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Blue Jackets drop fifth straight game, lose to Flyers 5-3

The Jackets are comfortably in last place in the East after latest loss

Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Nobody said it was going to be pretty. In fact pretty much everyone expected a sloppy game. What else could be expected from two bottom-dwelling teams?

Don’t get me wrong, there were flashes of skillful individual efforts, but the vast majority of the game was a choppy, uneven affair that wasn’t pleasant to watch. Kirill Marchenko and Kent Johnson scored for the Jackets which was nice to see, but it wasn’t enough as the Flyers had an answer each time the Blue Jackets threatened to take over the game.

The loss has the Blue Jackets comfortably in the basement by seven points. I won’t say I liked the result of this one, but I won’t deny it was probably for the best.

Here’s how it went down.

First Period

This one started as choppy as could be with neither team generating anything at all. Passes were not connecting, shots were not reaching the net, and skill was nowhere to be found for either team early on. Philadelphia generated a bit more in the early going as it looked like the Jackets were still trying to get their legs under them having played last night.

The Blue Jackets best chance of the period came almost 13 minutes in when Johnny Gaudreau split the defense and walked in for a shot that missed wide, drawing a penalty in the process.

It was Philadelphia’s special teams that took advantage of some sloppy play by Columbus. An extra, unnecessary pass by Gus Nyquist was broken up and then scooped by Travis Konecny with speed. Marcus Bjork was back defending, but was on his heels and skating backwards and playing soft allowing Konecny to toe-drag and rip a shot past Tarasov to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.

1-0 PHI (Konecny from Laughton)

After that, the slog resumed and the period ended with the Flyers up a goal. It was still early, but it already appeared to be another game in which the Blue Jackets would struggle to get anything going whatsoever.

Second Period

Philadelphia just missed doubling their lead early in the second after Tim Berni couldn’t handle a point pass sending the Philly forward in on Tarasov alone. To his credit, Erik Gudbranson showed great hustle to get back into the play and use his stick to disrupt the breakaway attempt.

Philadelphia’s fresh legs were wearing down the Jackets in the opening minutes of the second, hemming them in their own zone. But then out of nowhere, the Blue Jackets scored twice in less than three minutes.

After barely generating any offensive zone possession, the Jackets struck quickly once they did, thanks to a Kirill Marchenko deflection on a Jake Christiansen shot. Marchenko did a great job of sending a high shot bouncing to the ground and then up over Carter Hart who had no chance on the play.

1-1 (Marchenko from Christiansen and Robinson)

Next it was Kent Johnson carrying the puck into the zone on an odd-man rush. I’m not sure if Kent has a reputation around the league yet as a pass-first playmaker, but I think most Jackets fans were expecting a pass to Patrik Laine who was skating in down the wing. Apparently Carter Hart was as well, because Johnson’s hard wrister beat him clean giving the Blue Jackets their first lead in a game in what felt like forever.

2-1 CBJ (Johnson from Gaudreau and Peeke)

Unfortunately that lead wouldn’t last. Just minutes later, Morgan Frost took a pass from Cam York near the top of the offensive zone, and thanks to a missed defensive assignment, had all day to walk in and pick his spot and wire a shot past Tarasov.

2-2 (Frost from York and van Riemsdyk)

Vladislav Gavrikov took his usual minor penalty putting the Flyers on the power play with momentum and chance to reclaim the lead. Philly didn’t score on the power play, instead waited until seconds after the penalty expired. Liam Foudy lost track of Owen Tippett, who finished off a give-and-go and snuck a puck between Tarasov’s pads to give the Flyers the lead.

3-2 PHI (Tippett from Farabee and York)

The Jackets survived the rest of the late period push by Philadelphia and were no worse off than when they entered the period — down a goal. Aside from those brief few minutes in the middle of the period, the Flyers controlled much of the frame, riding a 60% CF.

Third Period

Three minutes into the third, the Flyers provided the dagger. Marcus Bjork pinched in from the point and took a shot that Hart kicked to the corner which was picked up in stride by Travis Konecny. He brought the puck into the zone, slowed up and sent a backhand shot against the grain that went top shelf beating Tarasov.

4-2 PHI (Konecny unassisted)

I’m not sure if it is just lack of urgency or just simply the lack of skill throughout the roster from the Jackets, but Philadelphia continued to dominate possession while up a pair of goals against what should be a desperate club.

As the period wound down past the halfway mark, and all hope seemed to be lost, Andrew Peeke’s incredible individual effort breathed life back into the team. Peeke led the rush and took on a defenseman one-on-one and wired a wrister off the crossbar and into the net. It was a play that surprised everybody, including Peeke himself.

4-3 (Peeke from Roslovic and Nyquist)

Sadly, there were no more heroic individual efforts in this one to draw the Jackets even. Philadelphia grinded out the remaining minutes in true Tortorella style. Larsen pulled Tarasov in desperation only to give up a lazy empty net goal just moments later. The Jackets entered the zone in full possession of the puck, but Patrik Laine’s pass attempt back to the point went to nobody, resulting in an easy empty net goal for Owen Tippett.

Final 5-3

Up Next

The Blue Jackets head to Chicago to wrap up their mini road trip prior to Christmas. It will be another basement battle on Friday when the Blue Jackets take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.