Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference playoff race: Blue Jackets shut out Flyers


The Columbus Blue Jackets, for the moment, tightened their hold on the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference on Thursday.

Once again, goaltending came up huge for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves and Columbus recorded a 2-0 win over the Flyers to temporarily move three points up on the Toronto Maple Leafs – also in action against the Boston Bruins – for the second Wild Card spot.

The Blue Jackets also moved to within two points of the Flyers for third in the Metropolitan Division. This win for Columbus comes almost 24 hours after the Red Wings pulled off a come-from-behind victory over the Bruins.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.