Hayes Scores OT Winner as Flyers Sweep Blue Jackets
There's just something about the road. Against a tight-checking team that limited them to 15 shots in a 5-1 win on Tuesday, the Flyers dug a hole early, falling behind 2-0. Then, they got one goal back with some luck. Still, as the second period entered its final minutes, the Flyers were once again trying to erase a two-goal deficit. In a matter of seconds, they tied the game.
That set the stage for an exciting third period that featured great scoring chances throughout for both sides. In overtime, it was Kevin Hayes playing hero, scoring the game-winning goal with 1:09 remaining to give the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
It didn't take long for the Blue Jackets to get on the board in this one. On the first shot of the game, Oliver Bjorkstrand fired a shot that wedged into the top of the net. It took a review to see that the puck had entered the net, but the Blue Jackets had the first goal of the game just 41 seconds in.
Columbus took advantage of another scoring chance midway through the period. Nick Foligno got behind the defense and alone on goal. Brian Elliott attempted a poke check and Foligno went between his legs and upstairs with the shot to make it 2-0.
Just 23 seconds later, the Flyers were on the board with a strange goal of their own. Travis Sanheim fired a shot toward the net as Travis Konecny was taken down. A penalty was being called on the play, but as the whistle sounded, the Flyers all pointed to the net, indicating the puck had entered. Sanheim's chance had deflected off Konecny's skate and into the net to cut the Columbus lead to one.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 8-7 in favor of Columbus.
Early in the second, Columbus maintained momentum and grabbed another goal off a failed clear by the Flyers. Boone Jenner took a shot from the slot that was deflected by Stefan Matteau to make it 3-1 Columbus just 3:39 into the period.
For most of the period, the Flyers started to generate more shots, but could not solve Elvis Merzlikins. In a matter of 1:26, the Flyers not only beat the Columbus netminder, but got the game tied.
It started with Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who came in one-on-one off the rush and fired a shot that caught a piece of Merzlikins and went in to cut the lead to one. One minute later, the Flyers got a power-play opportunity and a chance to tie the game. Just nine seconds into the power play, Sean Couturier centered to Claude Giroux for a one-timer that hit the far post and in to tie the game at three with 4:08 remaining in the period.
Through two periods, Columbus had an 18-16 lead in shots.
Early in the third, the Flyers were still killing off the remnants of a pair of penalties called late in the second. Sanheim was given an extra two minutes after a scrap with the much-smaller Nathan Gerbe, then Hayes was hit with a slashing penalty to put the Flyers down in a 5-on-3 for nearly 90 seconds. The Flyers killed off the remaining 1:14 of the 5-on-3 to start the third period.
That led to some great scoring chances throughout the period for both sides. Columbus really carried the play early in the period, while the Flyers had the better of the chances late in the period. Neither team could score and the game went to overtime.
A majority of the overtime featured some back-and-forth opportunities with both teams getting chances to end the game. Finally, with 1:09 remaining in overtime, Hayes ended it, beating Merzlikins with a wrist shot from the slot to give the Flyers the win.
Elliott made 28 saves in the win. Merzlikins made 29 saves in the loss.
Bjorkstrand, Foligno and Markus Nutivaara each had two-point games for Columbus. For the Flyers, Hayes finished with a goal and an assist. Konecny had his second straight three-point game, getting a goal and an assist as well.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Saturday afternoon as they take on the Winnipeg Jets. Game time is at 1 p.m.
- CBJ Oliver Bjorkstrand (21) (Nick Foligno, Vladislav Gavrikov) 0:41
- CBJ Foligno (7) (Bjorkstrand, Markus Nutivaara) 9:05
- PHI Travis Konecny (21) (Travis Sanheim, Kevin Hayes) 9:28
- CBJ Stefan Matteau (1) (Boone Jenner, Nutivaara) 3:39
- PHI Nicolas Aube-Kubel (5) (Michael Raffl, Matt Niskanen) 14:26
- PHI Claude Giroux (17) PP (Sean Couturier, Konecny) 15:52
- No Scoring
- PHI Hayes (19) (Konecny, Phil Myers) 3:51