The Flyers celebrate with captain Claude Giroux after he scored the game-tying goal in the third period. Giroux would also score the game-winner in the Flyers 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
With the game on the line, leave it to the captain to pick up his team.
Through two periods, despite a strong offensive presence, the Philadelphia Flyers trailed, 3-0. A three-goal deficit disappearing was certainly a case of deja vu for the Flyers. This time, the shoe was on the other foot.
The Columbus Blue Jackets allowed the Flyers to creep back into the game with a pair of goals in 1:02. But a devastating goal off a turnover seemed to be the dagger.
Three more points by Claude Giroux, two goals and one assist, helped cap off the rally and grab a 5-4 win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The win was the eighth straight for the Flyers on home ice and finally brought the Flyers above the .500 mark at 16-15-4. By virtue of the two points, the Flyers also jumped into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Flyers dominated the first 20 minutes, outshooting the Blue Jackets, 14-4, in the first. However, a breakdown led to a shorthanded two-on-one and a goal for Cam Atkinson at 15:16 of the first, giving Columbus the lead.
The Blue Jackets picked up play in the second. At 4:44, a faulty line change by the Flyers led to another two-on-one and a goal by Jack Skille. Late in the period at 19:49, Nick Foligno managed to beat Steve Mason with a shot that barely trickled across the goal line.
Things looked bleak for the Flyers fifth attempt to break the .500 mark and extend their home winning streak.
But the Flyers did get off to a quick start in the third. Former Blue Jacket Jake Voracek found the net first on a wrister from the right circle to make it 3-1. 1:02 later, a long shot by Braydon Coburn took a strange bounce and went in to cut the lead to one.
Just as quickly as the Flyers made it back into the game, the Blue Jackets turned the tide. A turnover by Scott Hartnell had the Flyers heads turning every which way while Artem Anisimov found Blake Comeau in front of the net for a goal at 8:35.
With time winding down, it appeared the Flyers would get a chance to start a comeback with a late power play. With the delayed penalty call, the Flyers charged up the ice. A rebound went right to the stick of Erik Gustafsson and he buried it to cut the lead to one.
53 seconds later, Giroux picked up a rebound on a loose puck in front and scored the equalizer with 3:46 remaining.
With 1:38 to play, Giroux was at it again. His turnaround backhander sailed over the shoulder of Curtis McElhinney to give the Flyers the lead.
With five third-period goals, the Flyers completed a comeback for the ages, just five days after suffering a heartbreaking defeat in similar fashion.
Giroux led the charge, picking up four points in the third, including his eighth and ninth goals of the season. Voracek played a strong game as well, assisting on both Giroux goals and scoring his ninth goal of the season to open the third-period barrage.
Mason didn't have the finest night in goal, allowing four goals on 29 shots, but he held the Blue Jackets off the board late as the Flyers tried to rally back.
The Blue Jackets will be trying to avenge the loss at home just two days from now in a Saturday night game in Columbus. And the Flyers will try to continue to ride the momentum of a huge win.
For now, they can enjoy it. But they have to recover from plenty of mistakes against a team that will try to finish what they started on Saturday.