The Philadelphia Flyers (20-21-9) face off against the Winnipeg Jets (31-18-1) tonight for the second time in six days. Both clubs are coming off of losses on Jan. 26 – the Jets dropped a home game to the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, while the Flyers, who were coming off a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 24, lost a second consecutive contest in the extra period, this time to the Minnesota Wild, 3-2.
Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
The Jets earned two points in their first encounter on Jan. 22 with a 5-3 win. Flyers backup goalie, Felix Sandstrom, started the first matchup and allowed four goals on 24 shots. Here’s our gameday preview.
Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines
Joel Farabee – Noah Cates – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Morgan Frost – Owen Tippett
Kevin Hayes – Scott Laughton – Wade Allison
Nicolas Deslauriers – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Nick Seeler – Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim – Tony DeAngelo
Carter Hart – Felix Sandstrom
Flyers Seeking To Break Consecutive Overtime Losing Streak Against Jets
The Flyers will aim to defeat the Jets before heading to the All-Star break. After the loss to the Wild, head coach John Tortorella credited his club’s effort but admitted wanting more than one point: “This was a game of two willing teams. That’s a hard team, hard building to play in. Happy we get a point, but it leaves you wanting more. Same type of situation, we go down and have a great chance. We don’t score. They come right down and score on us. We’re trying, but I respect how we played. I respect how they played. It was a hard-fought game.”
They looked like they would drop the game in regulation before Hayes passed the puck to DeAngelo, who fired it past Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove side to tie the game, 2-2, with 1:28 remaining in the third period. Konecny had a legitimate scoring opportunity during overtime, but the Wild goalie thwarted his scoring chance. Seconds later, Mats Zuccarello secured the victory just over two minutes into the extra period.
They have not done well in overtime this season, with a 1-8 record. DeAngelo expressed his frustration with their lack of overtime victories following their latest defeat. “We’ve got to find ways to win more games,” DeAngelo said. “You’ve got to find a way to win some of these games in overtime. We’re doing a good job of staying in every game and giving ourselves a chance to win but not finishing the job enough.”
Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines
Kyle Connor – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cole Perfetti
Nikolaj Ehlers – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Morgan Barron – Adam Lowry – Karson Kuhlman
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – Kevin Stenlund – Saku Maenalanen
Josh Morrissey – Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon – Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley – Nate Schmidt
David Rittich – Connor Hellebuyck
Jets Lose to Sabres, 3-2, Uncertainty Lingers Around Dubois Status With Jets
One of the best offensive teams in the NHL, the Sabres jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Jets got on the scoreboard. Young star Tage Thompson matched his points from last season with a goal and assist and now has 68 points in 48 games in 2022-23.
Related: 5 Takeaways From Jets’ Season-Long 5-Game Road Trip
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Jets head coach Rick Bowness placed an emphasis on the Jets’ stubbornness in his comments following the defeat: “When you don’t have your legs, and you don’t feel your best out there, the worst thing you can do is what we did, just keep giving them the puck. We had bad puck management at both blue lines, and all you’re doing then is feeding their transition, feeding their speed, so a lot of that is on us. We know their strengths. We know they’re a fast team, a highly-skilled team that can score, yet we were very stubborn with our puck management. We’ll get a lot more consistent with our play when we stop being so stubborn with the puck. We’ll play a lot faster, and when you’re playing fast, it’s a lot more fun, and you’ll be a lot more consistent.”
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
The Jets are in a position to win the Central Division as they are three points behind the leading Dallas Stars. Seven points separate them and the third-place Wild. They do not want to get into a routine of struggling and lose their second-place spot. Despite being buyers at the trade deadline, Dubois is rumored to be headed elsewhere as he will be a restricted free agent (RFA) after the season. He is second on the team with 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 50 games and third on the club in both offensive categories.
Players to Watch
Philadelphia Flyers – Kevin Hayes
The Flyers’ 30-year-old forward has two goals and three assists in their last five contests. He will continue to pique the interest of franchises that are in a position to be deadline buyers with each good performance. Entering the last game of the month, he has six goals and nine assists in 13 games. During the contest versus the Jets on Jan. 22, he scored two power-play goals.
Winnipeg Jets – Pierre Luc-Dubois
Dubois has three points during his last three contests, including an assist against the Flyers earlier this week. Entering tonight’s game, he has five goals and seven assists in 13 contests during January. He will fall short of surpassing his offensive totals of December, his most productive month of the season so far when he finished with seven goals and 13 assists in 16 games. However, he is one of the top offensive players that the opposition will need to account for this evening.
Tonight’s game has a 7 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on NBCSP.
*Flyers lines from @ReinerOlivia on Twitter. Jets lines from @mikemcinytrewpg on Twitter.
Matt contributes content about the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers. Matt has covered the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, and the Pittsburgh Penguins during his time writing for THW. For interview and podcast requests, follow Matt on Twitter which appears at the end of his articles.