these two teams due to injuries.

Because of Winnipeg’s shift to the Western Conference, this is the final meeting between the two teams this season.

PROJECTED LINEUPS:

Winnipeg Jets:

Andrew Ladd (16) : Bryan Little (18) : Blake Wheeler (26)
Evander Kane (9) : Olli Jokinen (12) : Devin Setoguchi (40)
Matt Halischuk (15) : Mark Scheifele (55) : Michael Frolik (67)
Eric Tangradi (27) : James Wright (17) : Chris Thorburn (22)

Dustin Byfuglien (33) : Tobias Enstrom (39)
Mark Stuart (5) : Keaton Ellerby (7)
Jacob Trouba (3) : Grant Clitsome (24)

Ondrej Pavelec (31)
Backup: Al Montoya (35)

Scratches:

Adam Pardy
Anthony Peluso
Paul Postma
Zach Redmond
Jim Slater

Philadelphia Flyers:

Scott Hartnell (19) : Claude Giroux (28) : Jakub Voracek (93)
Brayden Schenn (10): Vincent Lecavalier (40) : Wayne Simmonds (17)
Steve Downie (9) : Sean Couturier (14) : Matt Read (24)
Michael Raffl (12) : Adam Hall (18) : Zac Rinaldo (36)

Kimmo Timonen (44) : Braydon Coburn (5)
Nicklas Grossmann (8) : Mark Streit (32)
Erik Gustafsson (26) : Luke Schenn (22)

Steve Mason (35)
Backup: Ray Emery (29)

Scratches:

Hal Gill
Andrej Meszaros
Chris Pronger
Jay Rosehill