Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers Vs. Blue Jackets: Youngsters Help Give Cam Atkinson Victorious Homecoming

More youthful contributions helped give Cam Atkinson a victorious homecoming Thursday night as the Flyers beat the Blue Jackets, 4-1.

More youthful contributions help Flyers give Atkinson victorious homecoming originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Buoyed by a three-goal second period, the Flyers enjoyed a little bit of payback Thursday night by beating the Blue Jackets, 4-1, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Kevin Connauton, Owen Tippett, Noah Cates and Travis Konecny all scored goals.

Two days ago, the Flyers lost to the Blue Jackets, 4-2, at the Wells Fargo Center in a game they should have won.

The Flyers (23-37-11) have picked up consecutive road victories for the first time since Dec. 10-11. They're 10-20-5 away from home this season.

Prior to this victory, the Flyers were 0-2-0 against Blue Jackets (33-33-6) and had scored only three goals. They matched that total in the middle stanza Thursday night.

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• Cam Atkinson made his long-awaited return to Columbus, Ohio, with his first trip to Nationwide Arena since being traded to the Flyers last July.

The 32-year-old winger was a 2008 sixth-round draft pick of the Blue Jackets. He went on to play a decade for the expansion organization — birthed in 2000 — and holds the franchise's second-most games played (627), points (402) and goals (213).

"I'm excited to go back and experience it and just walk through Nationwide," Atkinson said Wednesday, "see all the people behind the scenes that go unnoticed that were a part of my career there."

On an emotional night, Atkinson finished scoreless with four shots and a minus-1 mark 17:31 minutes.

He was all smiles with the victory.

After the game, before leaving the ice, Atkinson was shown on the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast signing an autograph for a fan.

• It's not exactly a positive for the Flyers, but their lost season has allowed them to give an extended look to younger pieces. The club is hoping to identify which pieces can help moving forward and as early as next season.

The Flyers saw some more positive developments from their youngsters.

Tippett, a 23-year-old winger acquired in the Claude Giroux trade, delivered his second goal in the last three games.

Cates, a 2017 fifth-round pick who signed his entry-level contract 11 days ago, scored a goal for the second straight game.

Both wingers finished with plus-3 ratings.

Morgan Frost collected an assist and looks confident.

• Since the start of March, the Flyers' power play has scored five goals and has surrendered four.

It went 0 for 4 on Thursday night and yielded the Blue Jackets' only goal.

The Flyers' NHL-worst man advantage is 12 for 119 (10.1 percent) since the calendar turned to 2022.

• Backup Martin Jones has been in net for the Flyers' last three victories.

The 32-year-old veteran has quietly been very good since March, going 4-4-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

He made 26 saves on 27 shots against Columbus.

After denying 47 of the Flyers' 49 shots Tuesday night, Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins allowed four goals on 27 shots. All four came at even strength and in the final 40 minutes.

The 27-year-old had allowed only three goals on 83 shots in the first two meetings with the Flyers.

• The Flyers' whole group of defensemen was strong.

Ivan Provorov had an assist and has played better and better while doing so alongside top prospect Cam York.

Connauton's goal was his first in the NHL since Feb. 4, 2019.

Travis Sanheim finished with two helpers.

• Zack MacEwen missed his third straight game with a head injury but was able to practice Wednesday.

• The Flyers host the Ducks on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Prior to puck drop, the Flyers will hold a special ceremony to celebrate Lou Nolan's 50th year as the franchise's iconic public address announcer.

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