COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Thursday night the Columbus Blue Jackets faced their fourth different Flyers goaltender this season.
It ended as the previous three did, with a Columbus victory -- this time 4-3 in overtime -- and a Sergei Bobrovsky win. If you want to go back farther, it was the 14th consecutive game Columbus has notched at least a point at home against the Flyers, going 13-0-1 in that span.
Seth Jones got the overtime winner, wristing a shot with 32.3 seconds left after the teams had traded chances.
Travis Sanheim’s second goal of the game had tied it at 3-3 with 6:48 left.
The overtime loss allowed the Flyers (30-26-8) to remain six points away from the second wild-card spot with 18 games remaining. It was only the second time in their last 14 trips to Nationwide Arena that the Flyers have emerged with at least a point.
``Unfortunately we lost in OT -- but it’s a good point,'' said Voracek. ``That’s a tough team we were playing. And that’s the way it goes in overtime ...
``It could have been worse.''
The Flyers took an early lead in this one. With Nick Foligno off for tripping Travis Konecny along the boards, Jake Voracek took a cross-ice pass from Claude Giroux, walked in, and wristed the puck past Bobrovsky at 3:30 of the first period for his 18th goal. It was the game’s first shot, and the Jackets didn’t get their first until almost two minutes later.
Even more promising: The Flyers, with the NHL’s 23rd-ranked power play, scored on the league’s third best penalty kill, which entered the game at 84 percent.
Columbus tied it at 11:45, after the Flyers had done an outstanding job killing off a penalty assessed on Brian Elliott for moving the net off its moorings. The Flyers challenged Oliver Bjorkstrand’s goal, claiming Boone Jenner’s foot had interfered with Elliott’s opportunity to make the save. The NHL ruled that Jenner had been pushed in by Radko Gudas, and the goal stood.
That triggered a momentum reversal, and Columbus ended the period with a 14-9 shots advantage. But the Flyers, who also saw a Columbus goal called back after it was deemed Bjorkstrand kicked his own rebound off the leg of Ivan Provorov, went into the break with a 2-1 lead on Travis Sanheim’s goal from a scrum at 18:00, and it would have been 3-1 had a similar goal by James van Riemsdyk not been erased because of a successful offsides challenge minutes earlier
That’s right, two challenges and two goal reversals. And that was just the first period.
The Jackets tied it at 2 at 7:31 of the second after Artemi Panarin – a pending unrestricted free agent -- was allowed to walk in on Elliott and jam one between his pads. It was his 70th point of the season.
Columbus had several chances to take a lead after that, including consecutive two-on-one chances in the final minutes of the second. For the Flyers, Robert Hagg hit a post.
Over the four games played between the teams, the Blue Jackets have outscored the Flyers 7-1 in the second period.
Scott Harrington’s what-the-heck wrist shot from the point at 4:15 of the third sailed over the glove of Elliott, giving Columbus a 3-2 lead after the Flyers had twice taken one-goal leads. But a pretty play by Voracek, teeing up Sanheim as he raced in from the point, knotted it again at 13:12 of the third.