By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
It was a night where the Flyers faced the opportunity to gain some important points in the standings against a divisional opponent. With the game well in hand, it set the stage for some history to be made.
Claude Giroux became the Flyers all-time leader in power-play assists with 235, getting the record-breaker on a Jake Voracek power-play goal to cap the scoring in a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
For the first couple of minutes, neither team generated much, then a fortunate bounce gave the Flyers an early lead.
Kevin Hayes got the puck from below the goal line and put a chance toward the goal. It hit off the skate of Andrew Peeke and banked off the back of Elvis Merzlikins and in to make it 1-0 Flyers on Hayes' 18th goal of the season at 3:28.
Just 62 seconds later, Giroux sent Sean Couturier in on a breakaway. Couturier was caught from behind and checked before he could get a shot off, but the puck slid between the five-hole of Merzlikins and in to make it 2-0 Flyers on Couturier's 18th of the season.
The Flyers limited the Blue Jackets for the rest of the period, holding them to just three shots in the opening period while taking six of their own.
For most of the second period, Columbus held possession and got a few good chances, but were mainly held at bay by the Flyers defense. Finally, at the 12:32 mark, the Flyers broke through to continue the scoring.
Phil Myers received a pass with space and cut toward the goal. He centered a pass netfront that went off the skate of Peeke and in to make it 3-0.
Late in the period, Columbus got the first power play of the game and cashed in. A quick passing play was finished off from the slot by Oliver Bjorkstrand to make it 3-1 with 2:39 remaining in the period.
Through two periods, Columbus had a 15-11 lead in shots.
Columbus continued to get shots in the final period, but the Flyers poured it on with goals. At 3:40 of the period, the Flyers extended the lead to three again with a deflection goal by Travis Konecny, his 20th of the season and second point of the game to reach a new career high with 50 on the season. Following the fourth Flyers goal, Merzlikins was pulled from the game.
On their only power play of the game midway through the third, the Flyers capped things off with another goal. Konecny completed a great passing play by threading the needle to Voracek for the one-timer to make it 5-1.
Carter Hart finished the game with 28 saves on 29 shots in the win. Merzlikins stopped eight of 12 shots faced. Matiss Kivlenieks made two saves on three shots in relief.
Giroux and Joel Farabee each finished the game with two assists. Konecny had a three-point game with a goal and two assists.
With the win, the Flyers moved ahead to third place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Flyers return to the ice on Thursday for a road game against the Blue Jackets to close out the home-and-home. Game time is 7 p.m.