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Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets shut out Flyers

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky became the latest former Flyers player to shine in Philadelphia.

Bobrovsky made 37 saves, defenseman James Wisniewski and center Brandon Dubinsky scored goals, and the Blue Jackets beat the Flyers 2-0 on Thursday night.

"Yeah, it was special, definitely. It was exciting," Bobrovsky said. "It was different; it's tough to explain."

The Blue Jackets (39-30-7) moved within two points of the Flyers (39-28-9) for third place in the Metropolitan Division with six games remaining for both teams.

Columbus won its first-ever game against the Flyers on the road, and is 2-0-1 since losing four of six. Philadelphia is 1-3-2 since a five-game winning streak. They were coming off consecutive shootout losses to Boston and St. Louis.

"We came out flat," Flyers left winger Scott Hartnell said. "We let them come in our zone too easy and just let them move the puck around way too easy. The first two periods, I thought we battled. We were strong on pucks and everything. Then in the third period, we were flat."

Bobrovsky outplayed Philadelphia's Steve Mason in a matchup of goalies playing against their former teams. Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, extended Philadelphia's scoreless streak to six periods with his fourth shutout of the season and eighth in his career. He played his first two seasons with the Flyers and was traded to Columbus for draft picks in June 2012.

In the past two weeks, Toronto forward James van Riemsdyk, Boston defenseman Andrej Meszaros and forwards Jeff Carter and Justin Williams of the Los Angeles Kings played well in Philadelphia against their former team. Meszaros, Carter, Williams and Bobrovsky emerged winners.

"This organization means a lot to me. I really appreciate them for that, for their work here," Bobrovsky said. "I wasn't mad or anything. It was definitely a huge game."

Wisniewski scored a power-play goal late in the second period to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. His wrist shot slipped under Mason, the latest in a series of poor goals allowed by Philadelphia's goaltender.

Dubinsky made it 2-0 early in the third on his 16th goal. Right winger Cam Atkinson's shot bounced off Dubinsky's skate and went in.

"It's hard to come into this building," Atkinson said. "It's a harsh environment and we just wanted to play our game and get pucks to the net, crash in on those rebounds and we were lucky enough to get a couple and obviously, we started off with a great power play goal. And like I said, we got rewarded on the second one."

The Flyers had not been shut out in consecutive games since 2009 in the final two games under coach John Stevens.

Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, who entered the game tied for third in the NHL with 78 points, was held without a point in the last three games. It is his longest scoreless streak since starting the season without a point in the first five games.

"I think we got impatient on how we have to play," Giroux said. "I think we played not the game we wanted to play. I think we're all aware of that. I think video will be key. We did a lot of good things today. We didn't get the win. I think second period was the game we want to play but, like I said, third period we got a little away from our play. We have to make sure that doesn't happen."

NOTES: Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky faced his former team for just the second time. ... Flyers G Steve Mason was acquired from Columbus on this day last year. ... Flyers C Vincent Lecavalier played his 1,100th career game in the NHL. ... The Blue Jackets play their next three games at home before finishing with three in a row on the road. ... Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray made the trip to Philadelphia and could return against Chicago on Friday after having knee surgery March 7. ... D Nikita Nikitin (lower body) and RW Nathan Horton (lower body) also were out for Columbus. ... Flyers RW Steve Downie (upper body) missed his sixth straight game, but D Kimmo Timonen was back after missing one game.
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