One last gasp, one last rush up the ice.
BLUE JACKETS 3 | FLYERS 2
It was all that Ryan Johansen and Kevin Connauton had left in the tank, and it was just enough for the Blue Jackets to lock up their fourth straight victory.
The Philadelphia Flyers were the better team in the third period and they started overtime on the front foot, controlling the puck in the Columbus zone on an extended shift that started back in their own end. All eight players on the ice were completely out of gas, but Connauton saw an opportunity to make a play in overtime and he decided to jump up.
“If it’s 5-on-5, I’m not sure that I would’ve jumped there,” Connauton said. “But Joey made a great play to draw the extra defender.”
Matt Read was one of those players out of steam and he couldn’t catch Connauton on the back check, and Johansen threaded a pass through the seam to lead Connauton in alone on Steve Mason. One quick move and a quicker shot rang off the crossbar and into the net, giving the Blue Jackets the second point after yielding a tying goal late in regulation.
“We didn’t hang our heads on the bench,” said Brandon Dubinsky, who played 19:09 in his season debut. “We went right back out there and started going after them. We said ‘let’s go out there and get the second point.’”
Dubinsky set up the opening goal for the Blue Jackets, who took a 1-0 lead on the power play at 12:34 of the first period. Boone Jenner tried a hard centering pass across the crease, but the puck banked off Braydon Coburn’s skate and right back to Jenner - and he had a wide open net to score his fourth goal in four games.
The Flyers evened it up late in the period on Brayden Schenn’s first of two, a power play goal teed up wonderfully by captain Claude Giroux.
Then it was former Flyer Scott Hartnell, after so many chances in the first two meetings this season against Philadelphia, scoring against his ex-mates to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead. There was quite a mess in front of Mason, but Hartnell found the loose puck and swept it in on the backhand at 10:39 of the second period.
And after a third period largely owned by the Flyers, they were able to squeeze point out of Columbus with a late goal from Schenn. Jake Voracek sent the puck toward the net from high in the zone and Schenn redirected it through Bobrovsky’s pads, a goal that stood after brief review at 19:04 of the third.
With four straight wins under their belt, the Blue Jackets (10-15-2) are prepared to start their climb up the Metropolitan Division standings - and they’re going to need a longer run to make it interesting. Next up is a Thursday night matchup against the Washington Capitals in D.C.
As strange as it sounds, the tying goal late in the third period provided a jolt to the Blue Jackets, who were trying to hang on to a 2-1 lead. As Dubinsky said: they didn't sulk or bemoan the lead that got away, they picked themselves up and went back to work in overtime.
at Washington Capitals
Thursday, 7 p.m. ET