By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Blue Jackets come to town in arguably the most important game of the year for both teams. Each side is seeking a win to try to secure third place in the Metropolitan division. The Flyers were able to end the Columbus curse a few weeks ago, but can they win again in this Metro showdown?
First period: Atkinson opened the period with a breakaway that Mrazek handled. It took almost eight minutes, but the Flyers finally got a shot on goal, a great shot by Konecny that was robbed by Bobrovsky. Two goals from Columbus just 11 seconds apart from Bjorkstrand and Jenner gave the Jackets the early lead.
Giroux would hit the post on a breakaway, but would put a laser past Bobrovsky a few seconds later to open the scoring for Philadelphia. After a great start, Atkinson would finally score with redirect off of Jack Johnson’s point shot to give them a 3-1 lead to end the first period.
Second period: Gostisbehere scored just 14 seconds into the period on a hangover powerplay from the first period, his first goal in 19 games. Atkinson struck again this time capitalizing on a Flyers turnover. Mrazek was pulled after allowing four goals on ten shots, though it wasn’t all his fault. MacDonald scored with a point shot that hit both posts to bring the Flyers back within one. Lyon stopped all 12 shots he faced, including a barrage on the penalty kill.
Third period: The Blue Jackets played to win a they shut down the Flyers giving them very few chances. The Flyers pulled Lyon with 1:53 left in the period, but it wasn’t enough as they failed to score and Atkinson netted his third of the night to beat the Flyers 5-3.
Takeaways: It’s just like the Flyers to lose a game this important. The playoffs now become a huge question mark just a few weeks after being in first place. It is crunch time in Philly if they don’t want to blow the rest of this season.
Three stars of the game:
3) Artemi Panarin
2) Sergei Bobrovsky
1) Cam Atkinson
CBJ: Bjorkstrand (Milano, Jones)
CBJ: Jenner (Johnson, Vanek)
PHI: Giroux (Konecny, MacDonald)
CBJ: Atkinson (Panarin, Werenski)
PHI: Gostisbehere (Couturier, Provorov)
CBJ: Atkinson (Savard)
PHI: MacDonald (Konecny, Sanheim)
CBJ: Atkinson (Panarin, Savard)
photo credit: insidehockey.com