The celebration was mostly elation, but not without a little relief mixed in.
In the closing moments of regulation, there were similar uneasy feelings from the night before when the Rangers rallied and scored the go-ahead goal with 16.5 seconds left. Tonight, the Flyers finally beat Sergei Bobrovsky with, eerily, 16.5 seconds left to tie the game send it to overtime.
But the Blue Jackets picked themselves back up and went on the attack, and in the process, picked up two huge points to bust out of a two-game skid in front of 17,962 at Nationwide Arena.
Nick Foligno beat Steve Mason high to the glove side after taking a pass from Seth Jones in the middle of the ice, only seconds after Jones deftly broke up an odd-man rush for the Flyers back at the other end.
That goal gave the Blue Jackets a needed win and two more points to climb back into first place in both the Metropolitan Division and the NHL. They are 28-7-4 with 60 points and have three games in hand on the Rangers, who are three points behind Columbus.
And a night after John Tortorella said he wanted to see how his team answered a tough loss, he got his answer. His thoughts?
"It looked like a game two teams playing back-to-back," Tortorella said. "I thought we tried. Some guys…the energy level (wasn't there). We always want them dead-on and ready to go, but there's some physiology that goes with this. But to scratch away and get the two points and get them in the bank is very important."
Video: PHI@CBJ: Foligno wrists puck past Mason for OT winner
Here's what we learned:
BACK ON THE CASE: Sergei Bobrovsky was as ready as anyone to get back in the net. Along with many of his teammates, he didn't have the best night on Thursday in Washington and had the night off on Saturday. Tonight was a big game for him, too, not only against his former team but to help the Blue Jackets get back in the win column. He was solid through the game but had moments of brilliance, including a lunging save on Claude Giroux in the dying seconds just before Brayden Schenn's equalizer. Bobrovsky earned his league-leading 26th win of the season and is 16-1-1 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in his last 18 starts.
"It's definitely huge for us, especially this situation. It's great to get back (to winning)," Bobrovsky said. "It's 82 games and there will be some bumps in the road…what's important is how we react to those games. I thought the guys stepped up."
Video: Bobrovsky on his 25-save win vs. the Flyers
HANG IN THERE: This game was not going to be easy for the Blue Jackets. Not only were they dealing with some frustration from the last two games - particularly last night's result - but they had a desperate Flyers team in their building that's looking to win points within the division and make up ground. Philadelphia had a goal disallowed early in the first period when it was determined that Matt Read caused Ryan Murray to disrupt Bobrovsky's path to making a save, and in the second period, the lead goal scored by David Savard was challenged by the Flyers, also for goaltender interference. Columbus came out on the good end of both video reviews, and despite the late goal given up, was able to collect itself and find a way to win the game.
"It was a battle," Tortorella said. "It was a game of patience by both teams. We got fortunate on our goal and getting one of theirs called back…and we found a way. It was like getting blood out of a rock to get some guys to give a little more. They were trying, but they didn't have much."
BIG FOR THE CAPTAIN: Foligno said the Blue Jackets' bench didn't flinch after Schenn's late goal to tie things up at 1-1. The conversation among the players was "let's go win it," he said, and they were in attack mode right from the outset in overtime. Cam Atkinson had a chance, Brandon Saad had a chance, and then the third forward combination used by Tortorella was Foligno with Sam Gagner playing center. Gagner drove hard down the right side while Jones carried the puck up the left, and Foligno joined the play just in time to wire a quick shot past Mason to end the game. The goal was Foligno's 14th of the season in his 37th game, two more than he had in 72 games a season ago.
"I thought that was one of my poorer games, to be honest with you," Foligno said. "But it was nice to help (the team) in that regard; it was a great play by Jonesy in the defensive zone, and he skates up and I just yell to him and he sees me."