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View Count: 109 |  Publish Date: December 22, 2013
Blue Jackets top Flyers, 6-3
Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2013, 3:01 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio - It took the Flyers nearly three months to climb over the .500 mark.
It took them two nights to get knocked from their perch.
Columbus, rebounding from its late collapse two nights earlier, scored a pair of third-period goals 2 minutes, 3 seconds apart Saturday night, snapping a 2-2 tie en route to a 6-3 victory over the Flyers at Nationwide Arena.
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David Savard sent a point drive past screened goalie Ray Emery with 16:24 left in regulation to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead. A little over two minutes later, Boone Jenner tipped in Nikita Nikitins point shot to make it 4-2.
Ryan Johansen scored his second goal of the night, this one from the right circle, to make it 5-2 with 7:38 to go.
Emery has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts.
Wayne Simmonds added a goal, his eighth of the year, with 1:41 to play before a Columbus empty-netter just seconds later.
The Flyers, who fell out of third place in the Metropolitan Division, sorely missed crease-clearing defenseman Nick Grossmann (flu) as Columbus had traffic in front of Emery most of the night.
The Flyers came within inches of facing a 3-0 deficit, but Brandon Dubinskys shot hit the crossbar late in the second period, and the Flyers scored on the ensuing rush down ice - Simmonds beat goalie Curtis McElhinney with a shot from the high slot.
The puck deflected out well for us, and we had a three-on-two rush, Simmonds said after taking Claude Girouxs pass and scoring.
Just 20 seconds later, Sean Couturier scored with two minutes left in the second period, tying the game at 2 after taking a bouncing feed from Matt Read in front.
I just went hard back door, and the puck popped out to me right on my tape, Couturier said.
Columbus had taken a 1-0 lead when Johansen scored from out front, converting a behind-the-goal-line pass from Nick Foligno with 9:17 left in the opening period. The Jackets began an odd-man rush when defenseman Braydon Coburn got caught in the Flyers offensive end, and Foligno set up the goal after Emery made a save.
The Jackets made it 2-0 when former Flyer RJ Umberger tipped in James Wisniewskis point drive while Columbus was on a power play with 5:31 remaining in the second.
Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik was hit by Zac Rinaldo and left the ice midway through the first period. Gaborik, who had missed the previous 17 games with a knee injury, suffered a broken collarbone.
Rinaldo appeared to hit Gaborik with his elbow, and the Columbus winger fell into Coburn. Rinaldo could have a disciplinary hearing with the league.
Most of the game was played with one referee. Referee Dan ORourke was injured in a first-period collision - he reportedly was coughing up blood after taking a skate to the chest - and did not return.
Two nights earlier, the Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit by scoring five third-period goals in a 5-4 win at the Wells Fargo Center over the Jackets.
scarchidi@phillynews.com
@BroadStBull
www.inquirer.com/
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