Claude Giroux put the Philadelphia Flyers on his back to earn a 5-4 comeback victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The Flyers are now over .500 for the first time this season, sitting at 16-15-4.
The first period was a good one for the Flyers. They dominated play and outshot the Blue Jackets 14-4. The ice seemed tilted towards Columbus goaltender Curtis McElhinney. Unfortuntely, McElhinney stood on his head and kept the Flyers off of the scoreboard. With just under five minutes to go in the period, while the Flyers were on the power play, Jakub Voracek turned the puck over at the blue line. On the ensuing 2-on-1 Cam Atkinson shot the puck by Steve Mason. Therefore, despite dominating the period, the Flyers went into the first intermission down 1-0.
The second period was one to forget for the Flyers. After allowing a goal less than five minutes into the period, the Flyers did not seem to generate any sustained pressure. The goal was from a 2-on-1 in which Jack Skille elected to shoot. For the rest of the period, Columbus controlled play. To make matters worse, the Blue Jackets scored with only 10 seconds left in the period. Shots were 23-22 in favor of Philadelphia, meaning that the Flyers were outshot 18-9 in the second period.
In the third period, the Flyers came out strong, trying to make a game of it. They had a few early chances reminiscent of the first period, but nothing was going in. Then, all of the sudden, Jakub Voracek sniped a shot over Curtis McElhinney’s shoulder to put the Flyers on the board. Only 62 seconds later Braydon Coburn threw a puck towards the net that ricocheted into the net to cut Columbus’ lead to one. Blake Comeau scored only three minutes later to give the Blue Jackets a two goal lead. With about five minutes left in the period, Erik Gustafsson scored during a delayed penalty. Then, Claude Giroux scored two goals in the last four minutes to win the game for the Flyers. The last goal, scored with 1:38 remaining in the game, was a filthy backhand that he shot as he was falling to the ice. Take a look at it here.
-Claude Giroux is back. He had just 7 points in the teams first 16 games. Then, he scored against EDM and has 23 points in his last 19 games. He led the team to victory, and his performance in the third period reminded me of Game 6 of the 2012 ECQF against Pittsburgh. That is what a captain is supposed to do.
-Jakub Voracek also had a three point night, scoring goal and assisting both Giroux goals. He has six goals in his last six games and is looking like he did last year when he won the Bobby Clarke trophy.
-Mark Streit is now on a three game point streak. He had two assists tonight and was +3. He recorded 22:26 TOI and once again had a good game.
-This marks the second game in a row in which the Flyers have come back. On Tuesday the Flyers fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 leads. Tonight they fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 to capture the 5-4 victory.
-This team looks different period to period. They were great in the first and third, but looked lost in the second. Only playing 40 minutes may be just enough to beat the Blue Jackets, but they will have to play hard for a full 60 minutes if they want to go somewhere in the playoffs.
-Speaking of playoffs, the Flyers now sit in 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division.