COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Just 12 days ago the Columbus Blue Jackets were coming off a 2-0 win over Detroit, moving their point streak from nine games to 10. But CBJ has lost five games in a row since then with two regulation losses, two overtime losses and one shootout loss.
The five-game losing streak has moved Columbus from the third spot in the Metropolitan Division to the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite the losing streak, Columbus has gained points in 13 of its last 15 games.
Lurking just behind CBJ in the wild card standings is the Philadelphia Flyers who will host the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. During the month of February, the Flyers have totaled five wins and three losses without playing a single overtime game. Only one point separates the Blue Jackets and Flyers in the standings with CBJ having played one more game than Philadelphia.
This will be the first of two games between the Flyers and Blue Jackets this week as CBJ hosts Philly on Thursday night. These two teams have already played each other twice this season with the Flyers winning both games. In each game, Philadelphia overcame a deficit while outscoring Columbus 5-1 in the third period of those two games. If the Flyers win, it will be their first three-game win streak over CBJ since they entered the NHL in 2000-01.
Elvis Merzlikins will be in net for CBJ and the rookie continues to impress with a 12-2-4 record since December 31st, which is second-best in the NHL during that span. He also leads the NHL with five shutouts and ranks fourth in goals allowed (2.20). Puck drop is set for 7:00.