Dubinsky, Blue Jackets take on Flyers

(SportsNetwork.com) - Things are starting to look up for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Owners of their longest winning streak of the season, the Blue Jackets are expected to have center Brandon Dubinsky in the lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday night as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

Dubinsky managed 16 goals and 50 points in 76 games last season with the Blue Jackets, but underwent abdominal surgery during training camp and has yet to play a game in 2014-15.

The 28-year-old has been practicing with the club and on Monday centered a line with Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert.

"He's big and strong. He can skate with tenacity, the way that he plays," said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards. "He brings some emotion. His first game back, the first game that he plays, there's going to be some excitement in a big divisional game against the Flyers."

Columbus has momentum going into this matchup, having won a season-best three in a row on the heels of a six-game slide. That run was extended on Saturday with a 3-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Boone Jenner and David Savard had first-period goals and Jack Skille added to the lead in the third frame, while Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves and had a shutout bid spoiled with 1:13 to play.

Bobrovsky has a 1.62 goals against average and .926 save percentage over the three-game winning streak, which includes a franchise-record 52 saves last Thursday versus Florida. He was named the NHL's Second Star for the week on Monday.

"He brings it every single night," Skille said of Bobrovsky. "He's a competitor."

Bobrovsky is 2-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA and .941 save percentage in three starts against his former Flyers club.

The Flyers, meanwhile, are looking to turn things around in the finale of a five-game road trip. They snapped an 0-7-2 drought as the visiting team with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds tallied for the Flyers, who halted a season- high six-game skid overall with their first road win since Oct. 22. Steve Mason was strong with 37 saves.

"We played as a team tonight. The Kings are a really good team and (Mason) had a lot of good saves for us. It's kind of a relief to finally get two points," Giroux said. "We wanted that first goal especially against L.A. When they get the first goal they are a hard team to catch up to. Getting that goal was huge for us."

Philadelphia, which begins a four-game homestand on Thursday, made center Vincent Lecavalier a healthy scratch for a third straight game.

Tonight marks the third of five meetings this season between the Flyers and Blue Jackets. Philadelphia snapped a four-game slide in this series with a 4-2 home win on Nov. 22, but has lost four straight in Columbus.

Mason is 2-2-0 with a 3.06 GAA and .897 save percentage versus the Blue Jackets, who selected him in the third round of the 2006 draft.

Flyers forward R.J. Umberger will return to Columbus for the first time since getting dealt to the Flyers along with a 2015 fourth-round pick on June 23 for winger Scott Hartnell.

Umberger had spent each of his prior six seasons with the Blue Jackets after breaking into the NHL with the Flyers in 2005-06.