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Flyers, Konecny fall to Blue Jackets, 3-2, in shootout



Philadelphia Flyers game
Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny scored two goals after his All-Star announcement, but it still wasn't enough for a win. (Photo: AP)

PHILADELPHIA – Travis Konecny is an NHL All-Star.

But his two goals weren’t enough for a win on Thursday night. The Columbus Blue Jackets survived the Philadelphia Flyers’ two-goal lead, hanging on to win, 3-2, in the shootout.

Moments after being congratulated on the scoreboard within the Wells Fargo Center, the 26-year-old capitalized on a beautiful pass from Joel Farabee to put the Flyers up 1-0 on the Blue Jackets. With his assist on the goal, Farabee has his third assist in two games since being promoted to the Flyers’ top line.

That line was the driving force for the hosts in this one, as forwards Morgan Frost and Cam Atkinson were removed from the lineup in favor of Flyers debutant Rhett Gardner and Marc Staal. Scott Laughton and Garnet Hathaway moved up to the second line in their places, but Owen Tippett did most of the heavy lifting offensively. No. 74 tied his season-high seven shots on goal in just two periods despite playing with different linemates every other shift. Tippett’s speed was a lot for Columbus to handle, as the Blue Jackets found themselves holding on for dear life for large swathes of play in the game.

Sam Ersson played his part, too, stopping all 14 Blue Jackets through two periods. However, the Flyers needed to take lessons from the losses to Seattle and Calgary and apply them to this game to see it out and pick up two crucial points. Cam York was denied on a 4-on-4 breakaway less than 30 seconds into the final frame, so it wasn’t going to come easy. With that, Columbus then killed Damon Severson’s tripping penalty and suddenly found themselves with something to hang their hat on with time winding down.

Although Konecny’s solo effort to the net rewarded him with a second goal – his 20th of the year – the Blue Jackets immediately answered on a Severson one-timer drawn up by Adam Fantilli. Philly would be tasked with killing a penalty shortly after that, during which Ivan Provorov was on the receiving end of some heavy boos from the Wells Fargo crowd. Two minutes later, they would cheer as the Flyers survived the penalty kill.

Jack Roslovic tied the game at 2-2 with roughly nine minutes to go, thanks to a wacky deflection off the shaft of Sean Walker’s stick, because of course. Once that happened, you could hear a pin drop in the Wells Fargo Center. Scott Laughton’s second penalty of the game put the Flyers under the cosh late, but some intensity from Travis Sanheim in front of his goaltender gave both sides some spark. Cam York uncharacteristically hammered Emil Bemstrom on his very next shift.

Some rush chances were traded back and forth, but alert play from both Ersson and Daniil Tarasov sent this one to overtime… again. Nothing was doing from either side, though, with just one shot on goal for each. Johnny Gaudreau scored first in the shootout after a Couturier miss, and Bobby Brink was stopped after that. Kent Johnson missed the net, giving Tyson Foerster the chance to save the game. He did not.

The Flyers lose, 3-2, in the shootout.

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