Giroux fuels Flyers’ manic comeback win over Jackets

Updated: December 19, 2013

Philadelphia, PA ( – Claude Giroux scored the tying and
winning goals in a 2:08 span to cap a five-goal third period which sent
Philadelphia to a 5-4 win over Columbus in the opener of a home-and-home set.

Jakub Voracek, Braydon Coburn and Erik Gustafsson also picked up a tally in
the frenzied final frame for the Flyers, who earned their eighth straight
home victory with a spirited comeback.

Steve Mason faced his former club for the first time and made 25 saves.

Cam Atkinson, Jack Skille and Nick Foligno tallied for the Blue Jackets, who
blew leads of 3-0 and 4-2 to remain winless in six tries at Philadelphia since
entering the league for the 2000-01 season.

Curtis McElhinney was victimized five times on 39 shots in defeat.

“I’m extremely disappointed in how we mismanaged the game,” said Columbus head
coach Todd Richards. “We should be angry and upset after this. At least I hope
our players are.”

These clubs meet in Ohio’s capital on Saturday.

Voracek wheeled from behind the net and scored high to the far side at 4:20 of
the third and the hosts trailed 3-1. Just over a minute later, Coburn’s
contested shot from the blue line short-hopped McElhinney before hitting the
back of the net.

Columbus re-established a two-goal edge at 8:35. A shot which was deflected
into the air might have hit the safety netting, but there was no whistle, and
Artem Anisimov chased down the puck and fed in front for Blake Comeau’s tally
that appeared to give the visitors an iron-clad advantage.

But Gustafsson moved in from the point and converted a Wayne Simmonds rebound
to make it 4-3 on a delayed penalty call with 4:39 to play and Giroux followed
up to tap a loose puck home at the right post less than a minute later.

A turnaround backhander in tight from the right side gave Giroux 100 career
goals and his team a surprising 5-4 edge with 1:38 on the clock.

McElhinney was called to the bench on the next shift, and Matt Read drew a
hooking call on a try to the empty net a minute later to derail any comeback

Atkinson fired away from the left wing off a 2-on-1 short-handed break and
beat Mason with 4:44 to play in the opening period.

McElhinney had to be on his game while dealing with three Flyers power plays,
and he stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first.

Skille ripped a shot past Mason from the right wing off a 2-on-1 break and it
was 2-0 for the Blue Jackets at 4:44 of the second. Columbus reached a three-
goal margin with 11 seconds showing when a Foligno chance squeezed through
Mason’s pads and over the goal line.

Game Notes

The Flyers had not won eight straight on home ice since Dec. 9, 2008-Jan. 10,
2009 … Thanks to a pair of assists, Giroux recorded a season-high four
points … Despite an apparent upper-body injury suffered on Tuesday against
Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, Brayden Schenn returned to the Philly
lineup. Wilson was not subjected to supplemental discipline, according to the
NHL’s department of player safety … Voracek extended his scoring streak to
six games (6G, 4A) … Atkinson netted his first career short-handed goal in
his 97th NHL game … Columbus tied a single-period season-high with 18 shots
in the second.