The Hat Trick: Flyers Button Up the Blue Jackets

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Philadelphia Flyers
Oct 26, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Three in a row! Call it a hat trick of wins for Brian Elliott and the Philadelphia Flyers so far this week. Facing their stiffest competition this week in the Columbus Blue Jackets at home, the Flyers rallied with a huge third period to win 7-4. Philadelphia was down 4-2. Last year, I don’t think the Flyers make a rally to win this game. In a flash, Philadelphia put five unanswered goals on the scoreboard and the final horn sounded at the Wells Fargo Center.

Securing a lead in the first period had to be a priority and the Philadelphia Flyers did just that. James van Riemsdyk got to the puck in the corner boards in the offensive zone and found Jakub Voracek with a backhand feed. It was a tough angle for Voracek to fit, but he put that puck by Joonas Korpisalo for his third of the season. About two and a half minutes later, the Columbus Blue Jackets answered with the equalizer off the stick of Boone Jenner, banking off of the back of Brian Elliott from behind the net. Heading into the first intermission, the Flyers and Blue Jackets were tied, 1-1.

A shift in momentum was in favor of the Columbus Blue Jackets early in the second period as Pierre-Luc DuBois was able to shift through the Philadelphia Flyers defense and score right on the crease. A vast majority of the second period would go by before James van Riemsdyk would score on the powerplay with Jakub Voracek returning the favor on the assist. Voracek put a shot on net and van Riemsdyk deflected the puck in off his stick. Twenty-five seconds later, Brian Elliott surrendered a goal, Boone Jenner’s second of the game. The Blue Jackets stacked up pressure on the crease and Jenner snuck one past Elliott.

With the lead, the Columbus Blue Jackets were in control in the third, 3-2. Just over two minutes into the period, the Blue Jacket tallied another goal. This time it was Josh Anderson who pounced on a puck that ricocheted off the boards behind Brian Elliott. Before Elliott could reset in the net, Anderson popped the puck into the net, giving his team a 4-2 lead. Columbus got comfortable, but they were not ready for what was about to be unleashed from the Philadelphia Flyers.

During four-on-four hockey, Claude Giroux gave a good look to Shayne Gostisbehere at the top of the faceoff circle who buried a slapshot to cut the Columbus Blue Jackets lead to one goal. About a minute and a half later, that lead was erased with another James van Riemsdyk deflection goal, this time after Ivan Provorov shot on net. Just under two minutes later, Kevin Hayes scored what would be the game-winning shorthanded goal! The Philadelphia Flyers now led, 5-4. What would follow was an empty-net goal from Michael Raffl followed by a powerplay goal from Travis Konecny. Your final score from the Wells Fargo Center: 7-4!

Resiliency Is Key

As I stated earlier, I don’t believe that last season the Philadelphia Flyers would have found a way to win this game. Alain Vigneault has found a way to light a particular fire that was absent over the past few seasons. Against the Chicago Blackhawks, Claude Giroux put a goal on the board. Tonight, Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk are returning favors against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The veteran leadership is staying afloat.

Vigneault’s Relationship With Gostisbehere Pays Off

A project that Alain Vigneault specifically took under his wing was the rekindling of Shayne Gostisbehere. The two-way defenseman that took the league by storm early in his career with the Philadelphia Flyers just needs to keep taking his chances towards the blue line. With a goal tonight, he can start to trend in the right direction with newfound energy. This league is built on momentum and synergy between lines on a day-to-day rally. I have a great feeling that Gostisbehere could break back out this season.

Finding Ways To Produce In All Scenarios

It didn’t matter what the scenario was on the ice tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Philadelphia Flyers under Alain Vigneault found ways to get back into the game. Even strength goals were made by Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk. On the powerplay, James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny had a goal. There was even a shorthanded goal off the stick of Kevin Hayes. During four-on-four hockey is when Shayne Gostisbehere potted his first of the season. Another wrinkle was Michael Raffl’s empty-net goal.

When the Philadelphia Flyers could have been down and out, they proved why a two-goal lead is the worst lead you can have in hockey. Five unanswered goals later and Sonny Milano was swinging his stick at the Flyers bench. It’s nice to get under the skin of an opposing team like that when you are just lighting the lamp every which way.

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York against the New York Islanders. This game takes place on Sunday, October 27th at 7:00 pm.

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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports