The Blue Jackets have been a bit of a rollercoaster as of late.
On January 13th, they took down one of the best teams in the league, the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-0. It was domination.
Riding the momentum of that big win on January 15th, they went down to Florida and were shelled by the Panthers, 9-2.
Tonight, it was a big 2-1 win in Philadelphia over the Flyers, who have now lost ten games in a row. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced, while Oliver Bjorkstrand and Patrik Laine provided the goals for the Blue Jackets.
Jakub Voracek returned to Philadelphia for the first time since he was traded to the Blue Jackets over the summer. After 727 games split over ten seasons with the Flyers, Voracek received a warm welcome from Flyers fans. He didn't get on the scoresheet tonight, but that ended up not being an issue for the Blue Jackets.
Bjorkstrand leads the Blue Jackets in points, and it's only fitting that he got the scoring started in the second period with his twelfth goal of the season. At the blue line, Sean Kuraly intercepted a breakout attempt by the Flyers. The Miami University graduate deflected the puck to Boone Jenner, who then pushed it along to Bjorkstrand, who was one-on-one with Carter Hart. After some excellent dekes, Bjorkstrand roofed a backhand to give the Blue Jackets the advantage.
Bjorkstrand backhand beauty. pic.twitter.com/HfTQWQhts2— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 21, 2022
Laine doubled the Blue Jackets' advantage in the third period, whistling home a wrist shot from the right circle that Hart had no chance on. It was Laine's sixth goal this season in 18 games. Jenner had the primary assist and Dean Kukan notched the secondary.
The Flyers wouldn't go away, though. Gerry Mayhew scored his first goal of the season and third of his NHL career on a shot from the point that fooled Merzlikins. Just like that, Philadelphia was within one goal.
The Blue Jackets were able to weather the storm for the rest of the third period, and emerged victorious, 2-1.
The Blue Jackets (18-18-1, 37 points) will host the Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-5, 51 points) at Nationwide Arena tomorrow (Friday) night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.