BLUE JACKETS 5 | FLYERS 2
The Blue Jackets
have talked often about the need to focus on "who's up next" on their schedule, and not got wrapped up in the excitement surrounding this run they're on. At some point, doesn't it become a bit difficult?
FINAL: BLUE JACKETS 5 | FLYERS 2
Adversity hasn't been extinct in this now-eight-game winning streak - the Blue Jackets have trailed at times, played poorly at times and have been guilty of getting in their own way. But each night it has been a different player, a different line, that makes an impact and turns the game in their favor.
It was no different tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers
, a team that's given the Blue Jackets troubles in the season series between these Metropolitan Division rivals.
Columbus scored first - again - struggled in the second period but found a way to carry a 3-2 lead into the final 20 minutes. The Flyers struck for two goals in a span of less than six minutes to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 advantage, and at the time, had generated some momentum and started to take the game back.
But much like what happened Tuesday night, last weekend in Buffalo, and games prior to that, the Blue Jackets had a different unit step to the fore and make a big play.
The fourth line made it happen tonight, getting the 2-2 goal from the stick of Derek MacKenzie
at 11:24 of the second period, a little more than four minutes after Vincent Lecavalier gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead. Later in the frame, Matt Calvert's foot got just enough of a James Wisniewski
shot-pass to beat Ray Emery and give Columbus its second lead of the night, this time with one period to go.
Does this sound familiar? The Blue Jackets put their foot down in the third period and put the game out of reach with a timely penalty kill and opportunistic offense.
Philadelphia started the third period on the back half of a 45 second 5-on-3 power play which the Blue Jackets killed off, and shortly thereafter, scored twice in 3:25 to bump their lead to 5-2. Brandon Dubinsky
capitalized on a great play up high by Calvert and snapped his 11th of the season past Emery at 3:29, and then Nathan Horton
scored a beautiful goal walking around Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros and depositing his fourth of the season off the bar and in.
Oh, yeah...Sergei Bobrovsky
made 26 saves to record his first victory against his former team.
There was a period late in the middle frame where this game was very much up for grabs. Down 3-2, the Flyers were given 45 seconds of two-man advantage time and a huge opportunity to even things up headed to the third period. But the Blue Jackets did what they had to do, blocking shots, winning draws and keeping the Flyers outside the danger zones. Not long after they killed off the 5-on-3 and subsequent power play, they scored two big goals to pad the lead.
1. BRANDON DUBINSKY (CBJ)
It's on nights like these when you see what Dubinsky brings to the Blue Jackets. He was a firecracker tonight, finishing checks, dominating the face-off circle (79 percent) and registering another multi-point game with a goal and an assist.
2. MATT CALVERT (CBJ)
Calvert was kind of a question mark for this game after missing the morning skate, but he was once again a big part of a really effective line for Columbus. He scored the go-ahead goal in the second and made a great play to set up Dubinsky's game winner.
3. JACK JOHNSON (CBJ)
He got things started offensively for the Jackets, scoring a lucky goal from the left wing midway through the first. Johnson is playing some of the best hockey of his career, and tonight, he played 27:49 with six shots on goal and a +2.
VS. BUFFALO SABRES
SATURDAY, 7 P.M.