A return to Columbus didn’t go as planned for John Tortorella.
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t sling together three wins in a row, falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2. Carter Hart lost surrendered his first regulation loss of 2022-2023. Standing at 7-4-2, the Flyers slip into fifth place in the Metropolitan Division.
Philadelphia outshot Columbus, 34-29. Joonas Korpisalo was stubborn, giving up goals to Tony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov in close. Shorthanded, the Blue Jackets lost defensemen due to injury, including Zach Werenski who already scored.
Gaudreau leads the way for Columbus
His team is off to a very slow start, but it didn’t stop Johnny Gaudreau from piling a season high in points (3) versus the Flyers. He began the scoring barrage, and his fingerprints were on every scoring play allowed by Hart.
A native of Salem, NJ, Gaudreau wanted to come to Philadelphia when he was an unrestricted free agent during the summer. Chuck Fletcher didn’t give up the assets to create the cap space in order to make a play at Gaudreau.
Throughout his career, Gaudreau has nineteen points (6G, 13A) in fourteen games against the Flyers.
Owen Tippett began to shine in the last few outings with Philadelphia, but last night was a performance to forget. At the end of regulation, Tippett turned in a -5 rating; his turnovers becoming the catalyst for goals scored by Gaudreau and Werenski.
Capitalizing on those turnovers, Columbus jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Despite a rough outing, Tippett did continue to show confidence in shooting the puck. Tortorella stresses a north-south game instead of east-west, which got Tippett into a ton of trouble against the Blue Jackets.
Provorov and DeAngelo score
Along with his goal, Provorov secured an assist. His shot from the point was tipped by Noah Cates, causing a scramble in front of Korpisalo. DeAngelo and Lukas Sedlak both swiped at the puck, which just snuck across the goal line.
Later, Travis Konecny made a crisp pass after Joel Farabee entered the offensive zone. Provorov was along the post, ready for the tip. A multi-point evening for the defenseman, Konecny fed Provorov the puck as he crashed the net, tallying the second and final goal for the Flyers in the loss. His 60th ties him with Shayne Gostisbehere for fourth place among goals scored by Flyers’ defensemen.
Provorov and DeAngelo continue to be the Flyers’ workhorses on defense. Both ranked one and two in terms of time on the ice last night. DeAngelo played 24:53 and Provorov worked 25:49. Additionally, DeAngelo terrorized on the backcheck. They’re the highlight of the defense, far-and-away.
Claude Giroux and the Ottawa Senators visit the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. It’ll be the first time Giroux plays in South Philadelphia since the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline deal, sending him to the Florida Panthers. The puck drops tomorrow at 1pm.
(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)