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Blue Jackets allow four unanswered goals, lose to Flyers 4-1

Columbus splits home-and-home series against Philadelphia with an uninspired effort

NHL: APR 07 Flyers at Blue Jackets Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers played well enough to win on Tuesday night, and looked to make a statement tonight against the Blue Jackets. They did just that, shutting down the Jackets and scoring four straight goals — including three in the second period — to take the final of the two game series. The Blue Jackets played sloppy, undisciplined hockey all night and didn’t put up much of a fight at all when they went down by a pair of goals. For a “never say die” team like the Jackets, it was disappointing to see such a performance tonight. There were long stretches of this game that were very uneventful, but the Flyers made the most of their opportunities and their goaltender, Martin Jones, came up with the timely saves when his team needed.

If the Blue Jackets were going to lose in the fashion they did, I would have at least liked to see our old friend, Cam Atkinson get on the board. Both he and Jake Voracek were held pointless in the series against their former teams. Atkinson was the more noticeable of the two, leading his team with four shots on net this evening.

If you care to read more about this dud of a game, here’s how it went down.

First Period

I’m not sure if he usually starts games, but the Flyers did Cam a solid, putting on the ice for the opening faceoff. It will never not be weird seeing him in another team’s colors.

The game got off to a bit of a choppy start, with the Jackets maintaining a slight edge in possession. They got an early chance on the power play with Philadelphia getting called for a too many men penalty, but would generate absolutely nothing. That was the theme of the opening period tonight, as made evident by the eight and a half minute stretch without a whistle and very few shots.

The Flyers got their first opportunity on the power play when Carson Meyer was called for high sticking. The organization took this rare stoppage of play to officially welcome back Atkinson with a very nice tribute video.

Once play resumed, the Blue Jackets quickly took the lead with a shorthanded goal. Sean Kuraly blocked a shot from the point and the puck was headed the other way with Vladislav Gavrikov and Eric Robinson leading the rush. Gavrikov flipped a pass over the defenseman’s stick to Robinson, who kicked the puck from skate to stick and went in all alone on Martin Jones and beat him blocker side.

1-0 CBJ (Robinson from Gavrikov and Kuraly)

The Blue Jackets killed off the remaining time of the penalty and were given a second opportunity on the man advantage not long after, when Scott Laughton cross checked Gavrikov in front of the Philly net. The Blue Jackets almost instantly returned the favor, giving the Flyers a golden opportunity shorthanded, but their shot missed the net.

Once again, nothing resulted from the power play for the Jackets, and that pretty much ran out the remaining time in the period.

It was a solid if unspectacular opening period for the Blue Jackets.

Second Period

The second period began with some chances on the offensive end for the Jackets. Patrik Laine had a few shots on net that forced Jones to make a couple of big stops. Similarly to the first, the Jackets were driving the play in the opening minutes of the frame without much to show for it.

It was another choppy start to the period with turnovers a plenty. Philadelphia eventually made the Jackets pay for one in the neutral zone. Kevin Connauton carried the puck into the zone on an odd-man rush and opted to shoot. It was a good call by him, as his shot beat Elvis on (you guessed it) the glove side.

1-1 (Connauton unassisted)

Right after the goal the Flyers received power play when Gavrikov was called for a holding penalty. The Flyers’ power play didn’t muster anything until the dying moments of the penalty with Cam Atkinson nearly putting the Flyers on top, but Merzlikins came up with the big save.

A few minutes later the Flyers took their first lead of the night. A bouncing puck on a dump-in, that both Elvis and Jake Bean couldn’t handle rolled right to new Philadelphia Flyer, Owen Tippett, in the slot who ripped a shot that Merzlikins appeared to get a piece of but couldn’t prevent from going into the net. It was an unfortunate series of events, but is another one Elvis may want back.

2-1 Flyers (Tippett from Sanheim and Hayes)

The momentum was clearly in Philadelphia’s favor and not long after the Tippett goal, the Flyers built on their lead. Flyers rookie, Noah Cates scored his second goal in as many games, putting a shot from a tough angle off of Elvis’ back and into the net.

3-1 Flyers (Cates from Provorov and Hayes)

The period couldn’t end soon enough for the Jackets as they had to finish the final thirty seconds of the period shorthanded. Unable to keep up with Philadelphia’s push, Andrew Peeke was sent off for interference in the defensive zone.

It was a rough period for the Jackets allowing three unanswered goals. A big push was expected from the home team in front of their fans...

Third Period

The Blue Jackets opened the final twenty minutes on the penalty kill and were able to kill off the remaining minute and a half — barely. Elvis was under siege early in the frame, making a couple big saves in addition to getting bailed out by a post.

For a team down a pair of goals entering the third period, you wouldn’t have guessed it from watching the urgency of the Jackets. The team was sloppy all night, and continued to do so when the game was on the line. The third period saw another stretch of over seven minutes without a whistle. Before the Jackets even knew it, the period was half over.

Adam Boqvist made the comeback even more difficult when he committed a penalty with just over eight minutes remaining. Thankfully the league’s worst power play was unable to score yet again, but the crucial minutes ticking off the clock was success enough for Philadelphia.

It was a very disappointing third period for the Jackets considering they had minimal pushback. The Flyers even managed to add to their lead off some more sloppy defensive play allowing Travis Konecny to walk right down the middle and pop a wrister through Elvis’ pads. Initially, the referee closest to the play appeared to waive the goal off, but it was clear upon review the puck trickled through Merzlikin’s pads and fully crossed the line.

4-1 Flyers (Konecny from Frost and Sanheim)

The Flyers kept their foot on the gas and controlled the puck for the remaining minutes and the Jackets were content to let them.

Burn the tape. Move on. Nothing to learn from this game.

Final 4-1 Flyers

Up Next

The Blue Jackets are back at it Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings in Motown. The Jackets could have a new face in the lineup, with Kent Johnson and Michigan being eliminated from the Frozen Four. After a game like tonight, we could all use another reason to tune in.