Game #35: Blue Jackets Squeeze Past Flyers in 4-3 Win

Bobrovsky, top line come up big on the road

The Columbus Blue Jackets scored three unanswered goals in the second period and hung on to win a Saturday matinee over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, 4-3.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in the visit to his old stomping grounds. He looked a little shaky early, but turned the tide for the Blue Jackets and made some spectacular saves as they battened down the hatches late.

The top line of Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois dominated the Flyers. Atkinson scored two goals while Panarin (one goal) and Dubois notched three points apiece.

James Van Riemsdyk scored a goal and an assist to lead Philadelphia.

The advanced stats were not kind to the CBJ. The Flyers enjoyed a healthy margin at 5-on-5 in CF% (62.69% to 37.31%), FF% (62% to 38%) and high-danger scoring chances (6 to 3).

First Period

A tight first period saw the Flyers control possession and notch a late goal to make it a 1-1 opening stanza.

The Blue Jackets looked solid on both ends of the ice early on. The defense kept Philadelphia shots at bay and the Duclair-Foligno-Wennberg line turned in several strong shifts.

With 7:54 left in the period, Radko Gudas threw a high hit at Markus Hannikainen in the neutral zone. Brandon Dubinsky didn’t like it and went after Gudas, earning a 10-minute misconduct. Maybe not worth the penalty to throw hands with Gudas, but he does have a punchable face.

The Blue Jackets struck with 4:55 left in the first. Cam Atkinson pressured Ivan Provorov in the Flyers’ zone, eventually turning the puck over to Columbus. Panarin and Dubois found Werenski streaking into the zone, and Z beat Carter Hart with a nasty wrister to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead.

Ryan Murray cross-checked Michael Raffl with 2:20 to go for the game’s first power play. Philadelphia struggled throughout most of the advantage and the Wells Fargo Center crowd let the team hear about it…until Sean Couturier swept home a chance to tie the game with only two seconds left in the PP. The goal snapped a 0-for-16 Flyers power play drought (as well as a streak of 14 straight CBJ kills) and made it a 1-1 game heading into intermission.

Second Period

After a sloppy Columbus start to the period, the Flyers converted with 12:20 remaining, finishing off a Philadelphia cycle that worked the puck to the slot. Bob stopped the initial James van Riemsdyk shot, but Phil Varone rammed the rebound into the net for his first goal as a Flyer. The score made it 2-1 in favor of Philadelphia and put the Jackets behind for the first time that afternoon.

John Tortorella laid into the team on the bench, a move that woke up the visitors and spur a great run of play for the rest of the period.

The Blue Jackets scored a rebound goal of their own less than two minutes later. Pierre-Luc Dubois pushed the puck along the boards and connected with Ryan Murray, who immediately pass to Cam Aktinson. Atkinson’s first shot found Carter Hart’s pads but the rebound found the net, tying the game yet again.

Columbus kept the pressure on and drew a penalty, but no need to devote cyberspace to it—the Flyers actually managed a juicy breakaway that Bob was able to stop.

Cam put the Blue Jackets ahead with 6:37 to go, finishing off a pretty tic-tac-toe play from Scott Harrington and Panarin:

Great play by PLD to keep the play alive early and set up the goal, number 22 for Atkinson this season.

In a repeat of the first period, Columbus took a penalty with 2:40 left before intermission. Brandon Dubinsky, who hadn’t been back in the game that long, went after Gudas again to the tune of a two-minute roughing minor. Unlike the first, the CBJ were able to kill the penalty with relative ease.

(Dubinsky would pick up two more penalty minutes in the final period.)

Columbus picked up another goal with 35 seconds in the second. PLD won a faceoff in Flyers territory, moving the puck to Panarin. Bread immediately fired a shot past a befuddled Carter Hart for the Blue Jackets’ third straight goal and a 4-2 lead.

Third Period

The teams began to go after each other a little bit, including a scuffle near the Flyers net and several shots after the whistle.

The Blue Jackets couldn’t convert on a Shayne Gostisbehere slashing penalty at 7:03…yet they also didn’t allow any good shorthanded chances. Philadelphia earned a PP of its own midway through the period (Pierre-Luc Dubois, tripping) that the Blue Jackets also killed without incident.

Bob began to take over in the third, making some incredible stops like this one:

The chippy play continued and resulted in a Philadelphia power play following a Dubinsky tripping violation. Bob came up huge several times on the kill by keeping Flyer chances out of the net.

The Flyers pulled Hart with two minutes left and finally threw enough whacks at the net to get one across. Bob made three initial stops, but Van Riemsdyk got enough on a shot to sneak it over the goal line and cut the deficit to one with 1:10 remaining in regulation.

The Flyers called their timeout, allowing John Tortorella to look for—and decide against challenging—possible goaltender interference.

From there, Columbus was able to hang on and pick up a key divisional win.

Quick Thoughts

  • Bob is 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a .952 save percentage. Not too shabby. He loves playing against the team that traded him and came up clutch today. The Blue Jackets have had trouble getting wins where they played well, but Bob helped going the other way for this victory.
  • Brandon Dubinsky racked up 21 penalty minutes today. Not great, my man.
  • Riley Nash logged 7:36 of ice time. That’s nine more seconds than Dubinsky, who, again, spent 21 minutes of the game penalized.
  • Carter Hart? More like Carter Fa–
  • Weekend afternoon games are weird, and the CBJ have another tomorrow at 12:30 against the Devils. We’ll have full coverage./

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