Flyers defeat Sens, Giroux in their first clash of 2022-2023

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Flyers' Zack MacEwen
Philadelphia Flyers center Zack MacEwen (17) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

After dropping the first two of the three-game road trip, the Philadelphia Flyers (6-3-2) outlasted the Ottawa Senators (4-7-0) at the Canadian Tire Centre, 2-1.

“To get two points on this road trip, it’s great for us going back home. Snapped out of the funk we were in.”

Zack MacEwen; 11/5/2022

Claude Giroux battled the Flyers for the first time. In 2022-2023, he is 0-2-0 against his former clubs.

Philadelphia improved to 3-0-0 following a back-to-back series. Kevin Hayes and Zack MacEwen accounted for the goal-scoring. Carter Hart improved to 6-0-2, remaining undefeated in regulation time.

“It was a great sustained pressure shift. I was getting the puck behind their defense, turning it over getting pucks to the net. It’s nice when you get a look like that and it goes in.”

Zack MacEwen; 11/5/2022

Giroux scored his 300th NHL goal against the Flyers. You cannot script that. Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk picked up the assists on the quick transition into the OZ. In the early stages of the tilt, the Senators were getting behind defenders.

John Tortorella listed Rasmus Ristolainen and Kieffer Bellows as healthy scratches. Tortorella challenged Ristolainen to be more aware of his defensive positioning, a weakness throughout his career. Bellows exited the lineup, allowing Morgan Frost to return. Frost saw a reduction in ice time versus the Florida Panthers before becoming a healthy scratch against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let’s dissect that and other observations in Reese’s Remarks:

Streaking (+)

Not a winning streak, yet. Philadelphia has an opportunity to attach another at home versus the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Hart continues his points streak, extending to eight games. His 6-0-2 start is the best of his NHL career. Between the pipes, Hart is responsible for all of the points the Flyers reflect in the Metropolitan Division standings. He is elite considering the number of saves and save percentage. The eye test is further backed by advanced analytics.

“A goaltender sometimes sets the tempo for your team. He looks relaxed, he looks calm. It settles the team down also. He’s handled himself very well.”

John Tortorella; 11/5/2022

Another streak is the 3-0-0 record represented by Philadelphia following a back-to-back schedule. Tortorella tightened the screws in his lineup, sending a message to Ristolainen and Bellows. Overall, the defense was better positioned, which is a reason Ristolainen was scratched. Frost was noticeable too, showing confidence on a line with Nicolas Deslauriers and Tanner Laczynski.

“I felt we had the puck more during the game, not so much at the end. We had some more forechecking. Frost, Nic, and Laz set the tone as far as our forechecking. We just gave at the end as they were pushing.”

John Tortorella; 11/5/2022

The Flyers were hard to play against, and Hart continues to stand tall.

Opposing Giroux

Notching a milestone versus Philadelphia was a prop any bettor should have taken. Giroux scored his 300th career goal to open the first period, representing the only marker on the scoreboard for Ottawa.

“He’s a Flyers legend. Captain for ten years. We’d like to have him on our side, but I’m happy to see him having success here and I know this means a lot to him, to be in Ottawa. I’m happy for him.”

Wade Allison; 11/5/2022

His former teammates played him closely. Scott Laughton dueled at the faceoff dot plenty. Travis Sanheim upped his physicality after Tortorella challenged him, squarely boxing Giroux out on the crease. He took a minor penalty for interference, which led to another moment between former teammates where Travis Konecny gave Giroux a nudge.

In six days, Giroux comes back to the Wells Fargo Center, which will likely stir more emotions than last night.

Special Teams (+)

A very successful evening on special teams helped the Flyers maintain their lead.

On the penalty kill, Philadelphia was 5/5. On the powerplay, they’re 1/3. Currently, their penalty kill is ranked within the top ten of the NHL.

“Last game, we gave up two, and you’re only as good as your last one. Tonight, we were great. A lot of guys dug deep and blocked a lot of shots, got a lot of pucks out, and didn’t give them a lot of chances. Hartsy was there to make the saves when he had to.”

Kevin Hayes; 11/5/2022

Konecny and Laughton knew how to attack the Senators’ powerplay unit. Some of that could be due to their familiarity with Giroux. Deslauriers remained disruptive, as did Lukas Sedlak and Nick Seeler. Hart denied every puck.

Tony DeAngelo continues to move the puck fluidly on the powerplay. He found a shooting lane and put the puck on the net, where Hayes deflected it for the equalizer. The Flyers rebounded from a bad performance against the Maple Leafs. Hayes called last night’s performance their best defensively of the season:

“Everyone stepped up, honestly. In order to win in this league, you need everyone on your team, and if a few guys aren’t going, it’s going to be tough to win. Tonight, the whole team played well [for a] full sixty minutes. It was our best defensive effort.”

Kevin Hayes; 11/5/2022

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday at 7pm.

(Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)