Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 3: OT loss completes futility against Columbus

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John Boruk
Playing against a team they're chasing, the Flyers couldn't capitalize on a huge opportunity Thursday night by losing to the Blue Jackets, 4-3, in overtime. By John Boruk
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Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 3: OT loss completes futility against Columbus originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com

BOX SCORE

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It didn't matter which goalie the Flyers had in net against the Blue Jackets, all that mattered was who was in net for Columbus.

Sergei Bobrovsky beat the Flyers for the fourth time this season with a 4-3 overtime decision Thursday night, as the Blue Jackets completed a season sweep of the orange and black.

Brian Elliott was the fourth different goaltender Columbus faced after previously facing Calvin Pickard, Anthony Stolarz and Carter Hart.

Here are my observations from Nationwide Arena:

• The Blue Jackets' penalty kill, ranked third in the NHL, has been so steady this season that it killed off 25 consecutive power-play opportunities over a one-month period. Columbus' forwards get out aggressively and make smart decisions when to pressure.

However, the Flyers scored just 10 seconds into their first power play as they had the Blue Jackets chasing with quick puck movement, something we haven't seen enough from the Flyers' man advantage this season.

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• The problem with the goaltender interference in the NHL is about the context of the rule itself, which has created an enormous grey area to which there is no clear definition.

Rule 69.1 (1) states: "An attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal."

That clearly appeared to be the case, but the NHL situation room decided that Radko Gudas pushed Boone Jenner into Elliott, creating the contact.

You be the judge:

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• I thought Elliott was very fortunate to get out of the first period with a 2-1 lead. He was fighting the puck and had trouble closing it with his glove.

On the play in which he knocked the net off its moorings, which led to a delay of game penalty, I felt that was Elliott's recognition of the Evgeni Malkin goal in the Stadium Series win in which the puck got behind him for a fluky marker. He was also a little leaky, evidenced by the Artemi Panarin goal.

• Not only did he score for the second straight game and score twice, but you have to admire some of the defensive positioning and stick work from Travis Sanheim in the second period to break up a pair of odd-man rushes that could have led to go-ahead goals for the Blue Jackets. Sanheim had a beautiful backdoor play to tie the game late in the third period.

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• We can't expect Philippe Myers to continue his upward trajectory with every game he plays. The second period was perhaps his shakiest in the five games he's played so far. Twice Myers was caught pinching, which led to a Blue Jackets breakout the other way. Thankfully for Myers and the Flyers, Columbus wasn't able to convert on either occasion. It was important for him to bounce back with a strong third period.

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