The Flyers on Thursday will be trying to avoid something that hasn’t been done in a while — two losing streaks of 10 or more games in the same season.
Philly (13-18-8) will meet defensive-challenged Columbus (17-18-1) at the Wells Fargo Center.
From Nov. 18 to Dec. 8, the Flyers were winless in 10 straight, and they are now winless in their last nine games, a stretch that started in San Jose on Dec. 30. They haven’t won in 2022, and their last victory was Dec. 29, a 3-2 overtime triumph in Seattle on Dec. 29.
The last team to have two winless streaks of at least 10 games in a season was Colorado in 2010-11, according to the NHL. (The Elias Sports Bureau erroneously said it hadn’t happened since the 1992-93 campaign.)
The Flyers will trying to get off to a better start; they have allowed the first goal in seven of the last eight games. Overall, Philly is 2-16-3 when surrendering the first goal.
The Flyers are coming off their best performance in a few weeks, a 4-3 shootout loss Tuesday to the Islanders. After a slow start, Philly had the a territorial edge over the last 50 minutes of regulation.
Can they build off their strong effort and stop their skid?
Another storyline: Cam Atkinson (team-high 15 goals, 29 points, plus-6), who spent 10 years in Columbus, will face his former team for the first time. From 2013-14 through last season, Atkinson led the Blue Jackets in goals (197) and points (370).
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) January 20, 2022
Jake Voracek (one goal, 25 points, minus-5), who was traded to Columbus for Atkinson in July, came off the COVID list Thursday and will face his former teammates. Voracek’s 427 assists for the Flyers place him fifth in franchise history.
Columbus, which followed last Thursday’s 6-0 win in Carolina with Saturday’s 9-2 loss to Florida, will be trying to tighten a defense that has allowed 4.7 goals over its last seven games.
Flyers’ projected lineup
Line 1: Claude Giroux centering Joel Farabee and Atkinson.
Line 2: Scott Laughton centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.
Line 3: Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.
Line 4: Connor Bunnaman centering Max Willman and Zack MacEwen.
Defense: Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun; Cam York and Travis Sanheim; Keith Yandle and Rasmus Ristolainen.
Goalie: Carter Hart.
The Flyers are 28th in the NHL in goals scored per game (2.51) and the Blue Jackets are 12th (3.14).
Defensively, Columbus is 31st in the 32-team league, allowing 3.61 goals per game. The Flyers (24th, 3.31 goals yielded per game) are also near the bottom.
For the Flyers, van Riemsdyk has five goals over his last 10 games.
Center Gustav Nyquist has five points (two goals, three assists) over the last five games for the Blue Jackets.
Projected goalie matchup
Hart (7-12-5) is aiming for his first win since Dec. 14, a 6-1 triumph over New Jersey. Hart has a 2.93 GAA and .911 save percentage.
Elvis Merzlikins (13-9-1) is expected to get the assignment for the Jackets, and he has a 3.20 GAA and .907 save percentage.
How to watch
NBC Sports Philadelphia at 7 p.m.
Money line (FanDuel)
Blue Jackets:: plus-106.
Flyers 5, Blue Jackets 3.
(Prediction record: 8-0)