COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky each had a goal and assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a team-record eighth-straight win — and the longest active streak in the league — with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night in the franchise’s 1,000th game.
Jack Johnson, Derek MacKenzie and Nathan Horton also scored for Columbus, which played their inaugural season in 2000 and has only made the playoffs once.
Sergei Bobrovsky, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top goalie, made 26 saves in his first game against his former club. He has won seven in a row since returning from a groin injury that sidelined him a month.
The Blue Jackets closed out the Flyers with four straight goals to improve to a league-best 9-0-1 record in January and are currently holding an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Flyers, playing the second of an unscheduled back-to-back set after a snowstorm in Philadelphia pushed their game, a 3-2 loss to Carolina, to Wednesday. Philadelphia is 2-4-2 since winning 10 of 13.
Backup Ray Emery got the nod in goal for the Flyers instead of Steve Mason and had 34 stops. Mason, the former NHL rookie of the year acquired from the Blue Jackets in April, played against the Hurricanes and has yet to face his former team in two visits to Columbus.
A recent habit, the Flyers again looked slow in the first period and fell behind 1-0 at 8:20. Johnson’s shot from the right boards bounced off the legs of Luke Schenn and eluded Emery for his third of the season.
But Philadelphia picked up steam, killing three penalties and their momentum carried into the second period.
Brayden Schenn tied it 1:56 in on a nice individual effort. He stripped the puck from Andy Murray at the Columbus blue line, then cut in on Bobrovsky, eventually scoring on his third rapid-fire shot for his 14th.
Lecavalier made it 2-1 just under six minutes later with his 11th, blasting a shot from the slot on the power play after a nice passing combination.
The Blue Jackets responded with two straight goals 4:49 apart to regain the lead, then added two more in the third period.
Corey Tropp’s forecheck squirted the puck free to Artem Anisimov, who centered a short-range pass to MacKenzie that he chipped in for his third at 11:24.
Calvert was credited with the go-ahead score, his sixth, on a quirky power-play sequence. Philadelphia’s attempted sure clear, hit a glass partition and stayed in their zone. James Wisniewski got the puck and sent a hard pass from the left circle that hit Calvert’s turning skate in the crease and deflected into the goal. The play went to review and was upheld.
The Flyers had a chance to get back on the scoreboard, but they couldn’t convert on a two-man advantage that lasted 45 seconds late in the second and into the third.
Dubinsky beat Emery with a wrist shot from the slot for his 11th at 3:29 of the third. Horton scored a highlight-reel goal three minutes later, stepping around Andrej Meszaros at the boards and powering a high shot past Emery for his fourth.
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