Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ex-Men: Blue Jackets win in OT thanks to former Flyers

Columbus,  OH -- A pair  of  former Philadelphia  players teamed up to help the Blue Jackets win on Tuesday night.

Scott  Hartnell scored  a  power-play goal  in the  second  period and  Sergei Bobrovsky  came up  with  19 stops  as  the Columbus  claimed  a 3-2  decision over the Flyers at Nationwide Arena.

Kevin  Connauton actually  ended the  contest at  the 1:58  mark of  overtime, breaking  in  alone and lifting  a wrister under the  crossbar off a feed from Ryan Johansen to record his first goal as a member of his new team.

"After they scored that one, the mood was kind of down on the bench, but we forgot about that one and pushed on," he said. "Good teams are able to forget about mistakes and make up for it," Connauton noted. "Five-on-five, I don't know if I get the jump there, but 4-on-4 they got caught three guys low and we were able to get a 2-on-1," he said. "[Johansen] made an unbelievable play to draw that D over and create space."

The  hosts were  close  to picking  up  two points  while  not allowing  their opponents to take one away.

Controversy  erupted  with 55.3  seconds to  go, as  a deflection from Brayden Schenn  of a  point  shot  slipped through  Bobrovsky.  Although referee  Dave Jackson  emphatically  shook his  head  and  raised  his  arms to  stop  play, televised replays revealed the puck was clearly over the line.

Further review quickly confirmed the marker and the game headed to overtime.

Boone  Jenner also lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, winners of a season-high four straight games.

Schenn  posted both  scores for the Flyers, who finished up a five-game cross- country  road trip  at 1-2-2. Steve Mason  turned away 21 pucks in defeat, three days after his 37-save effort in Los Angeles allowed his club to pick up their lone win on the trip.

The Orange and Black now must take advantage of a four-game homestand beginning Thursday against New Jersey to start inching their way up the Metropolitan Division standings before an eight-game road trip takes them away from home for two solid weeks. Craig Berube's club sits eight points out of a playoff spot. 

Jenner  produced the game's  first goal at the 12:34 mark of the first period, just  37 seconds  into a Zac Rinaldo  interference call, by picking up his own blocked pass off the skate of Philly defenseman Braydon Coburn and scoring from the right post. That pushed Columbus' power-play prowess against Philly to 5-for-8 in two-plus contests.

The Flyers got one back on their initial advantage, as Claude Giroux slipped a puck  into a seam off the rush and Schenn one-timed it home from the high slot at 17:53.

A scramble in front of Mason resulted in Hartnell's turnaround backhander from atop  the crease  for another Blue Jackets'  power-play goal and a 2-1 lead at 10:39. The goal, which saw defenseman Nicklas Grossmann as well as two other Flyers around the crease and unable to corral or block the shot, also piqued Mason.

"I haven't seen the video, but I felt I had contact, pushed me out of the net and didn't put me in a position to get back," he complained.

Bobrovsky, who had earned Second Star honors for his performance last week, was  quick to  halt a  Michael Raffl deflection  with just over two minutes  remaining in  regulation, and Mason was called to the bench with 1:53 left for an extra attacker.

"We weren't generating a lot. We weren't great in our own end," Coburn said. "We were lucky to squeeze it into overtime. I'm not saying we didn't work hard enough tonight, but not hard enough to generate chances or dominate parts of the game."

Notes: Jenner  has scored in a personal best and team-high four consecutive games ... Blue  Jackets forward  Brandon  Dubinsky was  activated  from injured  reserve earlier  on Tuesday,  and made his season  debut after missing 26 games due to recovery  from abdominal  surgery. He played 19:09 and assisted on Jenner's tally  ... Columbus improved its power-play numbers against  Philadelphia to  six goals  in 11  attempts over  three meetings  ... Flyers   forward  R.J.   Umberger,  traded  for  Hartnell  in  the  offseason, participated  in  his 700th NHL game  ... Schenn's initial score was his first goal  since Nov.  22, and  he recorded  his second  multi-goal effort  after a similar feat on Nov. 15.
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