Late breakdown dooms Flyers vs. Jackets

Late breakdown dooms Flyers vs. Jackets

December 21, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Ryan Johansen scored twice, including the Blue Jackets' first goal in the opening period. (AP)


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Too many odd-man rushes, no shot blocking from the forwards and a costly mental lapse to start the final period.

That was all it took for the Blue Jackets to storm past the Flyers, 6-3, Saturday night at Nationwide Arena (see Instant Replay). With the loss, the Flyers dropped to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division, as the Devils moved into third place with their overtime win over the Capitals.

A 2-2 game after two periods quickly became a third-period blowout.

“We came back with a flurry at the end of the second and were excited going into the third,” said Ray Emery, who has given up 11 goals in his last two starts. “It’s frustrating. Shots found their way through, then we’re working from behind and trying to get 'em back.”

Nick Grossmann missed the game with the flu, and the Flyers significantly missed his 92 blocked shots.

“I didn’t think there were a lot of clears by the defense,” coach Craig Berube said, “but I think the wingers had to do a better job of blocking shots.”

Within the first four minutes of the third period, the Blue Jackets turned a 2-2 tie into a 4-2 lead.

“We were sitting back too much, maybe asleep in the third period,” Luke Schenn said. “We had a pretty good end to the second period. I don’t know if we thought they would just give up. I don’t know what it was, but it was unacceptable to come out in the third period like that.”

“I don’t think we competed as hard in the third period as we did in the second, and that is what happens,” said Wayne Simmonds, who had two of the Flyers' three goals. “They were determined to win. They looked like they wanted that one more than us.”

Unlike in the first leg of the home-and-home series in Philly on Thursday, there was no five-goal Flyers outburst in the final 20 minutes.

“If you are not ready to battle, you are not going to be in the game,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.

“We have to be better defensively and we have to help Ray better. We weren’t playing a bad game. We had a chance to make it a one-goal game. They had a couple tip-ins and screen shots. We have to do a better job fronting those pucks." 

Down two goals in the third period, the Flyers tried frantically to tie the game.

“Naturally, you are going to try and jump up in the play offensively and they get all those odd man rushes like that,” Simmonds said. “We’re down two goals, the defense is trying to get up in the rush to get the two goals back and it led to odd-man rushes.”

They didn’t come back as they dropped their fifth straight road game.

And it doesn’t get any easier, as the Flyers have six of their next seven games away from home, five of which come against Western Conference teams.