These three players shined for the Philadelphia Flyers in their win vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Aiming for a crucial two points in the first half of a home and home series, the Philadelphia Flyers played host to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center. The two teams were separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference playoff standings as each possessed the first and second Wild Card spots coming into tonight. Carter Hart received the nod from Head Coach Alain Vigneault and opposed Elvis Merzlikins for Columbus.
You might be surprised to hear this, but the Flyers actually got some puck luck to begin the contest. Kevin Hayes had a shot deflect off of a Blue Jackets defender, go off the back of Merzlikins, and into the net to put Philly ahead 1-0. Getting lucky is pretty fun, and Philadelphia should try to do it more, in my opinion.
Sean Couturier followed it up with a tally of his own on the breakaway, eventually giving the Orange and Black a 2-0 lead after one. Ivan Provorov nearly scored in the frame, but the call on the ice was overturned due to goaltender interference from Joel Farabee (It was close, but I thought he was pushed into Merzlikins). Philly also held Columbus to a mere two shots on goal in the period, which sources say it a pretty darn good defensive effort from the home club.
Philippe Myers extended the Flyers lead to three with a goal halfway through the second, having a shot pinball off of a couple of players and find twine for his fourth tally of the year. Columbus would respond in the form of a power-play goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand, who cashed in on a nice passing display from the Blue Jackets to make it a 3-1 affair heading into the third.
A goal from Travis Konecny in the early goings of the third caused the Blue Jackets to pull Merzlikins, who allowed four tallies on 12 shots, in favor of Matiss Kivlenieks. The insertion of Kivlenieks did nothing for Columbus through the remainder of the contest, though, as the Flyers were able to slam the door shut en route to a 5-1 victory over their Metro foe thanks to a man-advantage goal from Jakub Voracek. This marked the Flyers third-straight win over Columbus this season, doing so by a combined 15-7 margin.
I’m opting to go with a line as my three standouts for this evening because, for one, I can, and two, Farabee, Hayes, and Konecny were nothing short of excellent for Philadelphia tonight. The trio got the ball rolling for the Flyers, combining for the team’s first goal as TK and Farabee assisted on Hayes’ 18th of the season. While luck was certainly on Philly’s side during this tally, it’s better to fortunate than not, and I’m not one to complain about how a puck ends up finding twine as long as it’s in the Flyers favor. The combo of Farabee, Hayes, and TK also led all other Philadelphia lines in Corsi, Expected Goals Scoring Chances, and High Danger Scoring Chances For percentages at 5v5, per Natural Stat Trick, showing just how effective they were in this victory over Columbus.
Philadelphia’s now 33-20-7 on the year. Next game is Thursday against the Blue Jackets on the road.