After a flat out bad game against the Devils, the frustration quickly came to an end. Goaltender Brian Elliott bounced back mightily with a 25 save performance, and his defense didn’t leave him out to dry. The offense was clicking, goals came in bunches, and the Flyers made a 7-2 statement win.
In fact, the Flyers played so well, it had Washington Capitals Todd Reirden steaming. After Philadelphia scored three of their seven goals in less than a two-minute span, Reirden had enough:
The leading Selke candidate got the scoring going for both teams tonight. He scored early on the powerplay, providing the early special-teams spark. He then found himself with a beautiful goal sandwiched in between two other quick Flyer goals in the second period.
Coots was all over the ice tonight and came close to a hat-trick on numerous occasions. The best two-way forward in the league came up big for his team while staying hot, with 15 points in his last 18 games.
If anyone deserves any credit for going above and beyond tonight, it’s this man.
NAK picked up his first career fight en route to a Gordie Howe Hat-trick, the first of his career as well. This man plays with elite energy each and every night and has solidified his roster spot for the season. The youngster sniped cheese top shelf to beat Holtby to extend the Flyers’ lead to four early in the third period.
NAK is just so much fun to watch and provides the much-needed spark on a gamely basis.
I know what you’re thinking: How can you put Robert Hagg, of all people, as the third star over Giroux and Elliot?
Well, that’s because ironman Bobby Hagg had one of the best games of his career, defensively.
He may not be any type of special player yet, but Hagg certainly made his presence known on the defensive end tonight. The birthday boy blocked back-to-back rippers by Ovi in his sweet spot to keep the Capitals scoreless on that powerplay. Fans can rip on Hagg all they want, but this man played his heart out tonight, finished plus-two, and deserves full credit for his performance.
Player of the Game:
You didn’t think the captain, Mr. 800, could be left out, did you? Claude Giroux finessed a three-point night, tallying a clapper from the slot and helping two goals. His trifecta performance pushed him to the 800 point mark for his career. He is the 4th Flyer in franchise history to achieve this accolade, joining Flyer Hall of Famers Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, and Brian Propp.
In fact, his 800th career point came on his 250th NHL goal, as well.
The captain needed a breakout game, as he was on the brink of having a career-long 14 game goalless drought. Captain clutch got through to his team in a much-needed game.
Philadelphia will take the train back home, and hope to have Carter Hart back in net for the first time since injuring his abdomen in mid-January. The Florida Panthers come to town, with puck drop slated for 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Make sure to follow along with Philly Sports Network’s Flyers’ writers on Twitter, and watch the game with us!
Mandatory Credit – © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University