The Flyers kicked off a five game road trip with an impressive 6-2 win over the Sabres this afternoon. Lots went right for the Orange and Black in this one but there’s always room for improvement right? Here are my three positives and three negatives from this afternoons game against Buffalo.
Giroux tallies 4 points:
Claude Giroux has been on absolute tear of late as he’s racked up a total of eight points in his last five games. Four of those points came this afternoon as Giroux paved the way for the Orange and Black. Giroux first helped set up James van Riemsdyk in the first period when he won a faceoff draw and got it right back to JVR who snapped it past Linus Ullmark to cut the lead to 2-1. With the game tied up early in the 3rd period, Giroux took matters into his own hands when he capitalized on a 2 on 1 and ripped a shot into the back of the net to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead. Did I mention it was a shorthanded goal? That just makes it ten times better. The captain later racked up two more helpers to finish the afternoon off with a grand total of 4 points. This is the seventh time in his career that he has finished with four points in a game.
Stolie Shuts Down Buffalo:
Man oh man was Anthony Stolarz on top of things this afternoon. He stopped 28 of 30 shots and made some jaw dropping saves to keep the Flyers in this one. His biggest save came late in the 1st period when he made a spectacular save on a Connor Sheary shot keeping the Flyers within one late in the 1st period. If Stolie doesn’t make that save, we could be talking about a whole different outcome. It was only fitting that he got awarded the POG helmet for his solid performance.
Six Goals Scored By Six Different Flyers:
Talk about a variety of goal scorers. Six different guys put the puck into the back of the net this afternoon helping the Flyers right the ship to begin this five game road trip. After falling behind 2-0 early in the game, the Flyers scored six straight to seal the deal. James van Riemsdyk, Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Dale Weise, and Travis Konecny all lit the lamp this afternoon. A total of ten Flyers recorded at least a point in this one. What a way to spread the love.
Eichel Lights The Lamp Twice
The Flyers found themselves down two goals early in the first period due in part to the fact that “Captain Jack” was a one man wrecking crew. Eichel got the scoring started when he was given plenty of room to enter the Flyers zone and fired a bullet past Stolarz to get Buffalo on the board early. Not much later, he found himself alone in front of the net where he was able to redirect a shot from Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead. He was by far the Sabres best player this afternoon,
The Powerplay Woes Continue:
Since the Flyers went 3 for 5 on the powerplay against the Lightning back on November 17th, they haven’t been able to capitalize on a single opportunity. I sound like a broken record here, but good teams have a good powerplay and the Flyers powerplay has been below average all season long . In fact, they currently rank 28th in the NHL with a percentage rate of 14.5%. That’s simply just not good enough. The Flyers got two chances this afternoon but once again came up empty. There best chance was a shot from Jake Voracek that was robbed by the glove of Linus Ullmark. Besides that, the Flyers really couldn’t get anything set up and once again let an opportunity to cash in slip by them.
Couturier Sits With A Lower Body Injury:
The Flyers received some tough news a few hours before puck drop this afternoon when the team announced center Sean Couturier would not play today due to a lower body injury. This forced the Flyers to do some juggling with there lines before the game. Couturier would’ve been they guy matched up with Jack Eichel most of the game but obviously that didn’t happen. Couturier is listed as day to day and it is not yet know if he will play Sunday in Winnipeg. Sean Couturier has ten goals, ten assists, and a total of twenty points on the season . He is definitely an important piece to the puzzle for the Flyers.
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports