With the standings as tight as it is in the Metropolitan division you would expect nothing less than a playoff-type atmosphere in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Flyers (32-20-7) entered the Wells Fargo Center one point behind their opponents, the Columbus Blue Jackets (30-18-12). They started the game in the second wildcard slot with a chance to jump ahead.
The Flyers kept Columbus on their heals the entire game even though the Blue Jackets had many more shots on goal, 29-15 to be exact. On one end of the ice, Carter Hart sat in between the pipes making his third straight start for the Flyers and while Blue Jackets goaltender, Elvis Merzlikins. would get the start for Columbus. Hart would deny the Blue Jackets of scoring opportunities throughout the night, especially in the second and third periods. Let’s break this game down:
The scoring started early in the first period with Hayes simply flicking the puck from behind the net at Columbus’s goaltender. The puck ricochetted into the net putting the Flyers up 1-0. The assists by Konecny and Farabee.
About one minute after Hayes’ goal, Sean Couturier followed with a breakaway score putting the Flyers up 2-0 with the assist by Giroux. Flyers fans thought they had another as Ivan Provorov deflected one past Merzlikins but it was overturned with a coach’s challenge for “goalie interference”. The period would end with the Flyers leading in shots (6 to 3) and goals with a 2-0 lead after one.
The Flyers kept their collective foot on the gas offensively and defensively in the 2nd period. Philippe Myers joined in on the fun with a shot that put Philly up 3-0 (Assists by Sanheim and Aube-Kubel). The Blue Jackets were not going down easy and turned up the heat on Carter Hart in the second. With less than three minutes left in the period, Columbus right winger Oliver Bjorkstrand got one passed Hart cutting the Flyers lead back to two goals (Assists by Bemstrom and Werenski). Columbus outshot the Flyers 12-5 in the second but still trailed 3-1.
Philadelphia entered the third hoping to seal the deal with a win. The third period started out a lot like the first. An early score by the Flyers from Travis Konecny made it 4-1, Philly (Assists by Hayes and Farabee). Travis Konecny scored again making it five goals for the Flyers (Assists by Giroux and Konecny), all during 5-on-5 hockey. That would be the final goal of the game as the Flyers took this one with a 5-1 final. Also, this was Claude Giroux‘s 235th career powerplay assist (on his knee might I add) placing him 1st for the franchise record sneaking past Bobby Clarke.
Flyers Facts: The orange-black head to Ohio to take on Columbus once again this Thursday. The Flyers are 19-5-4 at home going into the game. Travis Konecny has 20 team-leading goals on the season.