Blue Jackets Defeated Soundly by Flyers, Lose Sixth Straight

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 18, 2020 at 9:34 pm
Feb 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) and Columbus Blue Jackets center Nathan Gerbe (24) get tangled up during the first period during the first period at Wells Fargo Center.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, that was ugly.

The Blue Jackets were thoroughly outplayed and out-hustled by the Flyers tonight. In a game where they needed to battle and find a way to get points, they did neither.

Elvis Merzlikins gave up four goals on 12 shots and was ultimately pulled in the third period for Matiss Kivlenieks. Although his stats won't show it, the effort by the team in front of him was subpar, and certainly made his job harder.

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The Blue Jackets started incredibly slowly, and they quickly found themselves staring at a 1-0 deficit when Kevin Hayes threw a puck off of Andrew Peeke's skate and in. Just 58 seconds later, Sean Couturier made it 2-0, capitalizing on a Peeke turnover and going five-hole on Merzlikins. After 20 minutes, the Blue Jackets had only mustered three shots on goal. 

Finally, the Blue Jackets woke up in time for the second period to start. Unfortunately, the Flyers carried their momentum over and made it 3-0 on yet another deflection off of Peeke. Later in the period, the Blue Jackets finally got on the scoreboard thanks to an Oliver Bjorkstrand power-play goal, his 20th of the season. 

In the third period, the Blue Jackets fell back into a rut. Travis Konecny scored to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead, and it was the goal that chased Merzlikins. Unfortunately, the Flyers weren't done. Former Blue Jackets Jakub Voracek made it 5-1 on the power play, and that would be the final score.

Injury Update

G Joonas Korpisalo participated in the Blue Jackets' morning skate. F Josh Anderson is skating.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will head back to Columbus, and the Flyers will follow. The two teams will meet again on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena.