COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the most unlikely of comebacks, the Columbus Blue Jackets relied on the most unlikely of goal scorers.
Artem Anisimov, without a goal in his last 21 games, scored 2:17 into overtime to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.
The Blue Jackets had been winless when trailing after two periods (0-20-0) and the Flyers had not lost in regulation when ahead going into the third period (13-0-2).
"I feel like it's a weight off my shoulders," said Anisimov, who had not scored since Oct. 11, 2014. "Really, you know, I did not score for lots of games."
Flyers goalie Ray Emery stopped James Wisniewski's one-timer, but Anisimov jumped on the short rebound and shifted the puck to his forehand to beat Emery.
Columbus' comeback from a two-goal deficit with 11½ minutes left in the final period was spurred by a rare Jared Boll goal. He had not scored in 64 games.
"You could feel it on the bench when we got it to 3-2," coach Todd Richards said. "In previous years when we scored in the third period (it felt) like it was going to happen. That's the way it was tonight."
Just 32 seconds after Corey Tropp was called for goaltender interference, the Flyers increased their lead to 3-1 at 5:04 of the third. Curtis McElhinney, who had 22 saves, got a piece of Claude Giroux's hard shot but Wayne Simmonds was there to clean up the rebound for his second of the night and 21st of the season. He also assisted on Sean Couturier's goal.
But the Blue Jackets responded. Tropp circled out of the corner and spotted Boll crashing the net, sliding a pass through the crease that Boll jammed in for just his 26th goal in 467 NHL games.
"It feels great to contribute at that point in the game," he said. "We needed a goal. I think everyone on the ice touched the puck. It was a great play by all the guys. It was nice to get on the board — and it feels even better to get the win."
Columbus tied it with 4:40 left in regulation. On a rush, Brandon Dubinsky, who had a goal and an assist, flipped a perfect lead pass to Scott Hartnell — who was honored earlier in the night for playing his 1,000th career NHL game on Monday night. Emery, who had 29 saves, made the point-blank stop on Hartnell's chip shot, but Cam Atkinson netted the rebound for his 12th.
Columbus started the night 14 points out of the final playoff spot. But that doesn't mean the players are making tee times.
"They're divisional opponents. They're teams that we have to find a way to catch," Dubinsky said of the Blue Jackets' impending five-game road trip against teams from the East. "It seems like they're all a long way out, but they're all four-point games. We have to find a way."
It was a painful defeat for the Flyers, who also were desperate for points after coming into the night eight points behind the last playoff spot in the East.
Asked what happened down the stretch, coach Craig Berube said, "We made two mistakes. We left the front of the net on the first (Boll) goal. There was no reason for it. Then we had a bad line change on the other (Atkinson) goal."
Simmonds added, "We can't let that happen. There are no excuses."
Emery said he wasn't aware of any breakdowns in front of him because he could only concentrate on his own job.
"We were up 3-2 in the third and that's not a lead that you like to let go," he said. "So that's frustrating."
Notes: Flyers D Andrew MacDonald didn't play due to his grandmother's death. ... The Flyers played their third of a four-game road swing. They return home Tuesday to open a four-game homestand against the Blue Jackets. ... Hartnell was recognized for becoming the 297th player to amass 1,000 career NHL games. He was honored on Friday night because he played 517 of those games with the Flyers before being dealt to Columbus last summer.
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