Travis Konecny collected a goal and two assists to propel the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek and defenseman Philippe Myers also tallied for the Flyers, who leapfrogged Columbus and the idle New York Islanders into third place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia will vie for a four-game season sweep of Columbus on Thursday when it visits Ohio.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux set up Voracek's goal midway into the third period for his 235th career power-play assist, passing Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke for the franchise record.
Second-year Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart finished with 28 saves to improve to 15-2-2 at home this season.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 13th goal in 16 games to boost his team-leading total to 20 for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped a season-high six in a row (0-3-3).
Rookie Elvis Merzlikins yielded four goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Matiss Kivlenieks (two saves on three shots).
Philadelphia opened the scoring in unconventional fashion, as Hayes' shot from behind the goal line caromed off both the right skate of rookie defenseman Andrew Peeke and the helmet of Merzlikins before going into the net. Hayes' 18th goal, at 3:28 of the first period, snapped a personal six-game point drought.
The Flyers doubled the advantage just 62 seconds later.
Couturier lost control of the puck as he attempted to shift to his backhand on a partial breakaway. The puck, however, continued to slide forward and found its way between the pads of Merzlikins for Couturier's 18th goal of the season and fifth in his past six games.
Myers gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead at 12:32 of the second period. He skated through the right circle before his attempted centering feed caromed into the net for his fourth goal of the season and first in 36 games.
Bjorkstrand trimmed the Blue Jackets' deficit to 3-1 under five minutes later.
Konecny chased Merzlikins by scoring his team-leading 20th goal at 3:40 of the third period. Voracek's tally at 10:14 of the third period was his 12th of the season.
--Field Level Media