Merzlikins, Blue Jackets Defeat Flyers
Through two periods, the Flyers were well on their way to a season-high in shots on goal and had erased an early 2-0 deficit. For much of the third, they were still just one shot away from a positive result. But Elvis was very much in the building for this one and proved to be the key in deciding this one.
The Blue Jackets took the lead for good with 6:44 remaining in the third, as Elvis Merzlikins made 47 saves in dealing the Flyers a 4-2 loss on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Blue Jackets came out and wasted no time getting on the board. At the side of the net, Brendan Gaunce was able to put home the second chance for his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0 at 2:38.
At 13:23, the Blue Jackets made it 2-0 on the first NHL goal for Carson Meyer, after he took the feed from Zach Werenski in the slot. Meyer had an assist on Gaunce's goal for his first NHL point earlier in the period.
Before the end of the first, there was another first, this time for the Flyers. Noah Cates took the pass from Patrick Brown in the slot and fired it home for his first NHL goal at 17:35 to make it 2-1.
Though 20 minutes, the Flyers had a 20-8 lead in shots.
The Flyers kept the pressure on in the second, opening up their lead in shots to 38-16 through 40 minutes. One shot make its way into the net, as Ronnie Attard fired a shot that was deflected by James van Riemsdyk for his 18th goal of the season. It was Attard's first NHL point, helping to even things up at 13:16.
With 6:44 to play in the third, the Blue Jackets finally got the lead back. Justin Danforth was able to put home the rebound after a shot by Jake Bean to make it a 3-2 game.
With the net empty, the Flyers were not able to get the equalizer and Sean Kuraly finished off the game with an empty-net goal with 19.4 seconds remaining.
Merzlikins made 47 saves on 49 shots in the win. Carter Hart made 26 saves on 29 shots in the loss.
Kuraly and Meyer each had a goal and an assist. Eric Robinson had two assists.
The Flyers and Blue Jackets meet again in Columbus on Thursday night to complete the home-and-home at 7 p.m.
- CBJ Brendan Gaunce (5) (Carson Meyer, Eric Robinson) 2:38
- CBJ Meyer (1) (Zach Werenski, Robinson) 13:23
- PHI Noah Cates (1) (Patrick Brown) 17:35
- PHI James van Riemsdyk (18) (Ronnie Attard, Kevin Hayes) 13:16
- CBJ Justin Danforth (8) (Jake Bean, Sean Kuraly) 13:16
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.
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