The Jackets lost their sixth game in a row Saturday when they fell to the Flyers by a score of 4-2. It was just the second time the Jackets lost to the Flyers in their last 11 matchups.
Once again, the Jackets won the shot attempt battle at both even strength (50.62%) and in all situations (52.43%) but they couldn't manage to out score their opponent. Columbus gave up four or more goals for the third straight game.
The Jackets gave the Flyers a two-goal cushion in the first period before getting on the board themselves in the second. The Jackets added two goals in that middle period. Unfortunately they allowed two more as well.
Seth Jones put the first Jackets score on the board. It came off a shot from the point that got behind Mason after deflecting off multiple sticks. It was the first power play goal the Jackets have had in 21 attempts and the first since Mar. 13, when they last played the Flyers on the road.
Philadelphia made it 4-1 before Boone Jenner added the second Jackets goal, and his second score in as many games when he fired from the slot after receiving a Sam Gagner feed from the right to make it 4-2.
Video: Gabriel Carlsson talks about his first NHL game
In his NHL debut, Gabriel Carlsson played 19:15 and had two missed attempts. His defensive partner Seth Jones called him a great skater, and Tortorella was so pleased with the Swede's performance that he is already planning to play him again Sunday against Toronto.
"We did have a good start, they score a goal and we lost ourselves," head coach John Tortorella said. "They turned it up. In these types of games, it's which team is going to seize the momentum. I'm not going to pick apart what my team is right now because it's so hard to judge it in these circumstances (when they've already clinched a playoff spot)."
Here's what we learned:
Jonesing for Seth.
Jones played double duty Saturday afternoon both as teacher to his defensive partner Carlsson and as goal scorer for the Jackets. Jones broke through the Jackets power play drought to get the Jackets on the board and in the process, tied Bryan Berard (2005-06) for the franchise record for goals by a defensemen (12).
Jones led the team in time on ice (23:21), shot attempts (7) and shots on goal (5).
Power turned on.
When the Jackets got their first power play of the game, they went to work. 23 seconds after Shayne Gostisbehere was called for holding Alexander Wennberg, Jones put the puck in the net off "about three different sticks" according to the defenseman and ended a 13-game game drought since the Jackets' last power play goal.
"It's nice that our power play got one," Jones said. "It's been something crazy (in terms of how many games) that we haven't scored. It's nice that we put one on the board. It gives us momentum going into the playoffs. It keeps us with that confidence that we cans core on the power play.
"That's the way they kill, they were giving me that shot from up (on the point) so I was shooting the puck quite a little more than usual."
Video: Cam Atkinson talks about improvements after the loss
Playing the way this team can play isn't turned on and off with a switch.
As the Jackets have fought to get back on the winning side of games, the players have cited areas where they know they can play better but aren't executing. After Saturday's loss, Jones talked about taking unnecessary penalties in the defensive zone, giving opponents too many chances and making it too hard on Sergei Bobrovsky in net.
Cam Atkinson, who played only three shifts in the third period, said he (and other players) may have taken their foot off the gas a little bit since clinching. Now they are trying to find the game they know they can play.
With one game left in the regular season, there was a sense that they want to win that final matchup to show they are the team they know themselves to be. This team knows they can't wait until next week to return to performing to at a higher standard.
"You can't let panic come into our game," Jones said. "I think we've got to stay more composed in our game. When we start panicking, we've seen what happens, it's not pretty. I think the more composed we are, we know what we can do and we know how to do it.
"It's just a matter of execution and that's how it's been of late. Offensively we're getting chances we're just not putting it in the back of the net the way we can."