Some observations from the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win Thursday in Columbus:
Kevin Hayes scored the overtime goal, but it was rookie right winger Nic Aube-Kubel — who has blossomed into an important contributor since being recalled from the Phantoms — and his fourth-line teammates who produced the biggest score of the night.
Taking a pass from Michael Raffl, Aube Kubel sped through the neutral zone, put a move on a defender, then fired a shot home from the high slot with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the second period, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Until Aube-Kubel’s goal, the Flyers, who beat Columbus on Tuesday, 5-1, seemed out of sync and didn’t have a lot of offensive-zone time. That changed after Aube-Kubel’s fifth goal of the season.
In 12:11 of action, the player they call “Cube” had four hits. He and linemates Raffl and Connor Bunnaman did a good job of keeping the puck in the Columbus end and generating momentum.
Aube-Kubel played so well that he was even given ice time in the overtime.
The atmosphere in the last two games, Aube-Kubel said, “reminds us of playoff hockey.”
More of those types of games are coming.
Hayes has scored 19 goals — six away from equaling his career high — and has been one of the Flyers’ best penalty killers in his first season in Philadelphia.
He’s also lightened up the locker room with his colorful personality.
Example: Seconds after he scored the game-winner, Hayes gave his teammates a laugh with his championship belt celebration.
Just Hayes being Hayes.
Admit it. Early in the game, you had a flashback to Patrick Kane’s overtime goal that beat Flyers goalie Michael Leighton to give Chicago the 2010 Stanley Cup.
This time, it was Oliver Bjorkstrand who scored against Brian Elliott.
Like Kane, Bjorkstrand seemed to be the only one on the ice who knew the puck went in the net.
The officials didn’t know it. The person who shoots off the Columbus cannon didn’t know it. And none of Bjorkstrand’s teammates immediately celebrated because they didn’t know it.
But the puck did, indeed, beat Elliott to the short side and got stuck in the top of the net, so Columbus had a 1-0 lead after 41 seconds.
“I thought the puck went in, but nobody celebrated and the cannon didn’t go off, so I started to doubt myself,” Bjorkstrand said.
With 10:55 left in the first, Nick Foligno made a it 2-0 on a gorgeous breakaway move and a between-the-legs shot.
It was a much different start from Tuesday, when the Flyers scored two goals in the first five minutes.
Just 23 seconds after Foligno’s goal, the Flyers scored and, again, not many folks knew the puck went in.
“Is there a full moon?” announcer Jim Jackson asked.
It took a while, but the officials finally pointed that the puck had, in fact, gone into the net after Travis Sanheim’s blast deflected off the skate of a falling Travis Konecny in front.