PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Carter found a unique way to break a tie.
The Philadelphia centre won a faceoff and rifled a goal past Columbus’ Mathieu Garon, helping to lift the Flyers to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Carter scored two goals, with his first coming on a breakaway 58 seconds into the game. He flipped a backhand shot into the net. His 19th of the season came at 11:31 of the second period, when he sent a shot past Garon and broke a 2-2 tie.
“I tried it here and there,” Carter said. “You try and catch them off guard a little bit. I never scored on it.”
Garon said he didn’t see the goal.
“I think it was five-hole,” he said. “I’m not really sure.”
Carter nearly got a hat trick early in the third, but his shot hit the crossbar. After leaving late in the game, fans at Wachovia Center loudly requested his return.
Ray Emery won for the first time since returning from abdominal surgery, as the Flyers snapped a two-game losing streak. Arron Asham, Chris Pronger and Dan Carcillo also scored for the Flyers, who were hosting Columbus for the first time since Nov. 24, 2006.
Former Flyer RJ Umberger scored two goals for the Blue Jackets, losers of four of five. Rick Nash also scored for Columbus.
Umberger was in front of the net on Nash’s goal, leading some fans at the Wachovia Center to mistakenly think he had recorded a hat trick. In a move unusual for a visiting player, they threw hats on the ice, and Umberger was touched by the gesture.
“I’ve never seen that before, where a player from an opposing team gets that response. I had great times and it’s nice to see them appreciate the effort I put in and how much it meant to be a Flyer.”
Garon was pulled after giving up Carcillo’s goal, and was replaced by Steve Mason.
Emery made 25 saves two days after a 5-3 loss to Washington. Emery had missed 16 games after the surgery.
“I just want to get in games and get familiar,” Emery said. “You want to win while you’re doing that. It’s good to see the puck.”
Carter saw the puck well on Tuesday, and most of his teammates raved about his faceoff goal, which came against Samuel Pahlsson.
“I didn’t think he was going to shoot from there,” Pahlsson said. “He surprised me with that shot.”
Carter and Asham scored early in the first and second periods, respectively, Umberger’s second goal tied the score 2-2. Carter’s play regained the momentum, and goals by Pronger and Carcillo finished off the Blue Jackets.
“It really caught them off guard,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was a big goal.”
“The third goal was the difference,” said Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock, a former Flyers coach. “We came back, we were really playing well tied 2-2. The third goal goes in, took the momentum out of it.”
NOTES: Flyers defenceman Matt Carle played in his 275th career game. …. Carter’s two-goal game was the 22nd of his career. He leads the Flyers in scoring with 42 points through 48 games. … Columbus left wing Fredrik Modin was activated, one day after being placed on injured reserve. … Forward Alexandre Picard was sent to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse.