Atkinson leads Jackets over Flyers for sixth straight win
Cam Atkinson had a hat trick and the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to six games with a 5-3 victory over the host Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
The win pulled the Blue Jackets into a tie with Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Boone Jenner also had goals for the Blue Jackets, who were outshot 30-29.
Claude Giroux scored his 26th goal and got his 83rd point of the season for Philadelphia but went to the dressing room after getting hit in the face with the puck midway through the second period.
Shayne Gostisbehere and Andrew MacDonald also scored for the Flyers, who have gone 1-6-1 in March after winning six straight to close the month of February.
Philadelphia pulled to within 3-2 just 14 seconds into the second period on a power-play goal by Gostisbehere off a screen by Travis Konecny. However, Atkinson answered for Columbus on a transition goal three minutes later.
That ended the night for Flyers goalie Petr Mrazek, who finished with six saves on 10 shots. Alex Lyon entered for Philadelphia and allowed one goal with 19 saves.
MacDonald gave the Flyers a boost and cut the margin to 4-3 on a long distance goal with 7:37 remanining. Atkinson sealed the win with an empty net goal with one second left in the game.
Columbus has scored three goals or more in six straight games, all wins. Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky improved 10-3-1 with two shutouts over his career against the Flyers.
The Blue Jackets took control midway through opening period on a pair of goals 11 seconds apart. First, Bjorkstrand scored from his knees on a rebound of a shot by Seth Jones. Then, Jenner hit a long slap shot over the shoulder of Mrazek.
Giroux got Philadelphia on the board with a one-timer off a pass from Konecny with 8:26 left. However, Atkinson answered for Columbus when he deflected a shot by Artemi Panarin into the middle of the goal for a 3-1 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first.
--Field Level Media