Atkinson scores twice to power Blue Jackets past Flyers 6-3
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets had four days to stew after being pounded by Tampa Bay on the road last weekend. In the first period against Philadelphia on Thursday night, they didn’t look much better.
But the Blue Jackets shook off the malaise and used a three-goal flurry in the second period to speed past the Flyers on the way to a 6-3 victory on Thursday night.
Cam Atkinson had back-to-back goals in the second for Columbus, both set up with sweet cross-ice passes from Artemi Panarin.
“We talked about it between periods,” Atkinson said. “Our first period just simply wasn’t good enough and competitive enough. I think we kind of answered the bell there in the second and third.”
Sergei Bobrovsky, who had absorbed a lot of the criticism after the 8-2 rout by the Lightning on Saturday, had 32 saves against Philadelphia (3-4).
Anthony Duclair, Nick Foligno, Josh Anderson and Sonny Milano also scored for the Blue Jackets (3-3).
Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist, and Oskar Lindblom and Sean Courturier scored for the Flyers. Backup goalie Calvin Pickard, in a scheduled start ahead of Brian Elliott, stopped 22 shots.
Konecny got credit for his first goal of the year when he redirected a shot from Robert Hagg halfway through the first period.
Duclair answered late in the period with what was the most impressive goal of the game . He fell with the puck in front of the Flyers’ goal, popped to his feet, corralled it again and, still off-balance, whacked it between Pickard’s pads.
“I thought it was pretty lucky,” Duclair said.
The Flyers took a 2-1 lead with 50 second left in the first period when Courturier lifted a shot over Bobrovsky’s shoulder from the top of the right circle.
The Blue Jackets tied it again early in the second when Atkinson, skating hard to the blue paint, tipped in a Panarin pass.
Atkinson buried his second of the night three minutes later, winning a one-on-one battle to the net with Hagg.
“I thought we were a little lackluster in the first period, quite honestly, through a lot of the game, and (Atkinson) gave us a little spark in the second period to grab the lead,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
“At that point, we had a momentum shift,” Courturier said, “and we couldn’t get it back.”
Foligno made it 4-2 , snapping a shot past Pickard’s stick side 8:34 into the second.
Lindblom got a wrap-around goal for the Flyers early in the third period to pull it to 4-3, but Anderson got another one for Columbus with five minutes left in the game when he grabbed the puck away from a falling Christian Folin in front of the Philadelphia net and capitalized. Milano got the sixth with 2:12 left off a steal in the corner by Oliver Bjorkstrand.
“We hit two posts early, created a lot of chances,” Courtier lamented. “Even at the start of the second we created some chances and as soon as they scored those two goals, we got too hungry to get some offense going when we should have just stuck to the plan and refocused.”
NOTES: Corban Knight made his season debut after being out with an upper-body injury. He replaced Mikhail Vorobyev, who was scratched. ... Tortorella said injured defenseman Seth Jones (knee) is skating again. He’s expected to be out several more weeks. ... Philadelphia C Nolan Patrick missed his third game with an upper-body injury.
Philadelphia: Hosts New Jersey on Saturday.
Columbus: Hosts Chicago on Saturday.
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