The Hat Trick: Flyers Advance to New Levels Against the Same ‘Ol Devils

Czech Republic Flyers Blackhawks Hockey
Philadelphia Flyers, from left, Tyler Pitlick, James van Riemsdyk, Jakub Voracek and Carter Hart, celebrate after they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in an NHL Global Series ice hockey game in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Ondrej Deml/CTK via AP)

Coming off of a stomping defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers needed to get back on the right track. A familiar opponent can play in the favor of a struggling team, especially one that they’ve beaten before. The New Jersey Devils lost to the Flyers earlier this season with Carter Hart securing the victory. The hope is for Hart to come back to the skill he possesses. In all, Philadelphia needs a win back.

This game was a back and forth affair. The referees let the players play and this was a physical game on the ice all night long. German Rubotsov made his debut with the Philadelphia Flyers last night and Philippe Myers made his first start of the NHL season. Former Flyer, now New Jersey Devil, Wayne Simmonds scored his first goal of the year on the powerplay. Philadelphia would answer back about four minutes later with a goal from Oskar Lindblom, who has been on fire this season.

In the second period, the “TLC Line” would be back at the scene of the crime again. This time it was Sean Couturier who rifled a slap shot past MacKenzie Blackwood to put the Philadelphia Flyers in the lead. The first lead wouldn’t last through the second period as the New Jersey Devils had an answer, this time from Sami Vatanen. Another powerplay goal from the Devils after Travis Sanheim lost his footing. Being a man down and opening free space is just something that cannot happen.

Starting the final period of play, the Philadelphia Flyers were with the New Jersey Devils, 2-2. Taylor Hall broke the ice and secured a lead for the Devils about halfway through the third period after Justin Braun hit Hall from behind. It was a dirty hit and it was instant karma when Hall fell forward to the goal, forcing the puck past Carter Hart. A minute and a half later, Joel Farabee finally recorded his first goal of the season! After a collection of non-goals, this one counts as the Flyers head into overtime hockey.

I love overtime hockey. The high tension three-on-three hockey makes every moment matter that much more. The aforementioned non-goal calls came back to haunt Joel Farabee in overtime. He just cannot catch a break. The Philadelphia Flyers came close to winning in the overtime period, but the New Jersey Devils survived to force a shootout.

I despise a shootout. I’ve said this once this season and I stand by it. Raised a Philadelphia Flyers fan, it is one of the biggest reasons why we left games with one point instead of the necessary two. However, tonight was different. Carter Hart collected himself in clutch moments and Sean Couturier gave MacKenzie Blackwood the filth. The final score, after a shootout, was in favor of the Flyers, 4-3.

Has Carter Hart Broken His Funk?

Allowing one goal a period is something that I won’t ever get mad about with a goaltender. No one who plays between the pipes is going to be perfect. This performance from Carter Hart was a lot better than it shows in the stat book. The goal from Wayne Simmonds is one goal, on a powerplay, that Hart had a tough time recovering on. The others should be rested on team play and defense before Hart.

On the powerplay goal from Sami Vatanen, the penalty kill unit looked fine until Travis Sanheim lost his footing and went down on the ice. That moment alone opened up the slot for a point break snipe against Hart. Hart hardly had the time to react to that scoring chance and it cost the Philadelphia Flyers penalty kill. I believe that Hart would have made the save on Hall if Justin Braun doesn’t make that ridiculous hit from behind. Without Hall falling into Hart and the puck being propelled forward, I think Joel Farabee would have the game-winner in regulation and the New Jersey Devils don’t get the one point from overtime hockey.

T(ravis) L(indblom) C(outurier)

We’re twelve games into this season and the line that has been the offensive workhorse for the Philadelphia Flyers has their earned nickname. I love watching this line just go to work. Travis Konecny has been the leading scorer this season for the Philadelphia Flyers. His partner in crime, Oskar Lindblom, has been trending in the right direction in part of Konecny’s success. Sean Couturier is an elite player and he continues to prove that each season.

The play at the blue line from Sean Couturier is what sets him apart from most forwards in this league. Tonight, he had one goal and one assist, not counting his shootout game-winner. Oskar Lindblom had the same stat line that Couturier did. Travis Konecny provided another assist this season to Lindblom. A high percentage of the team goals are coming from this “TLC Line.”

German Rubtsov and Philippe Myers

It’s always welcoming to see a new face on the Philadelphia Flyers roster. Tonight, that spot belonged to German Rubtsov. He tallied a shot on goal, no points credited, but he’s getting up to speed with the NHL level. I like seeing Alain Vigneault mix around the lineup to see what players can contribute to the Flyers early on in the season. I’ll be keeping an eye on Rubtsov like I was during the pre-season.

Philippe Myers didn’t tally a goal, didn’t record an assist, and didn’t even take a shot on net. He still made his impression on me. Myers showed that he has a physical presence on the ice on defense. I’ve been salivating for a young, physical defenseman to throw his weight around and play the position. Myers doesn’t have to be the smoothest, but in his first start this season, he looked like a welcome addition.

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are home at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This game takes place tonight, November 2nd at 7:00 pm. Thank you for reading and be sure to give a follow for more Flyers coverage at EricReesePSN on Twitter and Instagram!

Mandatory Credit: (Ondrej Deml/CTK via AP)