Five Flyers Observations: Wayne Simmonds scores Flyers 2nd short-handed Goal of the season

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Just 34 seconds after Nolan Patrick made it a one goal game, the Flyers took a really weak penalty in center ice.

However, just 78 seconds later, the Flyers did something they haven’t done since the home opener back on October 14th. The Flyers scored a short-handed goal off the stick of Wayne Simmonds.

The play all started off a block by Andrew MacDonald in the defensive zone. Filppula then beat a tired Leafs player to the puck and started up ice. Where, after skating it all the way up ice, found Wayne Simmonds on the back side for the goal.

“Tonight the tying goal obviously a huge play on the PK,” Hakstol said, “PK did a great job for us tonight.”

The goal was Simmonds 16th on the season. But, more importantly, it was the Flyers second short-handed goal of the season.

A bigger bonus was it tied the game at two.

Here are 4 more observations from the Flyers 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs…

 

Michal Neuvirth
Very deserving of the night’s first star, Neuvirth showed why he can be a key to the Flyers playoff push. Neuvirth shined tonight saving 29 of the 31 shots he faced.

However, unlike Tuesday, Neuvirth made the timely saves the Flyers needed tonight. Time after time, Neuvirth came up big and kept the game tied late in the 3rd for the Flyers.

“Obviously it’s tough giving up two quick goals, but I survived the second and had time to regroup.” Neuvirth said. “I was just focusing on the next shot. Just happy the way the guys responded in the third.”

None bigger than his highway robbery of Patrick Marleau with 2:32 remaining in the 3rd.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/954195748530409473

 

Nolan Patrick
A Flyer that has been on a tare lately has been Nolan Patrick. Ever since a poor game against his rival Nico Hischier, Patrick has found his stride and he was rewarded tonight.

Just 1:33 into the 3rd, Patrick started the Flyers comeback with his 3rd of the season. It was Patrick’s first goal since November 18th against the Flames.

“Yeah, for sure. Slumping for a while there. I tried to forget how many games it was in a row without a goal and just playing.” Patrick said. “I thought I was playing some good hockey lately and I knew it would come. Thought my linemates were both great tonight.”

Patrick is starting to find his role with the Flyers and it has been showing with more faith from his head coach Dave Hakstol.

 

Where Did The Power-Play Go?
For the second straight game, the Flyers power-play did not score. It was the first time the Flyers haven’t scored a power-play goal in back-to-back games since Dec 23 and Dec 28.

Starting the month with a poor performance against Pittsburgh, the Flyers power-play had been on a tear. In a stretch of 4 games after Pittsburgh, the Flyers power-play was 7 for 13.

Now, after an 0 for 3 against the Rangers Tuesday and an 0 for 2 against the Leafs tonight, the Flyers are looking for answers on how to end the slump and get back on track. Therefore, a change may be necessary.

However, it has to be a smart move. A move maybe like taking Brandon Manning off the 2nd unit and replacing him with Travis Konecny? That would add some juice to the 2nd unit and the Flyers power-play efforts.

 

Emotional Night
There are now 6 numbers in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center. The last Flyers number to be retired was Mark Howe’s #2 on March 6, 2012. Before Howe, you have to go back 22 years to the next Flyers number retired. Flyers fans didnt have to wait 22 years this time.

“I just walked the concourse and this morning I went from a stroll to see all the shirts in the seats, it’s unbelievable.” Lindros said. “This is one of those days that you take for the rest of your life. It’s a special moment and you really feel lucky.”

Tonight, Eric Lindros’s #88 went into the rafters. Lindros’s #88 is the next great number Flyers to retire. Lindros joins Bernie Parent #1, Mark Howe #2, Barry Ashbee #4, Dave Schultz #7, & Bobby Clarke #16 as the only Flyers to have their numbers retired.

 

Result : Flyers 3 – Leafs 2, WIN

Record : 21 – 16 – 8

Next Game : 1/20 New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia PA, 1:00pm

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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