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Apr 6, 2024 8:51 am

Free-falling Flyers look to get it together vs. Jackets

Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers will look to keep their playoff hopes alive when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The Flyers (36-30-11, 83 points) fell for the sixth straight time (0-4-2) with a 4-2 setback to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

“I thought we played the right way. We have to bury some of our chances obviously, but that’s the way we need to play. A lot of the game I’m happy about. We just didn’t finish,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said.

“I was encouraged with a lot of things with our game, but we need another save and we also need to give (our goalies) run support. If we keep our patience and keep our wits about ourselves and play this way, we’ll find our way.”

Philadelphia is 2-5-3 over its last 10 games and currently holds the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Flyers forward Owen Tippett had a goal and an assist in the loss on Friday and has three goals and four points over his last five games. Travis Konecny, who leads the Flyers in goals (31), assists (34) and points (65), has scored one goal and set up three others over his last five contests.

Goaltender Samuel Ersson is 21-16-7 with a 2.81 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage in 46 games this season.

Saturday will mark the fourth and final game between the Flyers and Jackets this season.

The Blue Jackets lost the first two meetings before skating to a 3-2 victory in Philadelphia on Jan. 4.

Columbus (25-39-12, 62 points), which resides in last place in the Eastern Conference, has just three wins over its last 13 games (3-8-2).

The Jackets are coming off a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night. In addition to the setback, Columbus also lost multiple players to injury.

Defenseman Jake Bean broke his hand while blocking a shot in the third period and will miss the remainder of the season, the club announced.

Goaltender Daniil Tarasov made 13 saves before exiting the loss to the Islanders with an upper-body injury. He did not participate in practice on Friday.

“It’s hard to see Daniil going down like this,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said post-game. “He’s been playing so good, created some momentum for himself and for the team and just unfortunate.”

On Friday, the team announced it had added defenseman Nick Blankenburg and goaltender Malcolm Subban to the roster on emergency recall from the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.

Columbus could be without as many as 10 regulars for Saturday’s game.

“Adversity and challenges will define who you are as a person,” Vincent said following Friday’s practice. “We’re getting hit in the gut right now. How we approach that, how we fight through that, these are great lessons.”

Johnny Gaudreau, the team leader in assists (45) and points (56), returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday’s game due to illness. Gaudreau had assists in back-to-back games before sitting out the loss to the Islanders.

Forward Kirill Marchenko has three goals in his last three games, and defenseman Zach Werenski has two goals and four assists over his last six games.

Goalie Jet Greaves is 1-3-0 in four appearances this season, posting a 3.04 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

–Field Level Media

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