Blue Jackets-Flyers Preview

Building confidence and turning their season around, the Philadelphia Flyers' winning streak is about to undergo an unusual challenge.

The Flyers' attempt at their longest streak in almost two years requires them to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets for just the second time in nine tries Saturday night.

Philadelphia (11-10-5) has won five of its last six games after dropping 11 of its previous 13 (2-7-4) while averaging 1.46 goals. The Flyers have scored 14 times while winning four straight games, beating New Jersey 4-3 in overtime Friday on Matt Read's goal with 1:36 left - his first in 12 games.

They haven't won five games in a row since March 15-22, 2014.

"It feels good,' right wing Wayne Simmonds said. "Guys are confident in our team. We're doing the right things. We have confidence on the bench and I think it shows."

Simmonds exudes that confidence with six points in three games, matching his total over the previous 18. He's scored four goals over his last three contests, netting at least one in each.

Of Simmonds' seven goals and eight assists on the season, only four assists have come at home.

Simmonds, who scored on the road again Friday, has seven goals and three assists in 10 meetings with Columbus as a member of the Flyers.

Philadelphia, though, is 1-5-2 in its last eight matchups with the Blue Jackets (10-16-1), dropping three of four at home.

Claude Giroux has 11 points in seven career home meetings with Columbus.

The Blue Jackets have followed a 6-2-0 stretch with three straight losses, all of which were tied 1-1 in the third period. They fell 2-1 in a shootout to Florida on Friday.

"To me it was a little bit of lack of respect for the opponent," coach John Tortorella said. "And I don't understand how we can disrespect an opponent when we're looking up at all 29 teams. It's another lesson that we're going to have to learn."

Columbus is desperate to get the power play going. The unit is 0 for 23 over the last nine games after converting 22.7 percent through the first 18 games. It squandered four chances Friday, including two in the third period.

"(The power play) wasn't good," Tortorella told the team's official website. "We need some players to make some plays. I don't even think there were many real solid scoring chances. We were way too deliberate.

"We're slowing it down. We're trying to make one play instead of letting the puck work, and it cost us."

Michael Chaput is trying to build on just his second career goal in 51 games over three seasons. The center found the net in his season debut Friday after being called up from Lake Erie of the AHL on Monday.

He has no points in two meetings with Philadelphia, while Ryan Johansen has six over his last three visits.

Brandon Saad has four points in three career matchups with the Flyers, all with Chicago. He enters this matchup with no goals in eight games and no points in three.


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