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Game 66 Recap: Flyers shut out the Jackets 6-0

After a victory over the Oilers on Friday night, the Jackets traveled to Philadelphia last night to face the Flyers, a desperate team still fighting for a playoff spot.

The Jackets were without Brandon Saad, out with an upper-body injury sustained against the Oilers, while the Flyers were without the services of former Jacket Jakub Voracek. It still pains me to this day that he was dealt. Not even because of the Jeff Carter fiasco, but because Jake would be such a huge part of this team today.

It was Curtis McElhinney vs. Steve Mason in net, two goalies who’ve not played much over the past two weeks for their respective teams.

Something very strange happened in the first period, serving as the catalyst for the Flyers. Radko Gudas finally figured out how to play hockey.

Once the switch was flipped for Gudas, the Jackets didn’t stand a chance.

With the puck on his stick at the right point, Gudas found a wide open Michael Raffl to the right of McElhinney, who redirected the pass into the Columbus net.

With the Jackets playing some of the sloppiest hockey we’ve seen from them all season, Gudas was at it again, this time firing a slapper from the red line past McElhinney for his first goal of the season. Seriously.

The Jackets continued to crumble, and the discipline started to wane. With Nick Cousins down on his knees after a whistle, Scott Hartnell gave him a shot to the head as he skated by him. Totally useless and stupid thing to do, which resulted in a roughing minor. Such a selfish penalty to take. Luckily hard work by his teammates got Hartnell off the hook.

Late in the period Ryan White got under the skin of Dalton Prout, and the latter followed him back to his bench, giving him some healthy cross checks as he walked off the ice. Prout was given a minor, as White smirked on the bench.

The first half of the middle period was just like the first: sloppy, ugly, disjointed. The Jackets didn’t get their first shot on net until the 11:46 mark of the period, a jam play in front of Mason.

Jared Boll and Brandon Manning shared words a few minutes later, with Boll dropping his gloves with no reciprocation from Manning. Manning’s denial led to a roughing minor for Boll, but a terrific kill by the Jackets kept the score at 2-0.

Just as the Jackets were starting to find their groove offensively, Philly stopped them in their tracks. The puck was flipped into the air, coming down at the red line. David Savard attempted to glove the puck, but it deflected off his hand to Sam Gagner, who skated in alone down the right wing, firing a slapper behind McElhinney. A misplay by Savard, followed by a goal that you know McElhinney wanted back. Gudas with the apple, his second of the game.

On the ensuing faceoff, Claude Giroux finished off a bouncing cross-ice pass from Wayne Simmonds to blow the game open.

The Jackets started the third period with a line of Scott Hartnell and David Clarkson flanking Brandon Dubinsky as they searched for offense. It would not come.

With 9:55 left, Cousins jammed the puck into the net from McElhinney’s left. It was initially waved off, but after a brief review it was overturned, making the score 5-0 Flyers. Right after, Gudas. Yes, effing Gudas, scored again to make the score 6-0.

The Flyers would kill off a Nick Schultz double-minor for high sticking, and the game ended with Gudas and Nick Foligno in their dressing rooms with coincidental double-minors.

Final Gudas stat line: 2G / 2A / 4PTS / +4 / 4PIM / 7 SHOTS / 5 HITS

FINAL SCORE: 6-0 Flyers

For the advanced stats for this game, check out War on Ice.
The Jackets return to action Tuesday at home against the Red Wings.