In the first two games of the season, the Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-0) total eleven goals, sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins (0-2-0).
If you didn’t bet the over, you should have. The Philadelphia Flyers are going to put up goals in droves this season. Alain Vigneault has a beautiful track record against the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltenders. Six goals were scored on Wednesday, and five more tonight. Tonight, the Flyers were back in their lab.
First period: Flyers come out swinging
Early on, the Pittsburgh Penguins were doing a lot of good things. They were winning the battle behind the boards, which was the recipe for going ahead in the first period on Wednesday. Scott Laughton and Nolan Patrick felt how physical the Penguins were playing first hand. Then, the Philadelphia Flyers took to the powerplay.
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek guided the powerplay unit. Scoring the first goal of the game was Travis Konecny. The passing on this play was dreamy. Giroux and Voracek are still some of the best passers on the team. Tic-tac before Konecny added the toe.
Less than two minutes later, Konecny did it again. At the other end of the ice, Carter Hart made a wonderful save on a Pittsburgh rush. In transition, the Flyers forwards crashed the net. Patrick had the initial effort, saved by a leg pad. Konecny would not be denied, forcing the puck into the net. Philadelphia goes up 2-0.
Within four and a half minutes, the Flyers scored the magic “Tristan Jarry” amount. Three goals on the scoreboard. Jarry, in seven of eight career games against an Alain Vigneault, coached team, has allowed three or more goals. Ivan Provorov scores while Jarry had a broken stick. He then was relieved for Casey DeSmith.
Just when it seemed the Flyers were in cruise-control, Pittsburgh kept fighting. Hart gave up a rebound, which allowed Sidney Crosby to score his second powerplay goal in two games. The puck barely crossed the line, but it counts. The Penguins get on the scoreboard, down 3-1.
Shortly after, Brandon Tanev added his second goal in as many games. Hart allowed another juicy rebound, which he paid for. As quickly as Philadelphia seemed to be in the driver’s seat, Pittsburgh took back the momentum. The Flyers found a way to slow down the pace. In the second half of the first period, they were playing undisciplined hockey.
Second Period: Penalty problems
Nicolas Aube-Kubel stayed in the penalty box as the second period began. His minor for cross-checking had little over a minute left. Hart made a collage of clutch saves against an array of Penguins. Through the first half of the second, Philadelphia regained control of the pace.
DeSmith held his ground after replacing Jarry. Between the two goaltenders, the second period became a duel. The Flyers penalty-kill executed their role during the second period. Michael Raffl and Oskar Lindblom had a scoring chance in close, but DeSmith denied the effort. Philadelphia bailed themselves out of a lot of Pittsburgh odd-man rushes.
Third Period: Flyers play ‘Shinny Hockey’
Following a scoreless second, the Flyers entered the final period with a one-goal lead. To this point, Philadelphia only totaled thirteen shots on goal. That means that Jarry allowed three goals on six shots. His save percentage in game one was already at bad 76%. Now, that dips lower after saving 50% of shots tonight.
Last period, the Flyers played “shinny hockey,” as Scott Hartnell called it. Slowly, they began to dictate the flow of the game in the third period. Vigneault recalibrated his strategy in the second intermission. Playing with a one-goal lead, Philadelphia was picking their opportunities while melting time off the clock.
Konecny, who led the Flyers in scoring last season, records the first hat-trick of his career. Against the Penguins, Philadelphia’s forwards are streaking in 2020-2021. To open the season, Joel Farabee tallied four points. Tonight, it’s Konecny with the hot stick, totaling three goals on as many shots.
In the late minutes, Oskar Lindblom added an empty-net goal. Pulling DeSmith did not work for the extra skater. The Flyers defeat Pittsburgh, 5-2.
Philadelphia takes on the Buffalo Sabres for the first time this season. It’ll be the third home game in a row for the Flyers, who swept the Penguins. Thus far, the Sabres are winless. With the momentum of two consecutive victories against their in-state rival, the Flyers look to continue their winning ways. It’s a start that will prove to be crucial this season.