COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets fell short in their season opener 4-2 against former coach John Tortorella and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Pascal Vincent made his head coaching debut after a tumultuous offseason that saw the hiring and resignation of Mike Babcock in the span of three months.
Philadephia scored the opening goal less than four minutes into the game on a two-on-none situation that ended with Joel Farabee burying the puck in the back of the net. Columbus defenseman Jake Bean answered by scoring the Blue Jackets first goal of the season five minutes later. The goal was assisted by Kirill Marchenko and rookie Adam Fantilli who made his NHL debut on his 19th birthday.
The Flyers added a second goal in the first period from Travis Konecny on a shot off the far right post while skating toward the left. Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was lights out from then on with Philadephia scoring two empty net goals, including one by former Blue Jacket Cam Atkinson. Patrik Laine added a goal in between the empty netters but it was too little too late for Columbus.
CBJ could not capitalize on four power play opportunities, with two getting cut short by committing their own penalties. The Blue Jackets return to action Saturday to host the New York Rangers.