NHL Hockey

4
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Columbus 2 0 1 1 4
Philadelphia 1 0 2 0 3
3
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, December 6, 2018
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 19,428

Flyers start new era vs. Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets at Philadelphia Flyers

  1. The Blue Jackets are 16-4-1 against the Flyers since December 21, 2013, though the Flyers have taken three of the last five meetings between the clubs in Philadelphia. Prior to Columbus' 6-3 home win over the Flyers seven weeks ago, nine straight games in the series had been decided by one or two goals.
  2. Columbus dropped a 9-6 home decision to Calgary on Tuesday, marking the first time in franchise history the Blue Jackets lost a game when scoring as many as six goals. Columbus had been 51-0 all-time when scoring six or more goals.
  3. The Flyers will take the ice for the first time since the naming of Chuck Fletcher as the team's general manager. It's been a tale of three seasons for the Flyers: a 4-7-0 start, followed by a 5-0-1 stretch, then most recently a 2-5-1 slide.
  4. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed eight goals on Tuesday. It was the second time this season he has yielded that many goals; he never gave up that many in a single contest prior to 2018-19. Since being dealt from Philly to Columbus in June 2012, Bobrovsky is 11-3-1 with a 1.98 GAA against his former team.
  5. After registering only three points in his first 11 games this season, Sean Couturier has collected 16 points (seven goals) in 14 games since October 30. Couturier has recorded exactly one point in each of his last six games versus Columbus.
  6. The Flyers are allowing 0.64 more goals per game than they did last season (3.52 compared to 2.88), while Columbus' goals allowed per game has jumped by 0.61 (2.76 to 3.37). Those are the two largest increases in goals allowed per game among Eastern Conference teams from '17-18 to '18-19.

The Philadelphia Flyers were busy during their four-day break in the schedule.

A week after firing Ron Hextall as the club's general manager, the Flyers named Chuck Fletcher as the man in charge.

"At the conclusion of a rigorous review of GM candidates, Chuck Fletcher clearly stood out from the field of talented and capable executives we considered," Dave Scott, chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor and Flyers governor, said in a statement released by the club.

"Chuck has earned success throughout his impressive NHL career and offers the right mix of expertise, business acumen and leadership qualities that the Flyers need today as we work to achieve our ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup championship."

Fletcher spent nine seasons as the GM of the Minnesota Wild and was fired last year. Now, he's running an 11-12-2 team that heads into Thursday night's home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets -- with a one-game winning streak.

Philly ended a two-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Pittsburgh last Saturday night and look to even the season series with the Jackets, who beat the Flyers 6-3 in Columbus on Oct. 18.

The Jackets are coming off a wild -- and rather bizarre -- 9-6 home loss to the Calgary Flames that was a rather historical game for coach John Tortorella.

Not in a good way.

"They had 11 scoring chances and they scored nine goals," Tortorella said after his team's second straight loss. "I have never been in a game like this."

Sergei Bobrovsky allowed eight goals on 26 shots before being relieved in the third period -- Cam Atkinson's hat trick and extending his points streak to 11 straight games wasted as the Jackets fell to 15-10-2.

"We played a really good first period, then for whatever reason sat back and let them play," Atkinson said. "I don't think we checked hard. We made it a really easy game for them, and they just capitalized."

With his new team 28th in the NHL allowing 3.52 goals per game, Fletcher is intent on improving the defense.

"It's not the ideal situation. It's not a normal situation when you have a GM coming in midway through the season," said D-man Shayne Gostisbehere.

"Anything in life, you only get one first impression, so you obviously want to be on your game. Hopefully, we can string some wins."

Anthony Stolarz, the latest in the ever-growing list of goaltenders for this team, got his first win since 2016 against Pittsburgh.

Bobrovsky, who fell to 10-9-0 with Tuesday night's loss, has dominated the Flyers, his old team, since leaving going 11-3-1 with a 1.98 GAA and .931 save percentage. He is expected to face Stolarz, a draft pick the Flyers received when they traded Bobrovsky.

Calvin Pickard was in goal for the Flyers in the Oct. 18 loss, with Atkinson scoring twice for Columbus.

The Jackets blew a 4-1 lead Tuesday night.

"I fought all night long as far as, should I take (Bobrovsky out)? all night long, because you could see," Tortorella said. "But some of them were deflected and there was some crazy ... it was just one of those nights. He didn't look comfortable, but I just decided to see if he could play through it."

"That game was a fluke," said Jackets captain Nick Foligno. "You're going to see the real Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow in the way we're going to play. We have to."

Atkinson's streak is the second-longest in club history, trailing only a 13-gamer by Ryan Johansen. Atkinson has 13 goals and six assists during his streak and his hat trick was his club-record sixth of his career.

New Flyers assistant coach Rick Wilson officially joined the team on the ice for practice Wednesday. The 68-year-old Wilson also worked for Fletcher in Minnesota.

Updated December 5, 2018

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