PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for his fourth
shutout of the season, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first
win in Philadelphia, 2-0 over the Flyers on Thursday night.
James Wisniewski and Brandon Dubinsky each scored goals for the Blue
Jackets, who were 0-5-1 in Philadelphia since the franchise's inception
Led by Bobrovsky, a former Flyer, the Blue Jackets moved closer to
clinching their second-ever playoff berth. They closed within two points
of the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Divison.
The Flyers have lost three straight games and were shut out for the second straight time.
Wisniewski snapped a scoreless tie with his seventh goal of the
season late in the second period. He finished off a Columbus attack that
saw at least three shots on Steve Mason before he was able to slide in
the puck with 6 seconds left on the power play.
Dubinsky appeared to kick in the puck early in the third to make it 2-0.
The Blue Jackets are about as automatic as it gets in the NHL with a
lead after two periods: They improved to 27-2-4 with a two-period lead.
The interesting matchup was the one between the pipes: Mason vs. Bobrovsky.
Mason had it all figured out in Columbus when he went 33-20-7 with 10
shutouts and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2008-09,
the only season the Blue Jackets have made the playoffs.
But Mason and Columbus could never recapture that fleeting success
again. He fell to 20 wins and five shutouts the next season, and
bottomed out in 2011-12 with a 16-26-3 mark. Mason lost his job to
Bobrovsky, the former Flyer who blossomed into last season's Vezina
Mason was traded to the Flyers at the end of last season and became
the No. 1 goalie after they bought out Ilya Bryzgalov's contract.
Bobrovsky was expendable because Bryzgalov signed a nine-year deal
and was supposed to anchor the net as Philadelphia chased its first
Stanley Cup championship since 1975. Bryzgalov's quirky personality and
sometimes brutal honesty with the media didn't always endear him to
teammates and he lasted only two seasons.
Mason and Bobrovsky are now leading playoff pushes for both organizations.
NOTES: Flyers D Kimmo Timonen (upper body) returned to the lineup
after a one-game absence. ... Bobrovsky has eight career shutouts. ...
The Blue Jackets are 3-1 vs. the Flyers this season. ... The Blue
Jackets and Flyers have played each other only 15 times.