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POSTGAME 5: Movin' Up

Konecny shines, Giroux breaks a record as Flyers pound Blue Jackets, 5-1, to move into third in the Metro

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

In the front half of a vital home-and-home set, the Philadelphia Flyers dispatched the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-1, at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.

Kevin Hayes (18th of the season) and Sean Couturier (18th) got the Flyers off to a quick 2-0 lead. Phil Myers (4th) opened a 3-0 lead in the second period before Oliver Björkstrand (20th) got a goal back on a power play to cut the gap to 3-1. A tip-in by Travis Konecny (20th) and.Jakub Voracek power play goal (12th) created a 5-1

Carter Hart earned the win for the Flyers. He stopped 28 of 29 shots. Elvis Merzlikins stopped just eight of 12 shots before he was pulled at 3:40 of the third period. Countryman Matiss Kivlenieks went the rest of the way, stopping one of two shots.

Three Stars:
1st: Travis Konecny (1g-2a)
2nd: Claude Giroux (2a)
3rd: Carter Hart (28 of 29 saves)

The Flyers scored goals on each of the game's first two shots, spaced just 1:02 apart. The Flyers had some self-made puck luck on both goals - Hayes banked a shot from behind the goal line off the back of Merzlikins' mask and into the net at 3:28 and Claude Giroux sprung Sean Couturier on a breakaway down the middle. Video: CBJ@PHI: Couturier slips puck five-hole on breakaway

1) The Flyers brought excellent puck pressure, especially on the back check throughout the first period. First period shots were 6-3 Flyers. High danger chances were 2-1 Flyers. 

2) The Flyers dodged a bullet when Ivan Provorov went down after a painful blocked shot. He was on the ice for quite awhile but returned to the bench and didn't miss a shift. On his next shift, the Flyers had a would-be Provorov goal overturned on a coach's challenge by John Tortorella for goaltender interference by Joel Farabee at 15:08. 

3) The Flyers had some issues on clearing opportunities in the second period, and ended up hemmed in a few times. Uncharacteristically, near the midpoint of regulation, Couturier had a couple turnovers on the same shift. Hart, for the first time, was asked to come up big several times. He did. 

4) Andrew Peeke had a first two periods for Columbus, even apart from being on the ice for all three Philadelphia goals. The Myers goal appeared to bounce in off the Columbus defenseman.

5) A no-frills goal -- Hayes winning a left circle draw, Joel Farabee getting it back to the left point, Robert Hägg putting a simple shot on net from the point and Konecny getting the re-direct into the net -- made it 4-1 at 3:40 of the third period. It also ended Merzlikins' night. Third period shots -- completely a product of score effect -- were 11-4 Blue Jackets.

* Claude Giroux's assist on Voracek's power-play goal makes him the franchise's all-time leader in power-play assists (235), passing Bobby Clarke.Video: CBJ@PHI: Voracek buries Konecny's feed for PPG

* Giroux also extended his point streak for six straight games with 11 points (3g-8a).

* The Flyers have won three straight games over the Blue Jackets for the first time in their history - since Columbus entered the league in 2000-01.

* With a three-point night, Travis Konecny (1g-2a) reached 51 points on the season - a new career high.Video: CBJ@PHI: Konecny tips Hagg's shot from the point home

* Tonight's game marked the first time in franchise history that the Flyers have scored five goals on 15 or fewer shots. The closest such occasion was on Dec. 21, 1996 when they scored four goals on 15 shots in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

* The Flyers defense has scored a goal in five straight games. They continue to lead the NHL in goals from defensemen (41) and now have 20 points in that span

* The Flyers take on the Blue Jackets again, this time in Columbus, to finish off the second of the home-and-home series to wrap up the season series. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Tuesday on NBCSP & 93.3 WMMR.

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following win over CBJVideo: Hear from Giroux, Hayes and Hart after win over CBJ

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