Game Day Preview: Jets @ Flyers
When: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. CST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Records: Winnipeg Jets (7-8-1 – 11th in East), Philadelphia Flyers (8-10-1 – 10th in East)
Television/Radio: CSN-PHI, TSN-JETS/ TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets will be looking to make it four road wins in a row this afternoon when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
The high-flying Jets are currently undefeated on their five-game road swing as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night which was preceded by a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday night. Before their most recent home stand (3 losses to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston) the Jets defeated the Ottawa Senators 1-0 on the road on Saturday, February 9th.
The key for the Winnipeg Jets so far on this road trip has been the production of the Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler line as well as the stellar play of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Ladd, Little and Wheeler have combined for 8 points in the last two games; 6 points (3 goals, 3 asissts) against the Hurricanes and 2 points (2 goals) against the Sabres. Pavelec, on the other hand, has earned two straight victories, stopping 56 of 60 shots and catching fire at just the right time.
The Flyers head into tonight’s contest having played the most games in the entire National Hockey League (19). Philadelphia dropped a 5-2 contest to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night and are currently fighting to prove themselves as legitimate players in the Eastern Conference Playoff race. The Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 on Wednesday night but they continue to have trouble with consistency and currently find themselves in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and one point out of a playoff spot.
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Redmond continues to recover in hospital from an injury he suffered during a practice in Carolina on Thursday. Redmond suffered a lacerated femoral artery after his teammate cut him during a one-on-one practise drill. Redmond lost a significant amount of blood on Thursday but the Jets medical staff, led by head athletic therapist Rob Milette, managed to contain the wound. The Jets re-called Defenceman Julian Melchiori from the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League to replaced Redmond as a spare 7th defenceman on the Jets current road trip.
Today’s game is the second of three meetings between the Jets and Flyers this year. The Flyers defeated the Jets 3-2 less than two weeks ago on February 12 in Winnipeg. The third and final meeting of the season between the two teams will be in Winnipeg on Saturday April 6th at 2:00 p.m. (CBC).
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets tonight.
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start in goal for the Flyers tonight.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations (subject to change* before game time):
*as of Jets skate this morning
1st: Andrew Ladd- Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane-Alexander Burmistrov- Nikolai Antropov
3rd: Eric Tangradi– Olli Jokinen- Kyle Wellwood
4th: James Wright- Jim Slater – Chris Thorburn
Ron Hainsey- Zach Bogosian
Dustin Byfuglien- Grant Clitsome
Paul Postma- Mark Stuart
Philadelphia Flyers: Jakub Voracek (7 goals, 12 assists, 19 points), Claude Giroux (5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points), Brayden Schenn (4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (9 goals, 7 assists, 16 points), Tobias Enstrom (2 goals, 11 assists, 13 points) Blake Wheeler (6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points)
Philadelphia Flyers: Matt Read (ribs), Scott Hartnell (foot), Chris Pronger (concussion), Michael Leighton (finger), Jody Shelley (hip)
Winnipeg Jets: Antti Miettinen (upper body), Al Montoya (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (shoulder), Zach Redmond (leg)
Who’s Next: The Jets play the New Jersey Devils tomorrow, Sunday, February 24, at 4:00 p.m. CST. The Jets end their five-game road trip next Tuesday, February 26th against the New York Rangers (6:00 p.m. CST).