Farabee, Konecny score early as the Flyers spoil debut of Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent, 4-2
Thu, Oct 12, 2023
NHL News (AP)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny scored in the first period, Carter Hart stopped 31 shots and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Thursday night in the opener for two teams looking to rebound from disappointing seasons.
The Blue Jackets lost their top defender, Zach Werenski, to a leg injury in the second period. The team said he had a quad contusion but coach Pascal Vincent said it isn't believed to be serious.
The Flyers ruined the Columbus coaching debut of Vincent as well as the first NHL game for Adam Fantilli, the third overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft, who started at center on the Jackets' third line.
Playing on his 19th birthday, Fantilli picked up his first NHL point with the primary assist on Jake Bean's first-period goal. Patrik Laine also tallied for the Jackets.
Elvis Merzlikins made 32 stops for Columbus.
Merzlikins didn't have much of a chance on the Flyers first goal. With all the Blue Jackets caught behind the puck, Farabee and Sean Couturier brought it back down with Farabee finishing at 3:33 into the first.
The Blue Jackets tied it at 8:24 when Fantilli snapped a shot from above the left circle, and Bean was in position to beat Hart with the rebound.
Another Columbus turnover led to the Flyers' second goal, with Konecny zipping a shot past Merzlikins' outstretched glove from the left circle at 12:43 of the first.
Cam Atkinson had an empty net goal for the Flyers with 1:29 left in the game. Laine scored for Columbus with 44 seconds left and, with the net open again, Konecny picked up his second goal.
Flyers: At Ottawa on Saturday.
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
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