The Flyers overwhelmed the best young player in the league, Connor McDavid, on Saturday with a team effort, holding him pointless and the Oilers in check, as the Flyers kept rolling and earned a huge two points defeating McDavid and the Oilers 2-1. Overwhelming Connor McDavid was a team effort. This effort, showed off how deep and balanced the Flyers really are. Whether it was Laughton or Couturier, the Flyers made Connor McDavid’s Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia one to forget. However, it doesn’t get any easier for the Flyers as Corey Perry and a returning Ryan Getzlaf lead the Anaheim Ducks to town to end their season series and the Flyers 5-game home stand.
Anaheim, 3-3-1, are coming in off a thrashing victory over the Canadiens Friday night. The Ducks look to keep momentum trending upward through this rough point in their season, dealing with some major injuries to a couple of their star players. However, unfortunately for the Flyers, the Ducks got two key pieces back, Getzlaf & Lindholm, just in time for the meeting between the two.
Philadelphia, 5-3-0, enters the game on a high, coming off a team victory over Connor McDavid and the Oilers. The Flyers will have their hands full again vs the Ducks, as Ryan Getzlaf & Hampus Lindholm return from injury to aid the Ducks, who have been dealing with early injury problems. But, the Flyers look to end the home stand right, with a victory.
Unfortunately, the Flyers will be without veteran Andrew MacDonald, whose play has been noticeably better this season. MacDonald will miss 4-6 weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury Saturday. The injury happened after blocking a shot on the penalty kill in the 3rd period against the Oilers. MacDonald’s did show his ironman statue, as he willed himself to end the shift on one leg and wait for a clear…
“You just got to get up. If you don’t get up, it’s a 5-on-3. There are other opportunities that can arise from it. Do your best and try to hang in there. Wait for some help. Wait until you clear it. It is what it is. Everyone battles through it. You take a shot. You just get up, get back in there and help your guys.”
In the absence of MacDonald, Brandon Manning will rejoin the lineup. This has lead Coach Dave Hakstol to change up the defense pairings a little to balance them out. However, the Flyers defense core sits at six. Therefore, if an injury were to take place, GM Ron Hextall would have to recall a defenseman from the Phantoms. But, he is confident in who they have now on the roster to perform…
“We’ll approach it on a day-to-day basis. There’s only six spots so I don’t really want to call a guy up to sit. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and if we get banged up or whatnot, we’ll make decisions as we go along.”
Speaking of ironman, Flyers assistant captain Wayne Simmonds played Saturday after sitting in a dental chair for five hours Friday for repairs. However, the repairs do not end there for Simmonds. He will have some teeth pulled in the near future…
“Uh, they will get pulled eventually, but they are there for now”,”We will see how many die over the next couple of days.. Tough one.”
Giroux – Couturier – Voracek
Weal – Filppula – Simmonds
Lehtera – Patrick – Konecny
Weise – Laughton – Raffl
Provorov – Hagg
Gostisbehere – Gudas
Manning – Sanheim
Starter – Elliott
Backup – Neuvirth
1st Period Notes…
Game starts with the Ducks controlling. Ducks came out on their feet after an extra day of rest than the Flyers, having played Friday last. Ducks controlled the first couple of minutes of play.
However, the pressure ended when Ducks Nick Ritchie entered as the second man to a faceoff. He got kicked out, resulting in a Flyers powerplay. The Flyers powerplay had good sustained pressure. First unit played most of the powerplay due to the offensive zone control. But, with 10 seconds remaining on the powerplay, Provorov let puck get by him at the point. He tried to tie up the Duck leaving the zone, but was whistled for a penalty. Ducks to the powerplay.
The Ducks powerplay was exactly like the Flyers. Great sustained pressure for the whole two minutes. However, no payoff for the Ducks either. This was a big kill for the Flyers who had their best penalty killer in the box, in Provorov.
That momentum gained from the powerplay showed. With 11:09 to go in the period, Couturier broke through, off a great neutral zone decking show by Giroux, for a mini breakup. He scored and the Flyers lead 1-0.
With a little under 8 minutes to go in period, Gostisbehere made a tremendous driving save in the crease to rob Getzlaf. Gostisbehere definitely kept the game 1-0 there.
Around the 6:00 mark, it was the Flyers first line time to show off. They sustained offensive zone pressure for over a minute. The best chance coming when Voracek was robbed on the doorstep.
Then on the next shift, the Ducks had their best chance. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin got a shot in from the point, that took a deflection off Flyer Ivan Provorov. Fortunately, it hit the post. Still 1-0 Flyers.
That all changed though. With 1:38 to go in the period, the Ducks tied it off a deflection by Ondrej Kase, the brother of Flyers prospect David Kase.
Period ends smoothly after that. Tied 1-1.
11:09 Flyers Goal Sean Couturier Assisted by Claude Giroux & Jake Voracek
1:38 Ducks Goal Ondrej Kase Assisted by Derek Grant
18:03 Ducks Nick Ritchie 2 min Delay of Game (Faceoff Violation)
16:13 Flyers Ivan Provorov 2 min Tripping
5:04 Flyers Radko Gudas 2 min Unsportsmanlike Conduct
5:04 Ducks Kevin Bieksa 2 min Unsportsmanlike Conduct
3:02 Flyers Radko Gudas 5 min Fighting
3:02 Ducks Kevin Bieksa 5 min Fighting
Flyers – 12
Ducks – 6
2nd Period Notes…
Again, the Ducks controlled the first few minutes of the period. They created at least 3 scoring chances in the first few minutes. hey didn’t make the Flyers pay, but it was still early.
However, the biggest point of the period for the Flyers, happened when rookie Nolan Patrick was checked hard into the boards. He went in face first and stayed down. No penalty was called on the play, but Patrick was in trouble. He left the ice holding his shoulder and looked very shaky. From the looks of it, he will miss the next couple of games for sure.
Then, the Ducks made the Flyers pay. At the 14:20 mark, Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour got free, after splitting Manning and Konecny at the blueline. He proceeded to go in all alone and beat Elliott high glove side to break the tie. Ducks lead 2-1.
It proceeded to get worse for the Flyers. At the 13:20 mark, Wayne Simmonds was being manhandled by Ducks center, Ryan Getzlaf. Somehow, after all the pushing stopped, Simmonds ended up with the extra two minutes. Flyers fans were not happy and their opinion was heard with loud booooos.
But, it would get worse for the Flyers. Captain Claude Giroux made a careless play in center, extending his leg out, tripping the Ducks player for an easy penalty call by the refs. And the Ducks capitalized. Just past the halfway point of the game, the Ducks made it 3-1 on the powerplay off the stick of Nick Ritchie.
However, that wasn’t the end of it. The Ducks made it 4-1 with 1:43 left in 2nd. The Ducks found a weak spot in the Flyers defense. Rickard Rakell scored off a great feed from Getzlaf. Flyers Robert Hagg lost positioning in-front of the net to Rakell, who slammed it home easily to extend the lead.
Flyers got a 5 on 3 to end the period. But, the best chance was null, as Giroux flubbed the shot from the point. The period ends 4-1 Ducks.
14:20 Ducks Goal Brandon Montour Assisted by Kalle Kossila & Francois Beauchemin
9:57 Ducks Powerplay Goal Nick Ritchie Assisted by Hampus Lindholm
1:43 Ducks Goal Rickard Rakell Assisted by Ryan Getzlaf & Corey Perry
13:20 Flyers Wayne Simmonds 2 min Holding Stick & 2 min Cross Checking
13:20 Ducks Ryan Getzlaf 2 min Holding
10:54 Flyers Claude Giroux 2 min Tripping
5:30 Ducks Nick Ritchie 2 min Tripping
1:41 Ducks Andrew Cogliano 2 min Tripping
0:49 Ducks Kevin Bieksa 2 min Slashing
Flyers – 13 (25)
Ducks – 12 (18)
3rd Period Notes…
Well, for the third time tonight, the Flyers forgot to come out of the locker room. They were extremely outplayed by the Ducks to start the third. The Flyers really just wanted this game to be over.
And, the Ducks success continued. Ryan Getzlaf got in on the fun and scored a really weak goal from the right dot. Elliott struggled tracking the puck after the 1st period and this was one he should have had. 5-1 Ducks.
The Flyers got one back at the 8:06 mark. Sean Couturier put home a slam dunk off a great feed from Travis Sanheim.
However, the Flyers kept struggling. Provorov got caught at the point, shot puck into Ducks Ondrej Kase, which lead to a break away. Provorov caught up, but slashed the Kase and he was awarded a penalty shot. Kase put a slick move on Elliott and shelved it under the bar. Ducks 6-2.
Game ends 6-2 Ducks.
16:01 Ducks Goal Ryan Getzlaf Assisted by Corey Perry
8:06 Flyers Goal Sean Couturier Assisted by Travis Sanheim & Jake Voracek
4:11 Ducks Penalty Shot Goal Ondrej Kase
13:05 Ducks Rickard Rakell 2 min Slashing
6:28 Ducks Ondrej Kase 2 min Tripping
4:11 Flyers Ivan Provorov Slashing – Penalty Shot Awarded
Flyers – 8 (33)
Ducks – 7 (25)
The Flyers lost a one-sided fight to the Ducks Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Anaheim was the more rested and it clearly showed. Unfortunately, the Flyers looked slow and out of synch. With the Flyers changing everything up Monday, the chemistry for the new defense pairings was not their tonight. A simple fix to the lineup, turned into a mess for the Flyers. Unfortunately, the Flyers ended the game with different pairings then they started with.
Defense has been one of the Flyers strong suits this year and tonight was a minor setback. Coach Dave Hakstol needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to balance out the Flyers while MacDonald is out.
Another very concerning problem for the Flyers is the health of rookie Nolan Patrick. Patrick left the game about 3 minutes into the 2nd period. He got hit from behind and went head first into the boards. He got up favoring his shoulder and looked a little shaky.
Brian Elliott had a night to forget tonight. Elliott stopped 19 of 25 shots faced. Including, allowing a penalty shot goal to Ondrej Kase in the 3rd. Elliott said the team could have played a lot better tonight…
“A little bit, to a point. We could have been a lot better. Starting with me in the net, that’s where it all starts. You make some of your own bounces too. We didn’t get some, but we also didn’t help ourselves too much tonight.”
However, the night wasn’t all lost for the Flyers. As, Flyers rookie Travis Sanheim recorded his first career NHL point. He feed Sean Couturier, who was on the doorstep, for a slam dunk.
Flyers Captain Claude Giroux summed up the period that killed the Flyers tonight..
“I think we got to do a better job keeping our composure. We weren’t happy with some of their calls. I was probably the first one to lose my composure. We got away from our game plan.”
The Flyers will head out on the road now after the 5-game home stand. They will play their next 4 of 5 games on the road. First, a quick 2-game road trip above the border. They will be in Ottawa Thursday and Toronto Saturday. Then, they do return home for a game against the Coyotes Monday. However, head right back out after Monday’s game for a quick 2-game central road trip as they face the Blackhawks and the Blues. Game time Thursday in Ottawa is 7:30pm and will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports