Matt Calvert celebrates after scoring what would be the game-winning goal in the Blue Jackets 5-2 win over the Flyers on Thursday. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
With another game on the schedule just hours after proclaiming they needed to be ready, the Philadelphia Flyers were anything but on Thursday night.
Facing a Columbus Blue Jackets team that had won seven straight games behind former Flyer goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the Flyers faced another sluggish start. That later translated into another third-period deficit.
There was no comeback attempt. Instead of firing back, the Flyers flickered out. That was the story of the team's sixth loss in their last eight games, a 5-2 decision to the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
It took the Blue Jackets until the 8:20 mark of the first to get on the board. A shot by Jack Johnson deflected off Luke Schenn and past Ray Emery for the game's first goal.
Early in the second, the Flyers would manage to answer. Brayden Schenn stole the puck just outside the blue line and fired three shots on Bobrovsky. After two saves, the third one beat him to even the score. It was Schenn's 14th goal of the season.
Midway through the period, at the 7:21 mark, Vincent Lecavalier snapped a long scoring drought with a power-play goal. Lecavalier had just one goal in his previous 18 games. His 11th of the season gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
But that lead was short-lived, as the Blue Jackets would knot the game again on a goal by Derek MacKenzie just four minutes later. With 3:27 remaining in the second, Matt Calvert scored a power-play goal on a deflection in front after the Flyers desperately tried but failed to clear the puck out of the zone.
Things got no better in the third as Emery allowed two goals to Brandon Dubinsky at 3:29 and Nathan Horton at 6:54 to cap the scoring.
Emery still stopped 31 of 36 shots on the night as the Flyers were outshot, 36-27. Of the 27 shots, two beat Bobrovsky, but few were true testers for the Flyers former netminder.
It was certainly not a banner night for the Flyers power play. They were 1-for-6 and failed to register quality scoring chances throughout. That include a 5-on-3 situation to close the second period and open the third that went by the wayside.
The Flyers also took seven penalties, three to Scott Hartnell including a double-minor for slashing and tripping in the first. The Flyers killed off the four minutes, one of the more memorable points of the game.
Four Flyers finished at minus-2 on the night: Mark Streit, Steve Downie, Adam Hall and Chris VandeVelde. Calvert and Dubinsky also had assists to go along with goals, marking the only players with multi-point games for either side.
By virtue of the loss, the Blue Jackets also leap-frog the Flyers in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams are tied with 56 points, but the Blue Jackets have played two fewer games than the Flyers.
The Flyers return home to face the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon from Wells Fargo Center.
Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.