Blue Jackets Sneak Past Flyers – Atkinson Scores Twice

PHILADELPHIA — Cam Atkinson scored two goals and Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Zach Werenski also scored and Pierre-Luc Dubois added three assists for the Blue Jackets, who have won three straight.

James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist and Sean Couturier and Phil Varone netted goals for Philadelphia, which lost its first game since interim coach Scott Gordon replaced the fired Dave Hakstol and 20-year-old Carter Hart took over the goaltending duties.

After stopping 51 of 54 shots in wins over Detroit and Nashville this week, Hart allowed four goals on the first 15 shots he faced and finished with 15 saves. He was trying to become the fourth Flyers goalie to start his career with three straight victories.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves for Columbus.

Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovsky, Ryan Murray
Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky and Ryan Murray celebrate as Philadelphia Flyers’ Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk don’t. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Columbus, which began Saturday four points behind Washington in second in the Metropolitan Division, outscored the Flyers 3-1 in the second period to take a two-goal advantage into the third.

Philadelphia went in front 2-1 on Varone’s first goal in his sixth game since his call-up from the AHL. He finished a rebound 7 1/2 minutes into the second period.

But the Blue Jackets tallied the next three.

Atkinson netted the first of his two scores with 10:30 left in the period. Hart made a stellar kick save on Atkinson’s first attempt, but the Blue Jackets star stayed with it and roofed the follow-up shot from the left of the crease.

He went to the other side of the goal for his 22nd of the season, finishing a good passing play with Panarin making a move before finding Scott Harrington, who sent the feed cross-ice to Atkinson. The Blue Jackets took advantage of Jakub Voracek’s turnover at the blue line.

Panarin made it a 4-2 game with 35.6 seconds left in the period when his quick shot after Dubois’ faceoff win beat a screened Hart between the pads.

Van Riemsdyk notched his fifth of the season after a scramble in front of the net with 1:10 remaining in regulation to make it a one-goal contest.

NOTES: Columbus had killed off 14 straight penalties before Couturier’s power-play tally with 22.3 seconds left in the first period. … The Blue Jackets improved to 3-0 against Philadelphia this season. The teams will play their regular-season finale on Feb. 28 in Columbus. … Bobrovsky improved to 13-3-1 against Philadelphia. … Voracek’s assist on van Riemsdyk’s goal gave him 600 career points.


Columbus: At the Devils on Sunday.

Philadelphia: Begin a five-game trip at the Rangers on Sunday night.


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Aaron Bracy, The Associated Press