The Flyers may have used up all their good shootout mojo last season.
Pierre-Luc Dubois was the only scorer in the shootout as the Blue Jackets dispatched the Flyers 2-1 to send both teams to the holiday break on Saturday night after a low-scoring affair in Columbus.
Seth Jones started the scoring for Columbus in the first, and Ivan Provorov’s second period tally was the only other goal in regulation as the Flyers and Jackets needed extra time to decide a winner in this one thanks to outstanding goaltending from both Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Elliott.
Elliott made 34 saves on 35 shots in the tough loss, getting the nod in back-to-back games going into the break for coach Dave Hakstol. At the other end former Flyer Bobrovsky was just as good, stopping 31 of 32 shots to earn the ninth win of his career against his former team.
Both teams were pretty even with chances in this one, but in the end the Blue Jackets took advantage of their edge in the shootout to bring home the second point. Columbus is 4-2 in shootouts while the Flyers dropped to 0-3 this season in the skills competition.
Travis Konecny had a golden chance to put the Flyers up at the 16:12 mark, but he pulled his shot up and over Sergei Bobrovksy. Shayne Gostisbehere intercepted a pass at the Blue Jackets’ blue line and found Konecny for the early chance.
Bobrovsky would again deny the Flyers with 11:19 left in the first, thwarting a two-on-one against Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny with a pair of saves in close.
The Flyers have struggled against their former goaltender, as he’s gone 8-2 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage against the club since being traded to Columbus.
Elliott flashes the leather with 7:04 left with a big save to counter Bobrovsy’s fine work at the other end as the goalies took over in the first.
The Flyers’ power play gave up a great chance shorthanded as Ivan Provorov got caught trying to keep a puck in, but Matt Calvert couldn’t convert on the breakaway at the other end.
On their first power play shortly after, Seth Jones would open the scoring for Columbus with 2:52 mark with his seventh goal of the season to make it 1-0. Jones let loose a point shot that hit Provorov in front and found its way past Brian Elliott.
Philadelphia would strike first in the second period to tie things up at 1-1 less than four minutes into the frame thanks to Ivan Provorov. Giroux setup Provorov at the point and his wrist shot found the net behind Bobrovsky for his fifth goal of the season. Sean Couturier picked up the other assist on the goal.
It marked Provorov’s first point since Dec. 6 against the Oilers, and gave Giroux points in each of his last five games (0G, 8A).
Giroux nearly gave the Flyers the lead in on a breakaway of his own at the 9:30 mark, but Bobrovsky stood his ground and made the save to deny the captain. Moments later the Jackets would send the Flyers to their second power play of the game with a chance to take the lead.
Bobrovsky wouldn’t stop there though, as he robbed Wayne Simmonds in front on the ensuing power play. On replay Simmonds didn’t get a ton on the redirection of a Jake Voracek pass, but Bobrovsky anticipated the pass and was in position to cover the puck.
With 1:39 left in the second it was former Blue Jacket Jake Voracek nearly giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead, but the shot hit Taylor Leier’s stick and deflected past Bobrovsky. The goal was disallowed upon further review due to a high stick, and things remained tied at 1-1.
The tell-tale sign was Leier’s reaction to the goal, which he barely celebrated knowing full well that his stick was above the cross bar. Though it was a no-brainer call, it was yet another disallowed goal going against the Flyers in what has become a regular occurrence.
Columbus would head to the power play 4:09 into the third with a chance to break the tie thanks to a Nolan Patrick hooking call. Artemi Panarin would short-circuit the power play with a roughing call, however.
Both goalies turned aside chance after chance in the third as play opened up with the holiday break looming. Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Elliott were excellent throughout this one though both got help from missed shots and blocks.
Nolan Patrick’s second penalty of the night put Columbus back on the power play for a third chance with just 4:36 remaining in regulation in a 1-1 game. It was the second tough luck penalty on the rookie on the evening but the Flyers’ penalty kill was able to kill it off with relative ease to help out the youngster.
Sean Couturier nearly gave the Flyers a last second win, but his shot rang off the post behind Bobrovsky with less than 20 seconds left and sent the Flyers and Blue Jackets to overtime with both clubs picking up a point in the process.
In the three-on-three overtime it was Couturier again with a golden chance, but he lost control of the puck as he beat Nick Foligno to the outside before getting a shot on Bobrovsky. Foligno appeared to toss his stick at Couturier, but no call was made.
Another late save from Bobrovsky on Giroux would send this one to a shootout and put the goalies and skill players on full display.
In the shootout it would be Pierre-Luc Dubois with the lone goal to secure the 2-1 win for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all three attempts he faced as the Flyers dropped to 0-3 in shootouts this season.