"It was a really good tie," Columbus coach and general manager Doug MacLean said. "Some ties are not good. This was a good tie against a pretty good hockey team."
Sami Kapanen, who lost several teeth earlier in the game, scored with 1:08 left in regulation to lift the Flyers into a 1-1 tie with the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
Columbus goaltender Fred Brathwaite was brilliant all night while stopping 40 shots. Kapanen's goal came after the Flyers had continually peppered him with shots for a full minute.
"I got a chance to get in there and we got a point," Brathwaite said. "But we should have had two."
Brathwaite, spelling No. 1 goalie Marc Denis, was at his best in the overtime, stopping eight shots with the Flyers applying heavy pressure. Philadelphia, which has the NHL's best record, had a man advantage for most of the extra session.
"He's a big pinch-hitter, one of the best in the business," MacLean said of Brathwaite, who has also played for Edmonton, Calgary and St. Louis in nine NHL seasons.
"He's been waiting patiently for his chance and he came in and got us a good point," MacLean said.
Brathwaite twice stopped Eric Desjardins in the final minute of overtime and also had late saves against Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte and Mark Recchi.
Kapanen's fifth goal came after he muscled the puck loose from Columbus defenseman Darryl Sydor at the back boards. Kapanen grabbed the puck and jammed it in on Brathwaite, who was pinned tight to the near post. The puck slipped in through his leg pads.
"It was a pretty good shift. We worked hard down low," Kapanen said. "I got a loose puck and took it to the net and just tried to bang it home. It slowly trickled over the goal line."
In the second period, Kapanen had been hit by an errant stick from teammate Donald Brashear. He lost his bottom two front teeth and shattered a tooth on either side.
"It felt like I had a mouthful of sand," Kapanen said.
Jeff Hackett had 19 saves for the Flyers, who have lost just once in their last 18 games (13-1-4-0).
Columbus opened the scoring at the 6:47 mark of the first when Nikolai Zherdev dug the puck off the wall to David Vyborny who slid a cross-crease pass to Manny Malhotra for a one-timer. It was Malhotra's third goal since being picked up off waivers from Dallas on Nov. 21.
"Vyborny made an incredible play," Malhotra said. "He put a perfect pass on my tape. He waited long enough to draw the goalie to him. I was at the back door. It makes a big net for me to shoot at."
Columbus, which had never beaten the Flyers in five previous meetings, had three prime scoring opportunities.
Rick Nash, on a five-game goals streak, had a clear breakaway a minute into the overtime but was wide of the net with his shot. Both Zherdev and Trevor Letowski hit the post with slap shots that would have given the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead in the final minutes of regulation.
"This team has tremendous spirit," Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said. "There's lots of teams with this much depth and this many skilled players, but this team has a very unique spirit. Every game we play right now we get the other team's `A' game. Everybody gives us 100 percent and we're still answering the bell and getting points, especially on the road."
|Manny Malhotra (3) ASST: David Vyborny (8), Nikolay Zherdev (2)|
1 - 0 CBJ
|Sami Kapanen (5) ASST: Michal Handzus (10), Radovan Somik (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Power Play %||16.4%||17.9%|
|% on Road||16.7%||19.5%|
|% at Home||16.2%||16.3%|
|Marcus Ragnarsson Interference against Nikolay Zherdev|
|Jody Shelley Interference against Marcus Ragnarsson|
|Nikolay Zherdev Hi-sticking|
|Jody Shelley Slashing against Radovan Somik|
|Donald Brashear Tripping against Jody Shelley|
|Nikolay Zherdev Too many men/ice - bench|
|Scott Lachance Boarding against Mark Recchi|