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Gudas' four points lead Flyers in rout of Blue Jackets

After the Flyers' dispiriting 4-0 loss on Thursday to the Edmonton Oilers, the team needed an offensive lift. Who would have thought that defenseman Radko Gudas would provide it?

Claude Giroux gives the fist-pump after scoring in the second period as the Flyers rebounded emphatically from their 4-0 loss to the Oilers.
Claude Giroux gives the fist-pump after scoring in the second period as the Flyers rebounded emphatically from their 4-0 loss to the Oilers.Read moreMATT SLOCUM / Associated Press

After the Flyers' dispiriting 4-0 loss on Thursday to the Edmonton Oilers, the team needed an offensive lift. Who would have thought that defenseman Radko Gudas would provide it?

Not exactly a scoring machine, Gudas totaled six points in his first 57 games before adding four on two goals and two assists as the Flyers routed the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-0, on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers are now just three points behind Pittsburgh for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot, with both teams having 18 games remaining.

Just 3 minutes, 40 seconds into the game the Flyers opened the scoring when Michael Raffl, alone inside the left circle, one-timed a Gudas pass for his ninth goal.

"Instead of shooting, [Gudas] had a pretty good look there, it was a very nice pass, and I just tapped it in," Raffl said.

Gudas then scored his first goal as a Flyer on a long shot from just inside the red line with 8:15 left in the first period. It wasn't the finest moment for Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney, who had nobody screening him in front of the net.

"It feels awesome," Gudas said. "I'm not going to say I expected it."

How could he have expected it? Gudas had gone 65 games without a goal. His last one came on Dec. 4, 2014, while playing for Tampa Bay in a 5-0 win over Buffalo.

He certainly wasn't thinking of scoring when he sent the puck in on net.

"I just dumped it in from the red line," said Gudas, who was a plus-4 for the second time this season "Luckily it went in, and I'm glad it's behind me."

The Flyers then put the game away by scoring two goals in a 10-second span in the second period. Gudas passed to defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who flipped a long pass to Sam Gagner. Skating to the right circle, Gagner beat McElhinney to the short side for his sixth goal with 2:47 left in the period.

Gudas has played parts of four NHL seasons, and this was the first game in which he recorded more than two points. His only other multi-point game came March 22, 2014, when he had two assists for Tampa Bay in an overtime loss at Pittsburgh.

Before the fans could finish cheering Gagner's goal, Wayne Simmonds fed Claude Giroux in the slot, and he deposited his 18th goal 10 seconds after Gagner scored.

Brayden Schenn, who left Thursday's game in the third period after hitting his head on the ice during a scrum, also earned an assist on Giroux's goal. It was his 22nd assist, a personal season high.

Steve Mason got the start in goal against his former team, and the Blue Jackets didn't make their former teammate work very hard. He finished with 19 saves. Mason had not started the previous five games.

Like everybody else, Mason was raving about Gudas.

"It is a wonder he hadn't scored yet," Mason said. "He's got probably the hardest shot I've ever faced, and Neuvy [goalie Michal Neuvirth] and I asked him to take a little off his shot in practice because it hurts when it hits you."

Nick Cousins and Gudas added third-period goals for the Flyers, who are 4-1 on their six-game home stand, which will end Monday against Tampa Bay.

Acting more in character, tough guy Gudas departed prematurely when he and the Blue Jackets' Nick Foligno each received double minors (four minutes) for roughing with just 2:09 left.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard