Wayne Simmonds’ power play goal at 5:04 of the third period gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead Friday night.
The Flyers appeared headed for a win.
However, Jared Boll and Cam Atkinson scored to tie it 3-3 forcing overtime and Artem Anisimov netted the winner at 2:17 of the extra period.
It was the second time in as many meetings Columbus edged Philly in overtime.
The Jackets have now won three of four meetings between the two clubs.
“It’s pretty embarrassing,” said Sean Couturier per CSNPhilly.com. “We’re in the playoff hunt. You can’t have an effort like that. We’re not gonna go far if we play like that.
“If we want to, we can be one of the best teams in the league. We gotta play our game and start putting pressure and pucks on net and tight defense. The last two games have been pretty embarrassing the way we lose these games.”
It was the second time this week the Flyers have squandered a third period lead and lost in overtime.
On Tuesday night Philly was up 1-0 in the third on the Montreal Canadiens. Tomas Plekanec scored with less than eight minutes remaining and David Desharnais won it in overtime.
“There’s something wrong with losing these games the way we’re losing them,” Couturier said. “We got to fix what’s wrong and play better for 60 minutes. It’s not a 40- or 45-minute game.”
The Flyers are currently seven points back of Boston for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia will look to avoid a third straight loss Sunday when they visit Buffalo. The Flyers won the only other meeting between the two clubs 4-3 on Jan. 17.
The Columbus Blue Jackets started the night by honoring forward Scott Hartnell for playing in 1,000 games and finished it by diminishing his former squad’s playoff chances with a 4-3 overtime win against Philadelphia.
The Flyers enjoyed 1-0 and 3-1 leads thanks to Wayne Simmonds, who scored his 20th and 21st goals this season.
He wouldn’t end up being the hero tonight though as Jared Boll managed to find the back of the net for the first time since Nov. 12, 2013.
That turned the tide in favor of Columbus. Cam Atkinson tied the contest with 4:40 left in the third frame and then Artem Anisimov provided the overtime winner. It was the first time this season that Columbus successfully staged a comeback after trailing through 40 minutes.
“It was nice to finally get on the board, but it feels even better to win,” Boll said, per the team’s Twitter feed.
The Flyers have still managed to secure at least a point in eight straight contests, but losing back-to-back games in overtime has to sting given how much ground they have to cover in the playoff race. Philadelphia is six points behind Boston in the battle for the second Wild Card spot, but has participated in one extra contest. The Bruins are playing against Vancouver tonight.
Maybe, just maybe, things are starting to turn around in Columbus.
Yesterday, the Blue Jackets returned Artem Anisimov (torn triceps) from a 23-game absence and today, the team announced defenseman Ryan Murray was activated off IR after missing the last 36 contests.
Murray, 21, has been plagued all year by knee problems, having missed the first seven games of the year following offseason surgery. The former No. 2 overall pick — taken behind Nail Yakupov at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — also missed time last year with a knee problem.
Getting Murray back is a huge boost for the Jackets. Despite his injury issues, he still managed to score 21 points in 66 games last season and average nearly 20 minutes a night. Columbus also leaned on him heavily during last year’s opening-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh, during which he played 22:44 a night.
Artem Anisimov will try to turn around a nightmarish season on Thursday when the Jackets take on the Panthers at Nationwide.
Anisimov, who’s missed the last 23 games with a torn triceps, will draw back into the lineup for the first time since Nov. 29 and play just his 17th game of the year.
As mentioned, the Russian forward’s had a really tough campaign injury-wise. He missed seven games earlier in the year with a concussion, got healthy, played in seven contests, then suffered the torn triceps.
That string of poor health is indicative of what Columbus has dealt with all season long. No team has lost more man games due to injury and, heading into tonight’s tilt with Florida, the Jackets are missing Jeremy Morin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Boone Jenner, Brian Gibbons, Ryan Muray and Nathan Horton to various ailments.
PHT’s favorite meme is back in the rotation today as Columbus announced that forward Jeremy Morin will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body ailment.
With that, the Jackets now have Morin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Boone Jenner, Brian Gibbons, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Murray and Nathan Horton on the shelf with injuries.
Morin was hurt during Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Washington, exiting the game after just 7:11 of ice time. This could be related to an upper-body injury he suffered in Columbus’ last game prior to the All-Star break — Morin played just 4:38 in a loss to the Jets — but the club has yet to confirm injury specifics.
Regardless, losing Morin will hurt. While he hasn’t scored much (just three points in 17 games), he was the recipient of some pretty decent playing time — in a 3-1 win over Boston two weeks ago, Morin played 16:05 and finished with three shots on goal.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering: Columbus was leading the league for man games lost to injury this season, per the latest (Jan. 20) report from website Man Games Lost.