With a gritty, much needed victory for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. The Flyers are trying to do something they haven’t done here as of late…win back to back games.
It’s a tough task to do against the second place team in the Central Division the St. Louis Blues. However, the Flyers beat the Blues 2-0 back on November 2 in St. Louis, so they should be familiar with taking down this powerhouse in the Western Conference. The Flyers find themselves working on consistency at the Wells Fargo Center these days. Something that has been lacking according to Forward Jordan Weal.
“Yeah, it’s a team effort out there, everyone wants to contribute, and we’ve been taking it a little personally not being able to get the puck in the net as much as we wanted to. We’ve been working really hard at our games and continuing to push forward and doing the little things, I think if we continue to do that, were going to continue to get rewarded.”
Weal continues, “I think the thing for us is if we can bring this effort for the next three and a half months until playoff time as many times as we can, it’s going to give ourselves the best chance to make the playoffs here.”
It appears the orange and black didn’t need any extra motivation on this matinee against the Blues. The Flyers dominated St. Louis from the start of the face off, leading them to a 6-3 victory against this Western Conference powerhouse. Brian Elliott started his 16th straight game against his former team. Elliott was dandy in this one, making 28 saves to preserve the Flyers second consecutive victory.
The Flyers came out of the gate hungry to knock off this powerhouse. Well, the Orange and black couldn’t have asked for a better start to do just that. Recently called up Tyrell Goulbourne sent Alex Pietrangelo back to mars with a massive hit, and Scott Laughton scooped up the puck. Laughton roofed a wrist shot over Jake Allen’s right shoulder for a 1-0 Flyers lead. Goulbourne explained after the game that he just wanted to hit someone on his first shift.
“The first shift I just wanted to get a hit in there. Laughts kind of teed him up pretty nice and I just wanted to finish my checks and Laughts had a great shot on that. I didn’t even see it go in, I think I celebrated about two seconds late.”
With the hate both of these teams have for each other. The Flyers wanted to keep the momemtum building, and the building rocking from the fans. Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny found themselves on a 2-on-1, just 6:42 into the period. Giroux tried to lift a pass through the air to Konecny, but the puck redirected off a sprawling Colton Parayko behind Allen for a 2-0 Flyers lead.
This young Flyers team tried to continue their dominance towards the middle of the period. They were handed a gift as Vladimir Sobotka was called for a hi-sticking penalty at 11:19. The orange and black only mustered two shots on net, and Allen made both saves to keep the score 2-0 Flyers.
Towards the middle of the period, the Flyers were clicking on all cylinders. Carl Gunnarsson took a hooking penalty with 1:58 remaining in the period. The Flyers managed two shots on net for the power play, with Allen making both saves keeping the score 2-0 Flyers.
The first period came to a close with the Flyers dominating the Blues in terms of play. This young team in the orange and black found themselves with a 2-0 lead at the end of one, and outshot the Blues 15-7 for the period. However, the Blues won won the faceoff margin 63%-37%.
The Flyers entered the second period determined to take command of the game. They had nice puck movement with 11:27 in the period, as Jakub Voracek threaded a pass to a cutting Jordan Weal into the Blues zone. This lead to a mini breakaway, and Weal dippsy dooed around Allen for a 3-0 Flyers lead. Weal thanks his lines chemistry for his recent success.
“I think now I found some chemistry with some guys and just a matter of getting better throughout the season. You wanna peak near the end and then continue on in playoffs and I think that’s in the process for me over the last 5-6 years. Throughout the year, growing as a player and when crunch time comes, that’s when you’re at your best.”
With the Flyers on a high, and the building rocking from the fans after the Weal goal. Giroux and Couturier entered the Blues zone, with Giroux making a nice touch pass to a cutting Couturier. Couturier tapped the puck behind Allen for his 20th goal of the season, giving the Flyers a 4-0 lead. Couturier stated after the game it’s nice to have a quick start, “I think we get everyone going early in the game and guys are ready, guys come out strong and we establish our game and I think it obviously helps a lot when you get a good start and you go from there.”
This young Flyers team tried to continue their dominance late in the second period. However, Ivan Barbashev and Paul Stastny entered the Flyers zone with just 5:04 remaining in the period. Stastny threaded a pass over to Barbashev, and he deposited the puck behind Elliott for his first goal and point of the year. Flyers still lead 4-1.
Shortly after the Barbashev goal. Brandon Manning was called for holding with just 3:27 to go in the period. However, the Blues only mustered one shot on net, to which Elliott made the easy save keeping the score 4-1.
The Blues couldn’t keep up with the young legs in the Flyers in the second period. This young Flyers team outshot the Blues 14-9 for the period, and won the faceoff margin 52%-48%.
With the Flyers on a roll entering the period. Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny found themselves on a 2-on-1 with just 12 seconds in the period. Stastny made no mistake and tapped the puck behind Elliott, cutting the Flyers lead to 4-2.
Finally, the Flyers caught a break midway through the period. Joel Edmundson was called for a holding penalty. The Flyers power play was rock solid as it only took them 30 seconds to put the biscuit in the basket. Shayne Gostisbehere unleashed a slap shot from the point, to which Wayne Simmonds deflected the puck past Allen for a 5-2 Flyers lead.
With just 7:35 to play in the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko was called for slashing. The Flyers managed two shots on the power play, but Allen made both saves keeping the score 5-2 Flyers.
Head Coach of the Blues Mike Yeo made a ballsy move and pulled netminder Allen with 4:59 to play in the game. The Flyers couldnt score on the empty net, but Colton Parakyo slapped the puck from the point in the Flyers zone. Parakyo found twine past Elliott, cutting the Flyers lead to 5-3. Couturier pots his 21st goal of the year into an empty net with 14.9 seconds left for the 6-3 victory. That’s how the game would end as the Flyers outshot the blues 39-31, and won the faceoff margin 60%-40%.
Hopefully, the Flyers can continue this successful homestand with their third straight victory against the lowly Buffalo Sabres tomorrow at 1pm.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports