Coming off a home opening win Saturday night at a rocking Wells Fargo Center against the Capitals 8-2, the Flyers looked to keep the momentum as the Florida Panthers came to town. The Florida Panthers coming into Philly with a 2-2-0 record, after dropping a contest Saturday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, looked to rebound against the surging Flyers.
Brian Elliott had this to say about the rocking Wells Fargo Center crowd after the Flyers dominated the Capitals in the home opener.
“It was great. Even starting from the warm ups, it got the juices going and the music was pumping. It’s awesome, that atmosphere. This is my first time in a regular season game here, on the home side. I think the guys really got a boost from it. Laughton scoring that shorthanded goal to go up 2-1, was a huge goal for us, it gave us a lot of confidence. When guys like that step up for you and score huge goals like that, it’s a good sign of our team.”
The Flyers, currently on a 3 game winning streak and 3 game home winning streak against the Panthers, went with the same lineup as Saturday nights 8-2 victory over the Capitals. The only change, was in net, as Michal Neuvrith started his second game of the season for the Flyers. Neuvrith looks to get his first win of the season, after dropping a 2-0 decision to the LA Kings back on Oct. 5, his only other start of the season.
Giroux – Couturier – Voracek
Weal – Filppula – Simmonds
Weise – Patrick – Konecny
Leier – Laughton – Raffl
Provorov – MacDonald
Gostisbehere – Hagg
Manning – Gudas
Elliott – Backup
Coach Dave Hakstol said this about the state of the Flyers and how they are sustaining such great pressure and a sense of balance up and down the lineup.
“You talk a little bit about an identity, its four lines, its six D, you know it’s everybody that is in the lineup just going out and doing their job. You ask if it’s sustainable, that’s the way we have to play. In that regard, I thought tonight we were able to get in and get some pressure on our fore-check and that was a big part of the game. You know you aren’t able to do it on every opportunity, but we got in on a lot of pucks tonight and we were able to create puck possession and from there get some of our cycle game going”
Now to the game
1st Period Notes…
The Flyers and Panthers both started very slowly and you could tell each team had a few days off in between games. However, the Panthers found their feet first and controlled the first half of the period, outshooting the Flyers 7-1 in the first 5 minutes.
Neuvirth looked very solid at the beginning, making some very key saves. However, around the 15:30, Neuvirth gave up a very weak scoring opportunity trying to cover the puck. But Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov came to his aide and tied the guy up, stopping the scoring chance.
Now, it was the Flyers turn for pressure. After a couple of good shifts, at the 11:41 mark, the Flyers got the first powerplay of the night when Nick Bjugstad got caught for tripping Nolan Patrick. The Flyers didn’t generate much except at the end by the 2nd unit, but the ice had flipped and now the pressure was all from the Flyers.
Then around the 7 min mark, Flyers forward Travis Konecny, made a tremendous backcheck on Panthers Derek MacKenzie to save a goal. Flyers then went up ice and draw a penalty on the ensuring possession. Flyers back to the powerplay.
This powerplay was all Flyers pressure, generating 6 shots on net and sustained pressure for the whole 2 minutes. However, still no goal.
Then, with 1:29 left in period with the Flyers in the offensive zone, Andrew MacDonald took a very unneeded ticky-tacky slashing penalty. Florida to their first powerplay. Panthers ended the period with some good pressure. Florida carries over 31 seconds of powerplay time into 2nd.
Period ends 0-0.
11:41 Panthers Nick Bjugstad 2 min Tripping
6:50 Panthers Aaron Ekblad 2 min Hooking
1:29 Flyers Andrew MacDonald 2 min Slashing
Flyers – 11
Panthers – 15
2nd Period Notes…
The Panthers started the period with 31 seconds left on the Andrew MacDonald slashing penalty and it didn’t go there way. They spent the whole time in their own zone and it was capped off by a great chance off the stick of Gostisbehere. Luongo made the stop. But Flyers came out roaring to start 2nd.
Then at the 18:55 mark, the Flyers broke through off the stick of Sean Couturier, who scored off a beautiful pass from Jake Voracek.
The Flyers then really ramped up the pressure and had sustained offensive zone pressure for the next couple of minutes. And then at the 12:25 mark, Gostisbehere scored his first of the season with a laser that beat Luongo stick side.
On the ensuring faceoff, Konecny took a weak slashing penalty, which was unneeded as the Flyers controlled the faceoff cleanly. Flyers killed it off easily.
The Flyers got their third powerplay of the night when Brandon Manning draw a slashing penalty in center ice, which lead to a powerplay goal off a break-away by Claude Giroux. Don’t know exactly how he scored because Simmonds was mixing it up behind the play and had everybody distracted.
The Flyers added another at the 3:44 mark when Travis Konecny got away for a mini break-away, which was saved, but then the highlight of the night happened, when Nolan Patrick made a wicked drop pass between his legs to Dale Weise for the goal. 4-0 Flyers.
Then Wayne Simmonds got in on the fun when Florida Panthers Michael Haley challenged him and that was a very bad idea. Simmonds dropped him with a fleury of punches, and left the ice pumping up the already rocking Wells Fargo Center crowd.
Manning got whistled for an interference penalty late in the 2nd. Panthers will again carried over powerplay time into the next period for the second straight period.
Period ends. 4-0 Flyers.
18:55 Flyers Sean Couturier Assisted by Jake Voracek & Claude Giroux
12:25 Flyers Shayne Gostisbehere Assisted by Wayne Simmonds & Robert Hagg
6:38 Flyers Claude Giroux Assisted by Valtteri Filppula & Shayne Gostisbehere
3:44 Flyers Dale Weise Assisted by Nolan Patrick & Travis Konecny
12:10 Flyers Travis Konecny 2 min Slashing
7:59 Panthers Michael Haley 2 min Slashing
2:50 Flyers Wayne Simmonds 5 min Fighting
2:50 Panthers Michael Haley 5 min Fighting
Flyers – 15 (26)
Panthers – 12 (27)
3rd Period Notes…
Third period was very slow and looked like both teams were just going through the motions to get through the game. Flyers would have a scoring chance then Florida. Nobody really sustained heavy pressure for a long period of time the whole third period.
Flyers got a powerplay midway through the 3rd, however the powerplay wasn’t like it was earlier in the game, and the Panthers killed it off.
Then the Flyers got real sloppy and took 3 penalty’s over the latter part of the third period. The last resulting in a 5 on 3 where the Flyers killed the 5 on 3 off easily, however, Florida scored on the second penalty to make it 4-1.
Flyers Valterri Filppula got the easiest goal of his career with 1:37 left in the game when he lost the faceoff and the Panthers player won it all the way back into his own empty-net for a goal.
Game ends 5-1 Flyers.
3:50 Panthers Jamie McGinn Assisted by Nick Bjugstad & Radim Vrbata
1:37 Flyers Valtteri Filppula Unassisted
13:25 Panthers Radim Vrbata 2 min Tripping
9:03 Flyers Dale Weise 2 min Slashing
6:11 Flyers Jake Voracek 2 min High Sticking
4:56 Flyers Robert Hagg 2 min Slashing
Flyers 12 (38)
Panthers 14 (41)
The Flyers beat the Florida Panthers tonight 5-1 in-front of another rocking crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. They got contributions from 3 out of the 4 lines to continue the balance of all 4 lines that Coach Dave Hakstol has been using. Special teams played a big part in tonights win with the powerplay scoring another goal and the penalty kill only allowing a garbage time goal with 3:50 left, at the time 4-0 game.
However, the night cant be all cheers, as Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds did not finish the game on the bench and was diagnosed with a lower-body injury according to Flyers GM Ron Hextall after the game and will be reevaluated tomorrow.
Michal Neuvirth was the clear star of the game, showing why he should be involved in the goalie conversation, stopping 40 of 41 shots he faced tonight. He had this to say after the game…
“You know what, I was fighting a little with the puck early in the game, but after a few saves, I settled down. I was coming in to the game with confidence not playing for long, but practicing well. Working out every day paid off.”
Another first for the Flyers happened tonight, as Flyers rookie defenseman Robert Hagg, recorded his first NHL point of his career, with a secondary assist on the Gostisbehere goal. Hagg said this about his first point…
“It wasn’t that hard I just gave him the puck and he did the rest. It was nice to get one there. Yeah, I mean I will take it but it’s not going to say in the newspaper tomorrow how I made it. So I will take it.”
The Flyers get right back at it Thursday night in game 3 of the 5 game home-stand against the Nashville Predators, a team they will not see again this season unless in the Stanley Cup Final. Game time is slated for 7:00pm and will air on NBCSports Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports