Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers proved that they are world-beaters. In three out of four games, they have been victorious against teams that have claimed the spot of NHL’s best. First, it was the Washington Capitals who were defeated in regulation. Second, it was the Boston Bruins who were defeated in a shootout. Now, it’s the St. Louis Blues who were defeated in overtime.
St. Louis continues their streak of not losing in regulation when scoring first in a game, but their winning streak has been broken at home. Justin Faulk got the St. Louis Blues on the board first on a powerplay goal, which was noted as a deadly component to their offense. While the Philadelphia Flyers did surrender penalties in the first period, Brian Elliott became stingy in the first period after Faulk scored. Defensively, the Flyers tightened up. The Blues held a 1-0 lead going into the second period.
Philadelphia answered back in the second period, turning the momentum in their favor on the road. Against a team that is tied for the NHL lead in points, the Philadelphia Flyers regrouped on the road. Tyler Pitlick, a player that Alain Vigneault highlighted due to recent lineup changes, got the Flyers on the board to tie the St. Louis Blues. Exactly three minutes later, Michael Raffl added to the flurry to give the Flyers an important lead. At the end of the second period, it was Philadelphia who took control, 2-1.
In the third period, the Philadelphia Flyers appeared to come apart at the seams. Travis Konecny converted on the powerplay to put the Flyers up, 3-1. With the dreaded two-goal lead, the St. Louis Blues started to come back in the third period. Ryan O’Reilly scored to cut the lead to 3-2 off an assist from Brayden Schenn. The equalizer came off the stick of Alex Steen to force the game into an overtime period.
Do you love overtime hockey yet? It seems like the Philadelphia Flyers are big fans of overtime hockey this season. Veterans this season of hockey beyond regulation, the Flyers were ready to knock off the St. Louis Blues on the road. Brian Elliott was clutch in overtime, allowing offensive possession to seal the game. This time, the game-winner came off the stick of Jakub Voracek as Philadelphia snapped the Blues nine-game home win streak with a 4-3 victory.
Is it preposterous to state that Brian Elliott is the road warrior that the Philadelphia Flyers need? He hasn’t played badly on the road this season. Here the Flyers are, defeating another team that sits at the top of the NHL. This could be the turning point that the Philadelphia faithful were looking for. Tonight, Elliott and company are still in position for a playoff spot.
The St. Louis Blues were winners of nine in a row at home. Before puck drop tonight, that was a daunting task for the Philadelphia Flyers to take on due to their losses on the road. The Flyers fanbase ought to take this as the tides changing. Brian Elliott was the best option to bring back as a backup goaltender this season and he’s continuing to prove his worth. The depth on the Philadelphia roster runs deep!
In Alain Vigneault We Trust
In the Philly Sports Network New Year’s Resolution piece, I resolved to put trust in Alain Vigneault. Follow that lead! With Carter Hart injured, he steered this Philadelphia Flyers team in the right direction with his adjustments against a team tied for the most points in the NHL. This isn’t the Flyers of last year. Trust in the depth, trust in Alain Vigneault, and it’s also time to have faith in Chuck Fletcher.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are home at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to host the Montreal Canadiens. This game takes place on Thursday, January 16th at 7 pm. Be sure to give a follow for more Flyers coverage at EricReesePSN and PhiladelphiaSN on Twitter!
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