Atkinson scores 3 in win over Flyers
Cam Atkinson scored a hat trick to lead the surging Columbus Blue Jackets to their sixth straight victory, 5-3 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Oliver Bjorkstand and Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets, who tied Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Claude Giroux, Andrew MacDonald and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for the slumping Flyers, who dropped their seventh in the last eight games. Philadelphia and Columbus are one point ahead of idle New Jersey, which holds a wild-card spot.
If the playoffs began today, the Flyers would finish third in the division based on tiebreakers while the Blue Jackets would get the first wild card. Both teams have 11 games remaining.
Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves, including some big stops early in the third. He denied Nolan Patrick from close range with a good glove save 11/2 minutes into the period and used his pad to stop Sean Couturier a minute later.