[email protected] Flyers – March 11, 2019
Flyers look to trounce reeling Senators to continue their playoff race.
The Flyers are still fighting for a playoff spot. With only 15 games left in the season and 5 points out, the Flyers still have a chance to pull off an improbable playoff berth. While it should not be counted on for a playoff appearance, there is some hope since the Flyers have had the 2nd best record in the national hockey league since January 1st. It’s a complete 180 turn from the team that fired it’s GM and head coach several months ago. Now the Flyers had an unsuspecting difficult opponent, the Ottawa Senators who have quickly fallen to the bottom of the league. A team loaded with with average talent and young top prospects, this team could be more difficult than the numbers state. A team like the Senators can sit back and play a relaxed game only really looking to get themselves out of the bottom of the league.
It’s important to note that Carter Hart is finally healthy and Scott Gordon opted to go with red hot Brian Elliott.
The first period started off with a lot of back and forth with majority of the Flyers lines looking out of sync. It’s not that surprising considering Scott Gordon decided to change up the lines from the Flyers previous game. Going with the top line of Giroux, Couturier, and Lindblom was a surprising move considering the Flyers top line of Giroux, Patrick, and JVR was successful in it’s previous game. The top line did look good early and generated scoring opportunities the majority of the time on the ice, but the Flyers were not shooting the puck enough and with 7 minutes into the game the Flyers did not get a single shot on net. They had some decent scoring chances, but the inability to hit the net or convert on odd man rushes, quickly turned
It was a quiet start to the 2nd period, but that didn’t last very long as Shayne Gostisbehere took a ripper of a slap shot from the point that lucky redirected off of Oskar Lindbloms skate to tie the game up at 1-1. This is just the luck the Flyers needed to get this game under control. After that came consistent pressure from the Flyers. Carrying the play throughout the period. Flyers continued to press and dominate zone entries against the Senators. Aout 4 minutes later the Flyers buried another goal after a very diligent forecheck by Nolan Patrick. Patrick outmuscled his man for a quick backhand pass to Michael Raffl, who was all alone for a wide open net. It was a nice win for Raffl who was playing in his 400th NHL game. Nolan Patrick on the other hand was really looking like a player who’s ready to handle a permanent top 6 role now. Regardless of who he’s played with, he’s excelled of late. With a 2-1 the Flyers dominated the scoring chances in the 2nd period. Shots were now 16-10 for the game with 12:24 left in the 2nd. A couple of power plays for the Flyers came in quick succession, but the Flyers did not manage to score anything with the man advantage. What was most encouraging is that the Flyers kept attacking after their failed power plays and with just 30 seconds left in the game the Flyers 3rd line of Laughton, Raffl, and Konecny scored again. Catching the Senators on a bad change, Travis Konecny quickly took the puck the wing to a streaking Scott Laughton in the middle and just like that, the Flyers had 3-1 lead going into the 3rd period. It was safe to say the Flyers had the Senators exactly where they wanted them.
The Flyers started the 3rd period with all the momentum. And an early penalty by Radko Gudas did not seem to slow the Flyers down at all. For majority of the third period the Flyers dominated the play and gave up very little in the way of chances to the scrappy Senators. Craig Anderson was able to stop the Flyers waves of attacks and made several key saves to keep his team in the game. They young Senators team showed grit and frustration as the game went on and things began to get a bit chippy between the the two teams. Something that played to Ottawa’s advantage as the game came to a close. With three minutes left in regulation the Senators finally beat Brian Elliot and suddenly there was some worry. However, the Flyers showed that they are not the same team that couldn’t hold onto leads several months ago. The Flyers carried the play for the final 2 minutes of regulation and gave up very little in the way of scoring chances.
The Flyers managed to hold onto the 3-2 lead and take another win at home. On the same night the Columbus Blue Jackets (three points ahead of the Flyers) lost their game to the New York Islanders. The Flyers are now only 3 points out of a playoff spot. They have an opportunity to makeup more ground on Thursday March 14th against the high powered Washington Capitals. With Jake Voracek’s suspension appeal being held on Tuesday, the Flyers hope they can get one of their top players back for a big game against a deep team.
|23 Oskar Lindblom – 14 Sean Couturier – 28 Claude Giroux25 James van Riemsdyk – 19 Nolan Patrick – 11 Travis Konecny12 Michael Raffl – 21 Scott Laughton- 38 Ryan Hartman44 Phil Varone -10 Corban Knight|
9 Ivan Provorov – 6 Travis Sanheim53 Shayne Gostisbehere – 61 Phil Myers8 Robert Hägg – 3 Radko Gudas47 Andrew MacDonald
37 Brian Elliott / 72 Carter Hart
Scratches: 93 Jakub Voracek (NHL suspension), 33 Cam Talbot (healthy), 5 Sam Morin (healthy), 30 Michal Neuvirth (IR)
|7 Brady Tkachuk – 44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 10 Anthony Duclair15 Zack Smith – 36 Colin White – 9 Bobby Ryan17 Brian Gibbons – 24 Oscar Lindberg – 89 Mikkel Boedker38 Rudolfs Balcers – 71 Chris Tierney – 56 Magnus Pääjärvi|
72 Thomas Chabot – 2 Dylan DeMelo86 Christian Wolanin – 5 Cody Ceci74 Mark Borowiecki – 67 Ben Harpur
41 Craig Anderson / 31 Anders NilssonScratches: 83 Christian Jaros (questionable)
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports