The day after Thanksgiving is usually when consumers are at the stores, reaping the benefits of all the “Black Friday” deals. The Philadelphia Flyers reap a different kind of benefit on “Black Friday.” It’s the winning kind of benefit that shows in the Metropolitan Division standings. On 11/29/2019, the Flyers secured their second win in a row on the traditional “Black Friday” game. Philadelphia defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 6-1.
Early in the first period, Scott Laughton gave the Philadelphia Flyers an early lead, scoring on a breakaway in the first three minutes. In goal for the Detroit Red Wings was Calvin Pickard, who ironically was the Flyers goaltender last year on “Black Friday.” The Red Wings would tie the game up when Andreas Athanasiou’s pass deflected off a skate and set up perfectly for Robby Fabbri to slap past Carter Hart. Philadelphia would answer back before the end of the period. On the powerplay, Shayne Gostisbehere’s backhand shot on a rebound would find its way into the net.
This game was full of goals that came at the worst of times for the Detroit Red Wings. Each time a puck crossed the goal line for the Philadelphia Flyers, it deflated the Red Wings. The Wells Fargo Center erupted with each dagger-like goal. In the last minute of the second period, Sean Couturier finished on a good feed from Matt Niskanen to extend the lead, 3-1. Niskanen set that play up after taking a puck to the face earlier in the contest.
In the first minute of the third period, Scott Laughton showed off his soft, controlled passing on a broken play that was recovered quickly. Laughton passed the puck slightly behind Kevin Hayes so that it deflected off of him and past Calvin Pickard. Leading 4-1, the Philadelphia Flyers were in full control. In the same first minute, Ivan Provorov came down the wing and centered the puck at the crease for Oskar Lindblom to score. Up 5-1, Philadelphia scored again with two minutes left after Tyler Pitlick put his rebounded shot on net to be cleaned up and converted by James van Riemsdyk.
Not only in this game were we able to see a cohesive unit of offense fall into place under Alain Vigneault’s formula, but the puck was spread around the ice. The Philadelphia Flyers are a dangerous hockey team on any given night because they have a cast that can score, not just a star player or a star line. Six different players scored six different goals tonight with Calvin Pickard in the net. Scott Laughton, Shayne Gostisbehere, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, Oskar Lindblom, and James van Riemsdyk all teamed up to get the job done. The final step is producing like this against teams of equal or higher quality.
It doesn’t matter who your opponent is in the NHL when you take on above 30 shots in a game, that is a sign of an offense with scoring chances. Carter Hart saved 32 of 33 shots for a save percentage of 97%. In the first period of this game, I would argue that the Detroit Red Wings could have led the Philadelphia Flyers if it wasn’t for Hart. The momentum and game flow could have been absolutely altered. Hart kept his focus and showed out in a dominating performance to secure another win this season.
If there is one trend that is the most important to the Philadelphia Flyers, it is the current trend of winning in regulation. There officially is a streak of regulation victories in favor of the Flyers. That means points are being divided out to the opponent and separation between Philadelphia and the NHL is happening. With this win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Flyers are in third place in the Metropolitan Division. Now all that needs to happen is Philadelphia wins another game, preferably in regulation, and the New York Islanders lose for the Flyers to slide into second place.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada against the Montreal Canadiens. This game takes place on Saturday, November 30th at 3:00 pm. Be sure to give a follow for more Flyers coverage at EricReesePSN on Twitter and follow Philly Sports Network at PhiladelphiaSN!
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre