After a raucous parade in South Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, to greet the beloved Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Many proud orange clad fans then made their way to the Wells Fargo Center to see their Philadelphia Flyers take on the Montreal Canadiens.
The Flyers are having some of the same problems that has haunted this team the past few years…consistency. After a hard fought 2-1 overtime victory against a divisional foe in the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. The orange and black entered Thursday night’s contest against the Canadiens searching for more consistency.
“Yeah, I think the way we played the last few, [we] didn’t play terribly,” Andrew Macdonald stated, when referencing the teams consistency issues. “I thought we had really good stretches over the last few games. Just some untimely errors in plays that led directly to goals, but that being said there’s ups and downs all through the year, it’s just finding a level of consistency every night and when you can do that you usually end up on top.”
Fortunately, the Flyers caught a huge break before the game started, as Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber was ruled out to a lingering foot injury. The Flyers took advantage of a Weberless Canadien team, en route to a 5-3 victory. Brian Elliott got the nod in net again, and he was nothing short of a phenomenal, amassing 25 saves. With the victory, it sends the high flying Flyers on a two game winning streak, and hopefully (Praying) they have turned the corner in becoming a more consistent bunch.
This young Flyers team tried to take command of the game early in the period. They were handed a gift as Tomas Plekanec was called for a holding penalty just 4:09 into the tilt. The orange and black mustered two shots on net for the power play. Carey Price made both saves to keep the game scoreless.
Towards the middle of the period, the Flyers were trying to establish their game. Unfortunately, Claude Giroux took an interference penalty with 13:35 remaining in the period. The Canadiens managed just two shots on net for the power play, to which Elliott made both saves keeping the game scoreless.
The first period came to a close with the Flyers and Canadiens pretty even in terms of play. Price and Elliott were the stars of the period, with both goaltenders making some big saves for their respective clubs. The orange and black outshot the Canadiens 10-9 for the period, and won the faceoff margin 53%-47%.
The Flyers entered the second period determined to take command of the game, and they did just that. Just 42 seconds in the Canadiens turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Shayne Gostisbehere slid a pass to Sean Couturier. Couturier back passed a pass to Claude Giroux, who found a cutting Travis Konecny. Konecny slid the puck past Price for a 1-0 Flyers lead. According to Konecny the Flyers are sticking with the game plan and finding ways to win, “I think that’s been the story of our second half here like we’re just finding ways to win, you know not every night you’re not gonna have a perfect game, a perfect start so just for us tonight it was sticking with it, doing the right things and then it pays off.”
With the building rocking and rolling from Konecny’s early goal. Tomas Pleckanec took a tripping penalty at 13:37 in the period. Unfortunately, the Flyers only mustered one shot on net on the power play, to which Price made the easy save keeping the score 1-0 Flyers.
Towards the middle of the period, the Flyers were clicking on all cylinders. Byron Froese took a slashing penalty with 11:16 remaining in the period. Jakub Voracek turned the puck over in the neutral zone on the power play. This lead to a mini breakaway on Elliott with Artturi Lehkonen leading the charge. He wristed a shot over Elliott’s left shoulder tying the game at 1. It was the Flyers 9th shorthanded goal given up this season, which is tied for most in the NHL.
With approximately one minute remaining on the same penalty to Froese. Giroux sniped a shot from the left circle, past a nicely screened Price to regain the Flyers lead at 2-1. Wayne Simmonds provided the screen which set up the goal. “A little bit better, when you help the team win that’s what you’re trying to do,” Giroux said following the game. “You’re trying to do something to help the team and I think everybody did a good job tonight, power play was able to get a few goals so that was good for us to just kind of relax a little bit.”
Shortly after the Giroux goal. The Flyers were looking to take command of the game. However, Nolan Patrick took a holding penalty at 12:38 in the period. The Canadiens only mustered one shot on net on the power play, to which Elliott made the easy save keeping the score 2-1 Flyers.
This young Flyers team tried to continue their dominance late in the second period. However, the Flyers turned the puck over in the slot of their own zone with 1:11 remaining. Logan Shaw found the puck, and wristed a shot through the five hole of Elliott tying the game at 2.
As the period was coming to a close. Plekanec took his third penalty of the night with 39 seconds remaining. The Flyers only mustered one shot on the power play, to which Price made the easy save keeping the game tied at 2. However, the Flyers were able to carry over 1:21 of power play time to the third period.
The second period came to a close with both teams pretty much even in terms of play. Unfortunately, the Canadiens outshot the Flyers 8-7 for the period, but the orange and black won the faceoff margin 63%-37%.
With the Flyers trying to establish themselves early in the period. Voracek came up with a huge power play goal, with the carry over power play time from the penalty to Plekanec, late in the second period. It took just 27 seconds for Voracek to wrist a beauty, past Price for the 3-2 Flyers lead.
Shortly after the Voracek goal. The Flyers found themselves buzzing in the Canadiens zone, with 18:32 remaining in the period. Konecny found a lose puck after Price made a nice save, and Konecny deposited the puck behind him for a 4-2 Flyers lead. It was Konecny’s second tally of the night.
With just 3:20 to play in the third period. Scott Laughton was called for holding. Brendan Gallagher wristed the puck past Elliott just 26 seconds into the power play, off a nice feed from Jonathan Drouin. This cut the Flyers deficit to 4-3.
With the Canadiens netminder Price pulled for an extra attacker with 56 seconds to play in the game. Ivan Provorov potted his 10th goal of the year for a Flyers 5-3 victory. Elliott dud manage to get an assist on the goal, as well. That’s how the game would end as the Flyers and Canadiens finished tied in shots 28-28, but the orange and black won the faceoff margin 63%-37%. “Yeah, all the help we can get,” Elliott said following the victory in regards to the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders losing. “If we keep taking care of our business, there’s going to be nights where things are going to happen for us too on the other side of it. It’s good, but a lot of hockey left. If we keep packing on the two points, we’ll put ourselves in a good spot,” following the win.
Hopefully, the Flyers can continue their new found success on Saturday night, with a tilt against the Arizona Coyotes at 8 pm in the desert.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports