The night kicked off with Scott Hartnell and R.J. Umberger on the ice for the opening faceoff against their former squads. Curtis McElhinney was in net for the Jackets opposite another former Jacket in Steve Mason.
The line of Corey Tropp - Alexander Wennberg - Adam Cracknell helped to set the tone early for the Jackets with some terrific forechecking in the Philly zone. Their hard work gave a spark to the Jackets, which was sorely needed as neither team put a shot on goal until the 5:14 mark of the game. You know what you are going to get from Tropp- high energy, a dose of offensive ability, and some speed. With Cracknell however, I can't help but think of him as a warm body. His forechecking work was nice to see against the Flyers, but is there anything else that he can bring to the table?
With Michael Del Zotto in the box for interference, the Jackets went to work on the powerplay. In a sign of things to come, the Jackets were able to pot a powerplay goal when James Wisniewski fired a point shot through traffic and past Mason.
1-0 Jackets: James Wisniewski - Ryan Johansen, Tim Erixon
A moment midway through the first bummed me out. Umby was carrying the puck behind the Columbus net, and as he worked his way out front he blew a tire and lost the puck as he fell to the ice. The Philly fans were all over him, and though I absolutely love the trade for Hartnell, I still wish Umby well and felt kind of bad for him. He's off to a tough a start in his second stint in Philly.
A few minutes later Jared Boll was whistled for holding. It was a soft call, but nonetheless the Jackets were down a man. After some nice puck movement, Claude Giroux teed up a one-time blast from near the right dot, beating McElhinney to tie the game.
1-1: Claude Giroux - Mark Streit, Jakub Voracek
The Jackets were able to get the goal right back under five minutes later, when after Boone Jenner drew a tripping penalty, Nick Foligno took a Tim Erixon pass cross-crease and made no mistake in giving the Jackets back the lead
2-1 Jackets: Nick Foligno - Tim Erixon, Ryan Johansen
Cam Atkinson played some whack-a-mole on Mason late in the period, but couldn't beat the big goaltender. The opening period was easily the best start the Jackets have had in weeks.
Philly had all of the energy and momentum to start the middle period, and with Michael Chaput in the box for cross-checking, the Flyers were able to tie the game again off the stick of Voracek. After a scramble in front, Jake had all day to deposit the puck into the open net.
2-2: Jakub Voracek - Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds
The Jackets did not seem fazed by the Voracek goal, rather they started to step things up and regain the momentum. Speaking of Jake, I'm really happy for him. Of course I wish that he was still in a CBJ sweater, but I can't help but root for him.
The Jackets were able to take the lead later in the period off a pretty play by Foligno and Johansen. Foligno dropped the puck to Johansen, then moved to the slot. Johansen passed the puck back to Foligno, who showed incredible patience waiting out the defenders and Mason, before wiring a shot into the net.
3-2 Jackets: Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen, Jack Johnson
Shortly after scoring the go-ahead goal, Foligno drew a penalty to give the Jackets yet another powerplay. The Flyers committed another penalty, giving the Jackets a five-on-three. The Jackets were able to score, with Wisniewski getting his second of the game.
4-2 Jackets: James Wisniewski - Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen
The Jackets finished the period strong, with excellent forechecking, victories along the boards and all-out effort. Late in the period however, Tropp took a bit of a dumb penalty.
The Jackets started the final frame down a man thanks to the Tropp penalty. Just over a minute in, Del Zotto scored the sixth powerplay goal of the game off a slapper to McElhinney's right.
4-3 Jackets: Michael Del Zotto - Claude Giroux, Steve Mason
The remainder of the period was gritty, with both teams mixing it up in mini-scrums, along the boards and after goalie freezes. The Wennberg line continued to provide excellent work and forechecking, while the Johansen line was dangerous every time they were on the ice.
Brian Gibbons' speed was on display against the Flyers- in addition to a late breakaway chance he was also torpedoing behind the Flyer defenders all night. Gibbons was a let down in camp, but has looked like a keeper since joining the lineup.
CBJ fans rolled their eyes and sighed "not again" with about five minutes left in regulation. Fedor Tyutin, who's already playing banged up, left the ice in obvious pain. It seemed like a lower body issue. Great.
Mason was pulled with about 90 seconds left in regulation, but the score would not change.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Jackets
- Ryan Johansen put up a relatively quiet four assists against the Flyers
- Nick Foligno was terrific, again. Three points including two goals, one on the powerplay.
- Speaking of the powerplay, the Jackets scored three of their four goals while up a man.
- Curtis McElhinney deserves some credit. He made some great saves tonight to keep his team in it.
- James Wisniewski scored his first two goals of the season, and had another great save. #Stud
- Good for Hartnell. He led the Jackets in shots with 6, and in an emotional game he helped his team avoid a franchise record for consecutive losses.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- While scoring three powerplay goals was great, the Jackets also gave up three powerplay goals themselves. Not good.
- Boone was only 18% on faceoffs against the Flyers- this needs to be improved.