Flyers punch out the Capitals: What we learned

Flyers' Cam Atkinson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Cam Atkinson (89) skates with the puck during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Behind Derick Brassard and Martin Jones, the Philadelphia Flyers pick up two giant points in the standings against the Washington Capitals.

Against the Arizona Coyotes, Rasmus Ristolainen admittedly stated the Flyers were “outskated” for two periods. Following that, Philadelphia lost to a mightily depleted Pittsburgh Penguins lineup.

Last night, the Flyers proved themselves in another culture-defining game. Chuck Fletcher vouched for Martin Jones’ reunion with Kim Dillabaugh. So far, his decision to acquire Jones has paid off. Each victory on his resume this season has come against stubborn competition. Giving Carter Hart a rest tonight against the Washington Capitals could be the right move.

First Period

Deservingly so, the Philadelphia Flyers’ third line set the tone for the team in the first period. Rasmus Ristolainen set the bar, stapling Nick Jensen into the boards a couple of times in a few seconds.

Throughout the game, the Flyers were able to keep the Washington Capitals powerplay units from scoring. It began early, but Cam Atkinson nearly converted a shorthanded chance. Alexander Ovechkin is an all-time hockey player, executing a diving poke check from behind to bail out Vitek Vanecek.

Travis Konecny nearly snuck a backhanded wrap-around goal past Vanecek. As a whole, Philadelphia showed they were better than their last two games. Alain Vigneault emphasized establishing dominance in the neutral zone. The game plan provided a buffer for the defense and created offense.

Speaking of the neutral zone, Conor Sheary was upended twice in about fifteen seconds, first by Ristolainen.

At the end of the first period, the Flyers had a few seconds remaining on a powerplay opportunity. Philadelphia controlled the overwhelming majority of the opening twenty minutes. Both goaltenders held their own, forcing a scoreless period.

Second Period

Usually, the worry is that the Philadelphia Flyers won’t begin the following period at the pace they need to. That wasn’t a problem yesterday. The Flyers started every period at a healthy pace.

Travis Konecny was getting the business within the crease from Vitek Vanecek. Next, Derick Brassard stood up for Konecny, earning an irresponsible penalty for punching a player in the head from the bench. Afterward, Brassard punched the first goal of the game by Vanecek. He stood up for Konecny against Vanecek, after all. Most importantly, it reflects on the scoreboard.

Martin Jones was electric throughout this game. Each time he starts, he makes Chuck Fletcher seem brilliant.

Scott Laughton and Rasmus Ristolainen began to get chippy with Nic Dowd and Tom Wilson. These two teams will be an exciting watch throughout 2021-2022. Ristolainen threw his body around the ice and contributed on offense. He threw a shot on goal, and it turned into an assist when Sean Couturier cleaned the rebound.

After two, Philadelphia led 2-0.

Third Period

Brett Leason gets credit for ruining Martin Jones’ shutout bid. An unlucky deflection off Leason allowed the puck to sneak through a small slot over Jones’ shoulder.

Jones didn’t allow many rebound opportunities. He deserved that shutout. Through three games, he’s 3-0.

Nick Seeler desperately held the stick of Alexander Ovechkin. On the crease, Ovechkin nearly tied the game. His penalty ended up being a smart one to take overall. It helped the Philadelphia Flyers maintain the lead.

Ultimately, the Flyers held on to win, 2-1.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers return home for one game, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. The puck drops at 7:30pm on November 10th, 2021, from the Wells Fargo Center.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire