Jackets avoid another meltdown against Flyers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two nights after an epic failure in Philadelphia, the Columbus Blue Jackets held on to beat the Flyers. In fact, they pulled away with ease.
Center Ryan Johansen and R.J. Umberger each had two goals, including third-period scores, that helped the Blue Jackets claim a 6-3 win before 14,090 in Nationwide Arena.
"We could have easily fallen apart after that loss in Philadelphia," said Umberger, who began his NHL career in the Flyers' organization. "Our season could have really hit a turning point, and in the wrong direction. I think we showed a lot of character tonight in the third period."
Defenseman David Savard and rookie right winger Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets. Fourth-line right winger Corey Tropp and defenseman Nikita Nikitin had two assists.
Right winger Wayne Simmonds had two goals for the Flyers and center Sean Couturier also scored. Goaltender Ray Emery had 23 saves.
It was a much-needed win for the Blue Jackets, who blew a 3-0 lead, allowed five third-period goals and lost 5-4 to the Flyers on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who allowed the five goals on Thursday, had 33 saves, including 14 in the third period.
"It was just a crazy game on Thursday," McElhinney said. "I don't know how you give up five goals in a thrid period like we did. I hope I'm never part of anything like that again. So this was very nice tonight, to finish it out like we did."
The Blue Jackets nearly went ahead 3-0 late in the second period, but center Brandon Dubinsky's shot hit the crossbar and a post behind Emery before shooting out of harm's way.
Seconds later -- literally on the Flyers' next trip down the ice -- Simmonds scored through traffic to make it 2-1. Then, only 20 seconds later, Courutier finished a centering feed from right winger Matt Read to make it 2-2.
"It was real quiet in the room (during the second intermission)," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "I walked out and a made a comment to one of the assistant coaches that it was quiet. I was expecting more energy. So I wasn't sure what we were going to get in the third."
He had to be delighted.
Savard scored from the right point only 3:36 into the period and Jenner redirected a Nikitin shot at 5:39 to make it 4-2.
Johansen's 14th goal of the season at 12:22 of the third -- he pulled up on a 2-on-1 and beat Emery with a wrister -- made it 5-2.
"You could tell they were determined to win," Simmonds said. "I think it's fair to say they wanted it more than us tonight."
The Flyers pulled Emery for an extra skater with 3 1/2 minutes to play and made it 5-3 with 1:41 remaining. But Umberger outworked Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn for the puck and scored an empty-net goal with 1:17 left to cap the scoring.
It was the Flyers' turn to lament their sloppy play.
"We turned the puck over too much," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "We did a lot of good things, but we made mistakes on the goals that are easy to correct. They didn't have to happen. There was a mistake on every play."
NOTES: Attendance was before 14,090. ... Blue Jackets RW Marian Gaborik returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a left knee sprain. Then, on his fourth shift of the game, he was sandwiched between Philadelphia LW Zac Rinaldo and D Braydon Coburn and suffered a broken collarbone. The club did not immediately have a timeline for how long he would be out of the lineup. ... Shortly before game time, the Flyers announced that RW Steve Downie would miss six to 10 days with an upper-body injury. C Vinny Lecavalier, who wasn't expected to join the lineup until after Christmas, was activated from injured reserve. ... Blue Jackets D James Wisniewski, who missed seven games with an upper-body injury, returned to the lineup. ... RW Jack Skille suffered a badly bruised right hand/wrist when he blocked a shot in Thursday's game against the Flyers. He's day to day.