After suffering their 2nd shutout loss of the year, this time by the way of the Nashville Predators 1-0 Thursday night, the Flyers look to rebound today against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers, coming off a hard fought loss Thursday, look to get back on the winning side of things as they face a slow-starting Oilers team that is missing a couple key pieces, no one bigger than Leon Draisaitl, who is dealing with a concussion sustained in game three this year. The Oilers, spotting a 2-4-0 record, are coming in on a high into todays contest with the Flyers after a hard fought victory in Chicago against the Blackhawks Thursday night. The Oilers look to keep the momentum today against the Flyers.
The Flyers and Oilers series of late has had many story lines. None bigger than the McDavid vs Manning one, dating back to when McDavid broke his collarbone on a mixup with Manning going into the boards. This has controlled the series since that injury and the Flyers have actually came out on the losing end. Dating back to the game of the injury, the Flyers have only beaten the Oilers once in five tries. They look to end that bad streak today.
On a better note, Flyers rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim stays in the lineup for a second straight game. Sanheim played extremely well Thursday night against the Predators. And his head coach had all but great things to say about his improvement in play…
“I liked Travis’s game. I thought overall defensively he did a good job. His reads were pretty good. A couple of mistakes. Maybe tired mistakes but with the puck and getting up ice I thought he was generating from the back end. I thought he played his game the way you would want him to play and the way you would expect him to play.”
Captain Claude Giroux kept up his great start to the season. Giroux setup Couturier and Voracek multiple times for high quality chances, but Predators Rinne had all of the answers. This was a totally different contest than the other matchup between the teams back in Nashville, and Giroux voiced his opinion on why the two games were totally different…
“They didn’t get to the Stanley Cup Finals with luck. They’re a good team, they have a good system and they have a lot of good players. As frustrated as we are right now that we didn’t get the win, we have to stay positive and play some good hockey. We have to be ready for Saturday.”
The Flyers were missing another key piece against the Oilers, as Taylor Leier’s maintenance day turned into a missed game. Jordan Weal sat out again nursing an injury also. We now know Leier was the reason for the Matt Read callup. Brian Elliott returns to the net for the Flyers, he is spotting 3-1-0 record on the season.
Giroux – Couturier – Voracek
Lehtera – Filppula – Simmonds
Weise – Patrick – Konecny
Raffl – Laughton – Read
MacDonald – Provorov
Gostisbehere – Hagg
Sanheim – Gudas
Backup – Neuvirth
1st Period Notes…
The game started slow, with neither team generating any offense. The first shot of the game not even coming till about 3:15 into the game when the Flyers were on the powerplay because of a Brad Malone 2 min high sticking penalty.
On that powerplay, the Flyers got on the board off the stick of Claude Giroux. He was set up beautifully by Wayne Simmonds who found the puck after a blocked shot from the point by Shayne Gostisbehere.
The Flyers got their only other scoring chance of the period when Travis Sanheim jumped into the rush and was fed beautifully in the high slot, but Talbot made a good save and kept the game 1-0.
It looked like the tide was turning with under 5 minutes left in the 1st when Oilers Brad Malone delivered a huge hit on Travis Sanheim setting up a good scoring chance. The Oilers controlled the game for the next couple of minutes, but didn’t generate anything from it.
Period ends 1-0 Flyers.
16:24 Flyers PP Goal Claude Giroux Assisted by Wayne Simmonds & Shayne Gostisbehere
17:00 Oilers Brad Malone 2 min High Sticking
Flyers – 9
Oilers – 7
2nd Period Notes…
Oilers came out hot and roaring to start the second period, generating a 2 on 1 scoring chance off a turnover by Flyers Sean Couturier, which lead to a big save to start the period by Brian Elliott.
However, the Flyers came back with a couple good shifts, the best coming when Jori Lehtera got loose for a mini breakaway from the blue-line, resulting in the Flyers 2nd powerplay of the night. But, the powerplay was very one sided in the opposite way. Edmonton had a 2 on 1 twice during the penalty kill, the best coming with Matt Benning, fresh out of the box, joined Connor McDavid, but Elliott came up big again.
The Oilers got their first powerplay of the game when Flyers Scott Laughton got caught for holding. But it was short lived, as Oilers Connor McDavid got whistled for a high sticking penalty, 4 on 4. However, that was short lived, when Flyers Robert Hagg was whistled for a very weak slashing call. It wasn’t a slash, all he did was tie up the stick. Oilers to a unusual 4-3 powerplay. Flyers killed it off though, still 1-0.
However, at the 4:23 mark of the 2nd, Patrick Maroon, off a great individual effort, beat Elliott to tie the game.
Flyers ended the period with a good late push, but periods ends 1-1.
4:23 Oilers Goal Patrick Maroon Unassisted
17:55 Oilers Matt Benning 2 min Slashing
9:47 Flyers Scott Laughton 2 min Holding
9:06 Oilers Connor McDavid 2 min High Sticking
8:18 Flyers Robert Hagg 2 min Slashing
Flyers – 8 (17)
Oilers – 11 (18)
3rd Period Notes…
Oilers came out flying again, controlling the start of the third. Had great offensive zone time, not creating alot of chances, but controlled the start of the third in zone time dramatically.
But here comes the Flyers. The Flyers first line has a huge shift generating 3 shots on net, all scoring chances. Tides starting to turn the Flyers way.
However, those tides took a slight bump when Michael Raffl was called for a very weak interference penalty. Oilers had a very good powerplay, but it was out-shined by the play of Flyers Andrew MacDonald, who blocked a slap-shot with a the back of his leg, no padding there. He showed great heart and played the rest of his shift on one leg and the Flyers killed it off.
Around the 7:00 minute mark, the Flyers 1st line showed their dominance again and had a huge shift, taking about 2 mins off the clock, getting quality opportunity after quality opportunity, however, no goal. But Flyers are starting to roll now.
Then with 2:15 left in the 3rd period, Wayne Simmonds put the Flyers ahead with a mean wrist shot that beat Talbot glove side. Flyers lead 2-1 now.
Edmonton tried to generate something after that, but couldn’t even get the goalie to the bench till about 40 seconds left in the game.
Game ends Flyers 2-1.
2:15 Flyers Wayne Simmonds Assisted by Valterri Filppula & Jori Lehtera
11:04 Flyers Michael Raffl 2 min Interference
Flyers – 7 (24)
Oilers – 6 (24)
The Flyers defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers were lead by assistant captain Wayne Simmonds, who lead the team with an assist and the game-winning goal. Brian Elliott earned the win after another great performance, stopping 23 of 24 shots faced, including multiple ones from point blank range. Elliott had this to say about how different this game was to the others he has started…
“It’s just different every night. That’s what is fun about playing in the NHL. You never know what you’re gonna get. We had a little trouble scoring last game. We wanted to come out and put some pressure on them and I think we did that early. We were patient. I don’t think guys really panicked in here when it was 1-1. I thought we knew we were gonna come back and win that. Then Simmer had the huge goal to end it there.”
Jori Lehtera had a great rebound game after a shaky first game of the year Thursday against Nashville. Wayne Simmonds had this to say about his part-time linemate…
“I thought Lehts played great. He played a really good game tonight. Big body, really strong on the puck, makes great plays, those really small plays that you may not notice in the stands. He opens up the ice a bit with skating and you know it’s nice playing with him.”
Coach Dave Hakstol also had only good things to say about his second line today and about the grit and toughness Wayne Simmonds plays with every night…
“I thought they played a good hockey game. Tonight is the second night together; it always helps a little with that chemistry. Simmer’s last couple of days, I don’t know how many people would want to go through that and then come back and play a hockey game, but he did it and he scored the game winner.”
Scott Laughton also played another solid game to add to his impressive come-back player of the year award. Today, he was tasked with covering Oilers star Connor McDavid and he was up to the task…
“Yeah, I mean like I said it was all a group effort and I said it two days ago or yesterday, he’s a special player, he’s so quick, so dynamic and to be able to keep him off the score sheet like that is huge for our group and I thought we played a really good third period kinda getting on him and not letting their whole team get space and time and Moose did a good job in the back stopping them.”
Laughton also went on to comment on the inspiration himself and the team gets from the play of Wayne Simmonds, who played today with a chin shield after taking a stick to the mouth Tuesday…
“Yeah, yeah it’s huge I mean everyone’s gotta do it and Simmy does a great job of it and he’s a big vocal guy in our room and he leads by example, too. We follow him and I thought he did a great job tonight just battling through it and we kept going.”
In the end, the Flyers walk away with another key 2 points to start the season against another tough western conference opponent in the Oilers and improve to 5-3-0 on the season. The Flyers are back at it again Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, which will be the final meeting between the two, until again, just like Nashville, if the teams were to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. Game time is slated for 7:00pm and will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports