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Blue Jackets hire former Lightning coach Tortorella

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella hoisted a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay and led the Rangers to the verge of a championship berth.

At Columbus, the Blue Jackets have a more modest goal for Tortorella: Win a game.

Tortorella is back coaching in the NHL after the Blue Jackets (0-7-0) fired Todd Richards on Wednesday.

"He's proven he's a good coach," said center Brandon Dubinsky, who played for Tortorella with the Rangers from 2008-12.

Tortorella, who won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, has been out of hockey since the Canucks fired him in May 2014 after one season.

"One of the problems right now is expectations," Tortorella said. "Expectations that weren't there last year with this club."

Columbus is off to its worst start, and its longest losing streak since dropping seven straight in regulation from Nov. 11-25, 2005.

Tortorella, 57, signed a three-year contract and will make his debut tonight when Columbus visits Minnesota. He said he wanted to learn as much as he could about the team.

"I need to listen," he said. "I want the players to speak to the staff just to find out where they're at."

The issues include subpar defense (minus-21 goal differential, 18 third-period goals allowed, no one-goal games) and abysmal goaltending — Sergei Bobrovsky has a 5.07 goals-against average and an 83.5 save percentage.

At 446-375-115 over 14 seasons, Tortorella is the NHL's winningest U.S.-born coach; Nashville's Peter Laviolette is five behind. He coached Tampa Bay for seven seasons, going 239-222-36-38, and was coach of the year in the 2003-04 season.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Claude Giroux's second goal, coming on a power play 2:09 into overtime, lifted the Flyers, who overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period. The Bruins, who have lost their first four games at home, were shorthanded with Ryan Spooner off for hooking.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Blues forward Paul Stastny went on injured reserve and will miss at least five weeks with a broken right foot sustained Friday. He has a goal, four assists and a plus-four rating in five games.

Flyers 2 0 2 1 5
at Bruins 2 2 0 0 4


First Period1, Philadelphia, Bellemare 1 (VandeVelde, White), 9:28. 2, Boston, Connolly 1 (Bergeron, Marchand), 13:28. 3, Philadelphia, Gagner 2 (Laughton, L.Schenn), 15:04. 4, Boston, Bergeron 4 (Eriksson, Krejci), 17:24 (pp). PenaltiesGiroux, Phi, double minor (high-sticking), 16:38; Giroux, Phi (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Chara, Bos (slashing), 20:00; Rinaldo, Bos, major-game misconduct (charging), 20:00.

Second Period5, Boston, Kelly 2 (Eriksson, Chara), 4:31 (sh). 6, Boston, Hayes 2 (Krejci), 8:49. PenaltiesSimmonds, Phi (hooking), 11:39.

Third Period7, Philadelphia, Giroux 2 (Voracek, Streit), 7:48. 8, Philadelphia, Simmonds 1 (Umberger, Streit), 10:24. PenaltiesNone.

Overtime9, Philadelphia, Giroux 3 (Streit, Voracek), 2:09 (pp). PenaltiesSpooner, Bos (hooking), 1:36. Shots on GoalPhiladelphia 15-10-11-1—37. Boston 12-11-6-1—30. Power-play opportunitiesPhiladelphia 1 of 2; Boston 1 of 3. GoaliesPhiladelphia, Neuvirth (12 shots-10 saves), Mason 1-2-1 (0:00 second, 18-16). Boston, Rask 1-3-1 (37-32). A17,565 (17,565). T2:33.

at Sabres 0 0 1 0 2
Maple Leafs 1 0 0 0 1
Sabres win shootout 2-1


First Period1, Toronto, Parenteau 1 (Polak, Grabner), 1:28. PenaltiesPolak, Tor (holding), 7:10.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesGorges, Buf (holding), 4:02; Spaling, Tor (goaltender interference), 8:15; Hunwick, Tor (interference), 19:36.

Third Period2, Buffalo, Kane 1, 15:31. PenaltiesPhaneuf, Tor (high-sticking), 15:39.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesNone.

ShootoutToronto 1 (Parenteau G, Kadri NG, Lupul NG, van Riemsdyk NG, Boyes NG), Buffalo 2 (R.O'Reilly NG, Ennis G, Eichel NG, Kane NG, Moulson G). Shots on GoalToronto 6-11-4-3—24. Buffalo 12-12-10-1—35. Power-play opportunitiesToronto 0 of 1; Buffalo 0 of 4. GoaliesToronto, Bernier 0-3-1 (35 shots-34 saves). Buffalo, C.Johnson 2-4-0 (24-23). A17,762 (19,070). T2:47.

Blue Jackets hire former Lightning coach Tortorella 10/21/15 [Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2015 11:58am]
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