October 25 Philadelphia Inquirer:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second straight game, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated one of last season’s Stanley Cup finalists Monday night.
This time, it was the Eastern Conference champion Flyers who fell to the Jackets, 2-1, before a sparse crowd of 11,727 at Nationwide Arena.
In its previous game, Columbus rallied past the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, on Saturday.
Like a certain baseball team from South Philadelphia, the Flyers are an offensive puzzle.
Aside from a mini-eruption after they juggled three lines in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Toronto, the Flyers’ attack has struggled mightily.
On Monday, the lines didn’t generate enough attack time. And when they did, backup goalie Mathieu Garon, who was making his second start of the season, had most of the answers.
Garon, 32, made 28 saves – none better than the quick glove he displayed to knock away Nik Zherdev’s low-slot drive early in the third period – and almost notched his 17th career shutout.
Ville Leino scored on a scramble in front to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 5 minutes, 1 second left. Six seconds later, though, the Flyers’ chances became dim as Darroll Powe went to the penalty box for interference.
The Flyers were averaging just 2.57 goals per game entering Monday, placing them tied for 22d in the 30-team NHL.
The Flyers (3-4-1) are off to a worse start than last season, when they were 5-2-1 after eight games en route to getting their coach fired.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette could not have been happy about the first period. He watched his team give up a slew of odd-man rushes and fail to clear bodies in front of goalie Brian Boucher.
The Flyers, trying to win two straight for the first time this season, faced a 1-0 deficit after the opening period. If not for several outstanding stops by Boucher, the deficit would have been a lot worse.
After allowing 14 shots in the entire game during Saturday’s 5-2 win against Toronto, the Flyers yielded 11 first-period shots – and Columbus had several other good attempts that went just wide.
With 15:33 left in the first period, Boucher stopped Rick Nash’s backhander after he was set up perfectly by Jakub Voracek’s give-and-go pass.
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