BLUE JACKETS 2 | FLYERS 0
WELLS FARGO CENTER
It would be impossible for the Blue Jackets, holding a lead (once again) entering the third period at Wells Fargo Center, not to think about what happened in their most recent trip to Philadelphia.
FINAL: BLUE JACKETS 2 | FLYERS 0
Back in December - as you're probably well aware of by now - the Blue Jackets led 3-0 heading to the final 20 minutes and despite not playing their best, had a commanding lead in a crucial Metropolitan Division game. The Flyers rallied for five goals in the third period to win, but there was nothing resembling a sequel tonight for Philadelphia.
The Blue Jackets can thank Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 37 saves in his first game back in Philadelphia, for playing a huge role in tonight's 2-0 victory that brings Columbus within two points of third place in the Metropolitan Division. When the Flyers pushed in the third period, Bobrovsky was solid between the pipes and he was especially noticeable on four successful penalty kills by the Jackets.
“It’s great for Bob," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "You want to see good players and good guys do well, and Bob is that guy. It’s never about him...it's all about the team. You can ask any of the players - everybody in that room is really happy for him."
After a scoreless first period, the Jackets struck first in the second period on a James Wisniewski power play goal. It came after 1:54 of Columbus' best power play effort of the game, moving the puck around and creating plenty of chances. A quick pass down low to Wisniewski from Mark Letestu resulted in a tight-angle shot by Wisniewski that snuck through the pads of Steve Mason at 17:07.
Brandon Dubinsky re-directed a shot from distance by Cam Atkinson at 3:20 of the third period, and Bobrovsky kept a clean sheet from there on in. His fourth shutout of the season came at an important time for the Jackets, who maintained a one-point lead on the second wild card spot.
The game started to turn in the Jackets' favor after they killed off the fourth of four Flyers power plays, the final one coming midway through the second period (Johansen, hooking). They built their game off it, stringing shifts together and capitalizing on the late period power play.
1. BRANDON DUBINSKY (CBJ)
Dubinsky recorded a huge insurance goal early in the third period, but he did his best work before and after the goal. He drug the Jackets into the fight with an energetic, physical game and logged key minutes in all situations.
2. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Quite the return to Philadelphia for Bobrovsky, making 37 saves and picking up his fourth shutout of the season in his team's biggest game to date.
3. JAMES WISNIEWSKI (CBJ)
A goal and an assist tonight for Wisniewski gives him 46 points on the year, the most all-time for a Blue Jackets defenseman in a single season.
VS. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
FRIDAY, 7 P.M.