Sean Couturier was the hero as the Philadelphia Flyers won in Columbus for the first time in 12 tries with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Couturier netted the winner 1:52 into the overtime. He took a long feed from Travis Konecny before racing into the offensive zone and ripped a shot from his off-wing past Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for his 29th goal of the season in a breakout campaign. Couturier’s previous career high for goals in a season was 15.
Goalie Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves for Philadelphia, which has won its last six games decided in overtime. The Blue Jackets were a perfect 6-0 in games decided by 3-on-3 play, but that wasn’t the only streak of theirs that fell on this night.
The Flyers had lost 11 straight games at Nationwide Arena, although six of those defeats were in extra time, with their last victory coming Dec. 13, 2005.
After a scoreless first period, Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds opened the scoring at the 11:25 mark of the second frame. Rookie center Nolan Patrick won a faceoff and pulled the puck back to the point for Shayne Gostisbehere, who promptly fired a long shot towards the net. Simmonds deflected the puck past Bobrovsky for this 20th tally of the season. Simmonds, who has tallied four times in eight games, has scored at least 20 goals in five consecutive campaigns.
The Flyers were doing their best to hang on, but Cam Atkinson drew the Blue Jackets even with his 10th goal of the season at the 16:32 mark of the third period. David Savard’s point shot was blocked by the sea of humanity in front of the net, but the rebound came right to Atkinson, who quickly spun and fired a backhander to spoil Neuvirth’s shutout bid.
With their win, the Flyers are on a 5-0-2 roll.
Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for the Blue Jackets, who are 2-5-2 in their last nine games.
—Field Level Media