The Columbus Blue Jackets hold on for dear life vs. the streaking Philadelphia Flyers and their rookie goaltender Carter Hart, as they defeat their Metro Division rivals 4-3.
The first of two straight afternoon hockey games on the weekend, the Columbus Blue Jackets had their hands full against a scrappy Flyers team, being led by their unlikely hero, rookie Carter Hart. Going into the afternoon, Hart has led the Flyers to two victories in his first two career NHL games. This coming after the Flyers fired their head coach, Dave Hakstol, and the organizational dysfunction of their situation.
The Jackets are coming off of a victory against the Eastern Conference current last place incumbent, New Jersey Devils. A team they will face again in 24 hours. The Jackets offense hadn’t looked so hot as of late. Going into the game, we were expecting a defensive dog fight with the NHL’s newest goaltending star.
The Jackets started this game struggling to get shots off and very slow footed. Until Brandon Dubinsky attempted to fight Radko Gudas, which gained him 17 minutes worth of penalty minutes, the Jackets showed no life or energy. With 5 minutes remaining in the first period, Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois helped set up Zach Werenski, who was streaking through the middle of the zone, for the first goal of the game.
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From there the Jackets let one in with 23 seconds remaining in the period to technically former player Sean Couturier. Couturier was selected with the pick given to the Flyers in the Jeff Carter trade. Phil Varone then scored his first of the season giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
The Jackets seemed all but out of it with no gas or energy, until Cam Atkinson put two straight in the back of the Flyers net only four minutes apart from each other. Atkinson continues to be on fire for the Jackets this season. This game bringing him to 22 goals on the season.
Panarin would add his 10th of the season with a rocket right off the draw from Pierre-Luc Dubois. This would be Dubois third assist of the contest. Panarin came away with three points as well, with two assists to join his goal.
James Van Riemsdyk got a goal back for the Flyers late into the third with Carter Hart pulled, but the Jackets held on for dear life, and came away with a tough fought victory. This keeps the Jackets ahead of Pittsburgh, who could’ve caught up ahead of the Jackets tonight if they defeated Hurricanes and the Jackets dropped this one.
The Jackets will remain second in the Metropolitan Division behind the Washington Capitals, who can retain a 4 point lead over Columbus with a win in Ottawa tonight.