The Flyers have struggling mightily against the Winnipeg franchise. As mentioned they are 0-3 this year and since 2009-10 they have lost 10 of their last 11 games against them. In their last matchup on January 31st, Brayden Schenn gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead before the Jets tied it up. It would go to a shootout and the Flyers would fall 2-1 at the Wells Fargo Center. This is the last time the two teams will meet in the regular season. Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn was originally drafted eighth overall in 2003 by the Winnipeg franchise (formerly the Atlanta Thrashers). A familiar face for Flyers fans will be patrolling the blue line for the Jets, defenseman Randy Jones played five seasons (2003-2009) for the Flyers. A not-so-familiar face will be in orange and black tonight. Newly acquired Pavel Kubina will make his Flyers debut tonight in Winnipeg; he will be wearing jersey number 13. The Flyers come in touting a very potent offense that leads the league in total goals (192) and goals per game (3.31).
Unfortunately, the Flyers defense and goaltending has not been as impressive as their offense. The Flyers bulked up their blue line with the addition of Kubina on Saturday and Nick Grossman last Thursday. Their goaltending? Well the same faces are still between the pipes for the Flyers as Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky will continue to hold down the fort in net. Tonight, Bryzgalov gets the nod in goal. Bryzgalov is 20-11-6 with a 2.79 GAA and a .900 SV%. His last start against the Jets was the 2-1 overtime defeat. His last start overall was Saturday in which he gave up two shorthanded goals (three goals overall) before being pulled towards the end of the second period.
As for the Jets, tonight is the third game of an eight game homestand which spans 17 days. The Jets kicked off the homestand in a major way by beating the Bruins Friday then coming back on Sunday to take down the Avalanche. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are quickly approaching and the Jets are on the outside looking in. The Jets are in ninth place in the Eastern Coneference with 64 points. The Maple leafs (64 points) currently hold the tie breaker with more regular and overtime wins (26 compared to Winnipeg’s 25). The Jets are in second place in the Southeast Division, one point ahead of Washington and one point behind the division leading Florida Panthers. The Jets are looking for a big two points tonight. The Flyers can expect to see a lot of Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, and Zach Bogosian as all three of these Jets average more than 23 minutes of ice time per game. Jets forward Kyle Wellwood is the older brother of current Flyers forward (and healthy scratch tonight) Eric Wellwood.
The puck drops at 7:00 pm at the MTS Centre. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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