Thursday, April 17, 2014

Game 1 Goes to the Rangers

The Philadelphia Flyers lost Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs to the New York Rangers 4-1 tonight. 

The Rangers were the better team all night as they had their way with the Flyers throughout most of this hockey game. The Rangers heavily outshot the Flyers 36-15 tonight. New York played their tight defensive styled game and Philadelphia couldn't find any space neither in the neutral nor the offensive zone. 

Philadelphia could only muster 14 shots in the first 2 periods to the Rangers 23.  Despite this, they were still able to start the final period knotted at 1, on 1st period goals from Andrew MacDonald for the Flyers and Mats Zuccarello for the Rangers. 

However, the Flyers completely unravelled in the 3rd period. And it all started with one bad penalty which ultimately cost them the game. Jason Akeson, who was only playing in his third NHL game and first ever playoff game, took a 4 minute high sticking penalty. The Rangers scored twice on the ensuing PowerPlays on goals from Brad Richards and Derek Stepan giving the Rangers a commanding 3-1 lead halfway through the period. 

After the 2 goals, which were separated by just 47 seconds, the Flyers were dead in the water. The Rangers outshot them 10-0 following the goals and 13-1 for the entire period. 

Carl Hagelin added one more goal for the Rangers clinching Game 1 for New York. 

Philadelphia's struggles in New York continue. They now fall to 0-9 in games played in New York since 2011. In fact the struggles aren't just in New York though. The Flyers are just 4-14 in the 18 games versus the Rangers. If the Flyers can't make adjustments and figure out how to successfully navigate the neutral zone against this stingy Rangers team, it will be very short series. 

But the Flyers have been adjusting and overcoming the odds all season, so they are just going to have to do it again. 

Game Notes:
  • Scott Hartnell made a fantastic play in the first period as he sent Ryan McDonagh into the boards and stole the puck. He then made a great pass to Andy MacDonald who blasted a shot past Henrik Lundqvist. This is how the Flyers need to play to beat the Rangers; however, they failed to keep up this style of play and therefore succumb to New York again. 
  • The Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Scott Hartnell line combined for 2 shots, both coming from Hartnell. 
  • Ray Emery started in goal for the Flyers for the injured Steve Mason. 
  • Emery made 32 saves on 36 shots. 
  • The Flyers only got 1 PowerPlay all game and failed to score on it. 
  • The Rangers went 2 for 6 on their man advantages. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers and Rangers will play Game 2 in New York on Easter Sunday at noon. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Flyers Loss Final Regular Season To Hurricanes in Shootout

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5 this afternoon.

After yesterday's win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flyers clinched 3rd place in the Metro division; therefore, this game was essentially meaningless.  

So Philadelphia called up rookie goalie Cal Heeter and forward Jason Akeson and did not dress Steve Mason, Michael Raffl, Nicklas Grossmann and Andy MacDonald. 

Heeter struggled early as he allowed 4 goals on his first 14 shots. Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal, who scored twice, and Manny Malholtra all took advantage of this fact giving the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead early in the 2nd. Matt Read scored the lone goal for the Flyers during that span. 

Just when it appeared that the Flyers had given up, they struck. Not once, not twice but thrice. Kimmo Timonen, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier scored goals separated by just 3:32 minutes tying this game at 4. 

In the 3rd period, Scott Hartnell received a 5 minute major for spearing and was ejected from the game. Carolina regained the lead on the ensuing PowerPlay on Skinner's second of the game. 

All season long the Flyers have been making miraculous comebacks, so why not one last time. With 9.5 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled Wayne Simmonds did just that. Simmonds' career high 29th goal sent this game into overtime. 

After the 5 minute overtime session the skills competition was needed. Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner both scored while Jason Akeson, Claude Giroux, and Sean Couturier all failed to. 

The Flyers close out the season with a 42-30-10 record for 93 points. 

Game Notes:

Season Career Highs: 
  • Jake Voracek: 23 goals, 39 assists and 62 points. 
  • Wayne Simmonds: 29 goals, 31 assists and 60 points.
  • Brayden Schenn: 20 goals, 21 assists and 41 points. 
  • Scott Hartnell: 32 assists
  • Claude Giroux: 7 game winning goals 
  • Matt Read: 4 shorthanded goals
  • Sean Couturier: 26 assists and 39 points. 
  • Steve Mason: .917 save percentage
Team Awards: 
  • Barry Ashbee Trophy for Top Defenseman: Kimmo Timonen
  • Yanick Dupre Trophy for Class Act: Jake Voracek
  • Pelle Lindbergh Award for Most Improved: Michael Raffl
  • Gene Hart Memorial Award for Player with Most Heart: Steve Mason
  • Bobby Clarke Trophy for Team MVP: Claude Giroux
  • The Flyers set their franchise record for most players who played in all 82 games this season with 7: Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and Braydon Coburn. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will start the playoffs in New York on Thursday against the Rangers. 

Union Strikes In Philadelphia

The Union Dutchmen have defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 7-4 for the NCAA Frozen Four National Championship. 

Union, a school of only 2200 students, did what they have never done in school history by capturing the NCAA title tonight. It was the Dutchmen's first ever trip to the championship game as well. 

Philadelphia Flyers 2012 3rd round draft pick, Shayne Gostisbehere, Union's only NHL drafted player, had his way against the Gophers, who have 14 drafted players. Gostisbehere, who was named MVP of the game, did it all on both sides of the ice; he scored a goal, had 2 assists, took 5 shots and was an incredible +7 tonight. 

The Dutchmen got off to a slow start and fell down by 1 less than 4 minutes in on a goal from Minnesota's Justin Kloos. 

Gostisbehere then started heating up. The Ghost tied the game up for Union carrying the puck through 4 Gophers and beat Adam Wilcox with a beautiful wrist shot. 

Just 37 seconds later, Minnesota regained the lead on a tough angle shot from Sam Warning. But the rest of the period would belong to Union. The Dutchmen went on to score 3 goals in 1:54 minutes on tallies from Mike Vecchione, Eli Lichtenwald, and Daniel Ciampini to take a 4-2 into the 2nd. 

After a 6 goal 1st period, the 2nd was a little more tamed. Taylor Cammarata got one back for Minnesota in the 2nd, but Union would still hang on to their lead by the period's end. 

Minnesota came into tonight's game having given up the second fewest goals per game in the NCAA with just 1.95. The 7 goals against today was the most Minnesota has allowed all season. This was nothing new for Union, they scored the second most goals per game in NCAA with 3.7, including 5 or more goals in 5 of their last 6 games. 

And they just kept scoring. Union picked up 3 more goals in the 3rd period. Max Novak got an early goal giving the Dutchmen not only their 2 goal lead back but their confidence as well. At one point, Union was out shooting the Gophers 11-3 in the period. 

Hudson Fasching, Buffalo Sabres prospect, gave Minnesota life again late in the 3rd with his goal, yet it was Union who responded again. The anchors of this team, Mat Bodie and Shayne Gostisbehere, fittingly both assisted Kevin Sullivan's insurance goal with just 1:22 minutes left on the clock, which all but sealed the victory. 

Finally, senior and captain Mat Bodie, who was playing in his last collegiate hockey game, buried the empty netter clinching Union's first ever National Champioship. 

Union head coach Rick Bennett, who deservedly was named coach of the year, saw his team go a league best 32-6-4 this season including a perfect 8-0 in the playoffs. Bennett's playoff record is now a very impressive 19-2 with a Union team who had never made the NCAA tournament before his tenure. Now they have won the ECAC championship 3 years in a row, have qualified for the NCAA tournament 3 consecutive years, have 2 Frozen Four appearances, and now a National Championship Title. 

Congratulations Union Dutchmen for a terrific season and a wonderful win tonight. You are the Champions!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Flyers Beat Penguins in OT, Clinch 3rd Place

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime today.

Mark Streit was the hero for the Flyers this afternoon as his shot snuck through the legs of Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury in the extra session. Streit's goal helps the Flyers clinch the number 3 seed in the division; therefore, they will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. 

As expected both the Flyers and the Penguins put on a show which included a lot if grit, toughness, hits and goals. 

Jussi Jokinen got the Penguins on the board early in the 1st, but Jake Voracek responded for the Flyers. Voracek scored on the PowerPlay at the end of the period, then again in the 2nd to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead, which they carried into the final period. 

After 15 minutes of scoreless 3rd period hockey, the goals started pouring in. James Neal tied the game at 2 with under 5 to play. Then Claude Giroux broke the tie with just 75 seconds later with his 28th goal of the season. 

With the net empty, the Penguins found the equalizer once again. Kris Letang, who missed several games due to a stroke he had earlier in the season, buried a loose puck in front sending the game to overtime. 

And in that overtime, it was Mark Streit, who scored his 10th goal of the season while on a 2 on 2 rush with Brayden Schenn. 

The victory came with a huge cost. Steve Mason, who started and played excellent making 21 saves on 22 shots left the game in between the 2nd and 3rd period. Late in the 2nd period, Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald was pushed into Mason which resulted in a violent collision. Mason was shaken up but finished the period. Ray Emery replaced him to start the 3rd. The Flyers organization is only saying he is out with an upper body injury. 

Game Notes:
  • Both Kimmo Timonen and Nicklas Grossmann sat out today. 
  • They were replaced by Erik Gustafsson and Hal Gill. 
  • Gill played in his first game since December 21st. 
  • The Flyers went 1 for 2 on their PowerPlay and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.  
  • Jake Voracek registered 2 goals, an assist and took 7 shots on goal. 
  • Giroux's 28th goal of the season matches his career high. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play their final game of the regular season against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow afternoon. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Frozen Four Takes Center Stage In Philadelphia

Frozen Four in Philadelphia for the 1st time
The 2014 Frozen Four is finally here! And this year Philadelphia is the host city of the storied college hockey tournament, which got underway this afternoon. 

The NCAA College hockey tournament has taken place every year since 1948 and in 1999, the term Frozen Four was officially used for the name of the tournament's final four. 

After the first 2 rounds were completed last week, 16 teams were narrowed down to 4.  Minnesota, North Dakota, Union and Boston College all advanced to the Frozen Four. 

In the first game, both number 1 seeds in there respective region, Boston College and Union, faced off against each other. 

Union faces off against BC
Coming into the game, Boston was the highest scoring team in the nation averaging 4.06 goals per game; however, Union was second averaging 3.67. So a high scoring game was expected, and they did not disappoint. 

Both teams came into tonight's game having Philadelphia connections. Boston College star Johnny Gaudreau, who is the favorite to win the Hobey Baker Award (which goes to the best college hockey player), is from the greater Philadelphia area. Gaudreau, who was drafted by the Calgary Flames, was born and raised in Carney's Point, New Jersey. 

On the other side, Union is led by budding star defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Gostisbehere, who was also nominated for the Hobey Baker, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 3rd round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Both made their presence known on the biggest stage today.   

Gaudreau was the first to strike as he put BC up 1-0 early in the 1st period. 

Union wins 5-4, shakes hands with BC
After Union captain Mat Bodie tied the game in the 2nd, it was Gostisbehere's turn. The man they call The Ghost, took a shot from the point which led to a huge rebound and Daniel Ciampini scored his first of the game giving Union their first lead, 2-1. Ciampini had a career day today as he registered his first career hat trick.

Steve Santini knotted this game up again  for BC as the teams went to the second intermission. 

Union was given a PowerPlay early in the 3rd and Shayne Gostisbehere did it again. Gostisbehere blasted his patented shot from the point and Ciampini deflected it in. 

The turning point in the game happened just seconds after Ciampini's second tally. Union's Matt Hatch was given a 5 minute match penalty and a game misconduct for a hit from behind, giving BC a long PowerPlay and a prime opportunity to tie and possibly regain the lead. 

Gostisbehere shakes hands with Gaudreau
Instead, Union shined and excelled on the penalty kill skating away unscathed. And just seconds after killing all 5 minutes, Union cashed in when Mike Vecchione scored as a result of a Kevin Sullivan breakaway. 

BC did not go down quietly though. The Eagles cut the lead to 1 courtesy of Ryan Fitzgerald; however, the Dutchmen buried the empty net goal as Ciampini completed his hat trick. 

BC added another goal with 3.9 seconds remaining from captain Patrick Brown, yet it would not be enough as Union won 5-4. 

Union advances to their first Frozen Four Championship ever. 

Union salutes to the fans after the game
"It's a great feeling but the jobs not done," Gostisbehere told ESPN after the game. "We went down one goal in the first period, but again it just shows the character of our team and the determination we have to win a national title." 

In an interview after the game, Gaudreau was asked whether or not he will go pro in which he responded, "I have to figure it out here, the next day, or tonight. Thankfully I'm here with my family and I'll be able to talk to all my family members and see what's best for me and my career. So we'll probably figure that out pretty soon."

Union sat back and watched to see who they would be playing as Minnesota and North Dakota kicked off their game an hour later. 

Minnesota celebrates after their goal w/ .6 seconds left
Both the Gophers and the Sioux played very tight and even hockey as they remained scoreless after 2 periods. Finally it was Golden Gopher, Sam Warning who broke opened the scoring putting Minnesota up 1-0. 

That lead, however, was extremely short lived as, Connor Gaarder tied the game for the underdogs. North Dakota came into the tournament as a 4th seed in their region yet were 13th in the National Polls, while Minnesota was number 1. The Sioux were not to be taken lightly though. Historically they have the most titles of any of the teams remaining (7), also they have more players drafted by the NHL (15) than any other squad. However Minnesota has 5 titles and 14 drafted players. 

Minnesota defeats UND 2-1
Still tied at 1 with just over 90 seconds remaining, Minnesota put themselves in a very dangerous position as they were called for a penalty. North Dakota struggled to get anything on net during the PowerPlay but had an offensive zone draw with 9 seconds left in regulation. If they were to go to overtime, the Sioux would have carry over PowerPlay time. It seemed as if they took solice in this and took their foot off the gas for the final draw. 

Minnesota rushed down the ice short handed as the clock was winding down. Kyle Rau, the captain and Florida Panthers 2011 3rd round draft pick, took a shot that was blocked and Justin Holl, Chicago's 2012 2nd rounder, found it and put it in the back of the net as the clock expired. 

After further review the goal crossed the line with just .6 seconds left, sending the Minnesota Golden Gophers to the NCAA Frozen Four Championship with the 2-1 win. 

Drop The Puck:
The Union College Dutchmen will face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the NCAA Frozen Four National Title on Saturday night at 7:30 in Philadelphia. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Flyers Fall To Lightning Again

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 tonight. 

Heading into the final period, both teams were knotted at 1 a piece, but it was Tampa Bay who took over, scoring 3 times clinching the victory. 

With the loss, the Flyers cannot finish the season any higher than the 3rd seed in the division, meaning that they will start the playoffs on the road. Philadelphia is currently tied with both Columbus and Detroit with 91 points, yet currently own the tiebreaker against both. 

Tyler Johnson scored just 2 minutes into the game for Tampa, who held that lead until late in the 2nd. While on the PowerPlay, Wayne Simmonds tied the game at 1 with his 27th of the season. 

The Lightning then scored back to back goals separated by just over 5 minutes on tallies from Richard Panik and Eric Brewer. 

Sean Couturier responded cutting the lead to 1, but then the Flyers shot themselves in the foot as Scott Hartnell took a foolish penalty. 

On the ensuing PowerPlay, Steven Stamkos put this game away scoring his 25th of the year putting the Lightning back up for 2; this time for good. 

Game Notes:
  • The Lightning swept the season series with the Flyers for the first time since 2005-06 season. 
  • Both teams went 1 for 3 on their respective PowerPlays. 
  • Claude Giroux, who got an assist on Simmonds goal, took a game high 7 shots. 
  • Mark Streit registered an assist on Couturier's goal, becoming the 6th Flyer to pick up 40 points this season. 
  • It is the 5th season (of 8) that Streit has scored 40+ points in his career. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flyers Are Playoff Bound

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Florida Panthers 5-2 tonight.

The victory over the Panthers makes it official: the Flyers are going to the playoffs. 

Starting the season 1-7, many thought this day might not come, but since then Philadelphia learned their new system with their new head coach Craig Berube and started playing like a team and winning hockey games. 

Captain Claude Giroux stressed on numerous occasions early in the season that this team will make the playoffs, despite their early struggles. "We're going to go game by game, and we will make the playoffs," Giroux said in an interview after the team lost their franchise worst 6th out of 7 games to start the season. Giroux put the Flyers on his back and carried them into success. And tonight wasn't any different. Giroux scored 2 goals including the game winner and was awarded the number one star of the game. 

But it wasn't all Giroux. The Flyers continue to prove that they are truly a diverse team. Vincent Lecavalier scored his 20th goal of the season tonight giving the Flyers their 7th 20-goal scorer this season (Claude Giroux: 27, Wayne Simmonds: 26, Jake Voracek: 21, Matt Read: 21, Scott Hartnell: 20, Vincent Lecavalier: 20, Brayden Schenn: 20). Philadelphia became the first team to accomplish this. In fact no other team has 6 20-goal scorers. 

All that said, arguably the Flyers most valuable player isn't even on that list. Steve Mason has been terrific all season which included the beginning when this team went the first 15 game averaging just 1.4 goals per game. Mason kept the Flyers in games, giving them chances to steal contests they had no business being in. Mason gave Philadelphia stability and the confidence to kick start their season. 

After the 1-7 start, the next 33 days Philadelphia went 9-3-2 finally reaching the .500 mark in their schedule. But it wasn't until December 23rd that the Flyers passed that mark and never looked back going 24-13-5 since. 

With tonight's 4 goal effort in the 2nd period, on tallies from Lecavalier, 2 from Giroux and another from Sean Couturier, the Flyers clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is the 17th time in their last 19 season that Philadelphia has made the playoffs and their 37th time overall. 

The Flyers are currently in 3rd place with 91 points, 2 behind the NY Rangers and 2 ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Game Notes:
  • Starting the 3rd period up 4-0, Philadelphia fell asleep. The Panthers outshot the Flyers 16-3, while scoring 2 goals, putting all the pressure back on Philadelphia. 
  • The Flyers though again proved resilient and as they added another goal, this time from Tye McGinn, thwarting any chance for a Panthers comeback. 
  • Steve Mason was a one man show in the 3rd period. Mason stopped 38 shots on 40 attempts tonight. 
  • Yesterday it was announced that Zac Rinaldo will be suspended 4 games for his illegal check to the head. Today he served his first game. 
  • Steve Downie returned to action tonight after missing time with an upper body injury. 
  • The Flyers went 0 for 3 on their PowerPlay and 1 for 1 on the penalty kill. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to extend their winning streak when they go to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning. 

Rinaldo Suspended

The NHL announced today that Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo will be suspended 4 games for an 'illegal check to the head' on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel during Sunday's game. 

Rinaldo launched into Ruhwedel making his head the principle point of contact. This is a hit the league has been trying to remove for the past few years. 

Also taken into account was that Rinaldo is a repeat offender (suspended once and fined twice) and that Ruhwedel suffered an injury (concussion) as a result of the play. 

The Flyers, who are 1 win away from clinching the playoffs, only have 4 games remaining in the regular season. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flyers End 4 Game Skid, Defeat Sabres

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 tonight.

Philadelphia played a great game from start to finish when they needed it the most. The Flyers had lost their previous 4 games and desperately needed points in the standings. 

Schenn scores 19th and 20th goals
They got contributions from all over as Brayden Schenn scored twice for the 2nd line, Zac Rinaldo lit the lamp for the 3rd line and Vinny Lecavalier for the 4th. 

The Flyers as a team also outshot the Sabres 36-19. Also their special teams stepped up when it mattered the most. Philadelphia killed off 4 PowerPlays in the 1st and 2nd period, while adding a PowerPlay goal of their own on Brayden Schenn's first tally. 

The bad news for the Flyers is that they may not have Rinaldo for the next few games. Rinaldo targeted the head of Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in a check in the 3rd period. Rinaldo was given a match penalty (which is automatically put up for review for suspension) and a game misconduct. 

The Flyers already had a 4-0 lead prior to the penalty on goals from Matt Read, Rinaldo, Schenn, and Lecavalier, but now had to kill a 5 minute major. 

The Sabres were finally able to score when Cody Hodgson deflected a shot from the point breaking Steve Mason's shutout bid, but the Flyers escaped any further damage. 

Brayden Schenn then added his 2nd of the game and 20th of the season on a beautiful roof-shot racing up the ice. 

Mike Weber added a meaningless goal for the Sabres late in the period, but it was the Flyers who raised their sticks at the end of the game celebrating their 40th win of the season. 

The victory keeps the Flyers 2 points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for 3rd place in the Metro division. 

Game Notes:
  • Brayden Schenn snapped a 7 game goalless drought tonight. 
  • It was Schenn's 2nd multi goal game of the season and 5th of his career. 
  • Brayden became the 6th Flyer to reach the 20 goal plateau this season.
  • Also Schenn's 20 goals, 21 assists and 41 points are all career highs for the center. 
  • Lecavalier is next in line as he picked up his 19th goal tonight. 
  • The Flyers went 5 for 6 on the penalty kill and 1 for 4 on the PowerPlay. 
  • It's been 15 games since the Flyers last scored more than 4 goals in a game. 
  • Matt Read picked up his 21st goal of the season. 
  • Mark Streit registered 3 assists tonight. It was Streit's first 3 point game as a Flyer and first since January 10th 2012 when he was an Islander. 
Drop The Puck:
Philadelphia will look to start a winning streak when they face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bruins Hand Flyers Their 4th Straight Loss

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins 5-2 this afternoon.

Entering the 3rd period tied at 2, Boston came out and took over this hockey game. The Bruins outshot the Flyers 22-8 while scoring 3 unanswered goals handing the Flyers their 4th consecutive loss. 

Having now lost 6 of their last 7 games including the 4 in a row, Philadelphia is hanging on to their 3rd place spot by a thread. They have 87 points, which is still 2 points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final spot in the Metro division. 

"We got outplayed and didn't stick to our game plan," Claude Giroux told CSNPhilly after the game. "In the 1st and 2nd period it was a tight game, but in the 3rd period we got away from our game."

Boston got on the board first in the opening period from a late goal by David Krejci. After a quiet start to the 2nd period, things picked up late where 3 goals were scored in 1:45 minutes. 

While on the PowerPlay, Wayne Simmonds ended the Flyers long shutout streak of over 160 minutes with his 26th of the season. 

The Bruins, however, answered back immediately. Just 19 seconds later, Milan Lucic blasted a shot past Ray Emery restoring Boston's lead. 

Jay Rosehill then got on the board only 1:26 minutes following Lucic's tally. Rosehill made a nice move in front scoring his 2nd of the season and 5th goal of his career. 

The 3rd period got underway and it was all Boston. Johnny Boychuk and Lucic scored goals 31 seconds apart with just over 6 minutes to play giving the Bruins a commanding 4-2 lead. 

Chris Kelly sealed the deal with an empty net goal finalizing the score at 5-2. 

"The 3rd period wasn't good in general," coach Craig Berube said in an interview with CSNPhilly. "We have to come out and initiate, we can't sit back and let teams come at you. We were on our heals and didn't protect the net. We made it too easy for them."

Game Notes:
  • The Boston Bruins sweep the season series with the Flyers for the first time since the 1989-90 season. 
  • Sean Couturier played in his 200th NHL game today. 
  • Claude Giroux registered an assist on Wayne Simmonds goal today. That ends his 3 game pointless streak. 
  • The Simmonds goal also ended Philadelphia's 3 game drought without a PowerPlay goal. The Flyers went 1 for 3 on the man advantage. 
  • Philadelphia went 1 for 1 on the penalty kill. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to end this losing streak tomorrow night when they host the Buffalo Sabres. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

After 14 Years, The Blue Jackets Finally Win in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 tonight.

The Blue Jackets snapped a 6 game losing streak in Philadelphia as they were finally able to come away with the 'W' for the first time in the city of Brotherly Love since their inception in 2000. Since then, the Flyers had a 5-0-1 record against them at home. 

The Philadelphia Flyers have now been shutout for the second consecutive game, have lost 3 in a row and 5 of their last 6 contests. 

Columbus was the hungrier team tonight as they out worked, out battled and out skated Philadelphia tonight. 

But it came down to special teams, which became the difference maker this evening. The Flyers went 0 for 4 on their PowerPlay, while failing to generate any good chances or momentum. On the other side, the Jackets scored the eventual game winning goal on the PowerPlay in the 2nd period. 

James Wisniewski found the back of the net for Columbus, finally breaking a scoreless tie on the PowerPlay with just over 3 minutes left in the middle stanza. They went 1 for 4 on the man advantage. 

This was not just a struggle tonight for Philadelphia. The Flyers have failed to score a PowerPlay goal in each of their last 5 losses going 0 for 16. They are also just 4 for their last 32 (12%) over the span of their last 9 games. 

The Flyers needed another one of their patented 3rd period comebacks; however, it was the Jackets who had the better period. In the first 10 minutes of the 3rd, Columbus outshot Philadelphia 9-2 plus added an insurance goal just 3 minutes in when the puck deflected off Brandon Dubinsky's skate. 

Philadelphia made a furious effort in the final 3 minutes taking 7 shots yet Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stood tall, preserving his 4th shutout of the season. 

The loss now brings Columbus to within 2 points of Philadelphia in the standings for 3rd place. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers have been shutout for the last 130:25 minutes of game time.  
  • The last time the Flyers were shutout 2 games in a row was November 28-December 3rd 2009. 
  • Claude Giroux has now gone 3 games without a point. It is the longest he has gone since October 11th, when he started the season 5 games without a point. 
  • Scott Hartnell had an incredible 8 shots tonight. It's the most he's taken in a game since January 22, 2012 when he took 9. 
  • Kimmo Timonen returned to action tonight after missing a game with an upper body injury. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to get back on the winning side when they face the Boston Bruins again on Saturday. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flyers Fall To Blues In Shootout

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the St. Louis Blues 1-0 in a shootout tonight.

Goaltenders Ryan Miller and Ray Emery were stellar today as they stopped all 59 shots faced. Miller made 31 saves, while Emery stopped 28, including 13 in the 3rd period and overtime. 

After 65 minutes of great defense and perfect goaltending from both teams, a shootout was needed. 

TJ Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in the shootout for the Blues while Vincent Lecavalier and Claude Giroux failed to light the lamp for the Flyers.  

"We played a good hockey game and got a point out of it," coach Craig Berube told CSNPhilly. "Of course we want 2 points, but we just couldn't put it in the back of the net." 

Philadelphia remains in 3rd place with a 39-27-9 record, still 4 points ahead of the Blue Jackets and 6 ahead of the Capitals. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers went 0 for 2 on their PowerPlay and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. 
  • Ray Emery earned his 2nd shutout of the season and first since November 2nd against the Devils. 
  • Today was the first time the Flyers were shutout since December 2nd against the Wild. 
  • March 10th 2012 was the last time the Flyers were involved in a 0-0 shootout game. The Flyers won 1-0 when Giroux scored in that shootout. 
  • Andrew MacDonald played a team high 27:25 minutes tonight. It was the most he's played since being acquired by the Flyers. 
  • Claude Giroux failed to register a point in his second consecutive game. It was the first time he has failed to gain points in 2 straight since the December 31st and January 2nd games (34 games ago). 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will face the team chasing them in the divisional standings the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lecavalier Scores 400th in Shootout Loss to Bruins

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout today.

Vincent Lecavalier picked up his 400th and 401st career goals in dramatic fashion today despite the loss to the East's top team. 

1098 games in, plus 5:25 minutes into the 1st period, Lecavalier crossed the blue line, playing on the 4th line, and ripped a shot past Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask, lighting the lamp for the 400th time in his long and illustrious career. 

But Vinny wasn't finish. Trailing 3-2 late in the game, Lecavalier was rewarded as the 6th man on the ice to replace Steve Mason once pulled. And with just 25 seconds remaining, Lecavalier sent all nineteen plus thousand people to their feet in elation as he tied this game at 3 apiece. Jake Voracek was able to corral the bouncing puck and fed Lecavalier back door who buried it into the wide open cage. 

Philadelphia went on to dominate the overtime taking 8 shots to the Bruins' 1; however, they were not able to seal the deal and this game was heading to a shootout.   

In the shootout, Claude Giroux and Patrice Bergeron traded goals sending it to extra shooters. Reilly Smith finally ended this one in the 5th round, giving Boston their 9th straight road win. 

The Flyers, however, picked up a well deserved and very valuable point with their hard fought effort today. Philadelphia took a season high 52 shots out shooting the Bruins by 22 this afternoon. With the point, the Flyers currently jump back into 2nd place in a tie with the New York Rangers, who both have 86 points each. 

Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins in the 1st period to tie things up at 1. It was his first game versus the Flyers since they traded him away at the dealine. Meszaros' goal also marks the 4th time from 3 separate teams that an ex Flyer has scored against Philadelphia in the last 4 games (Jeff Carter and Justin Williams for LA; James van Riemsdyk for Toronto; Meszaros for Boston). 

Kimmo Timonen scored for the Flyers late in the 1st, but Boston erased Philadelphia's lead in the 2nd scoring twice on goals from Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. 

The shootout loss leaves the Flyers with a 39-27-8 record; they have 8 games remaining. 

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia outshot the Bruins 52-30. It tied their highest shots advantage (22) for the season (they out shot Edmonton 38-16 on December 28th). 
  • The 52 shots taken was a season high for the Flyers. Their previous high was 46. They have only taken 40 or more shots 3 times this season prior to tonight. They now have a 3-0-1 recorded when taking 40+ shots. 
  • The last time the Flyers took more shots was February 21st 2012 when they registered 55. 
  • The Flyers allowed their first PowerPlay goal against in their last 5 games. 
  • Philadelphia's PowerPlay went scoreless (0 for 4) for the third time in their last 4 games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers get back into action on Tuesday when they face the St. Louis Blues. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flyers End Losing Streak, Extend Leafs' to 7

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 tonight.

Giroux with 3 points including GWG
The Flyers snapped their 2 game losing streak by receiving a great effort from
their captain, Claude Giroux. Giroux picked up 2 assists, 1 in the 1st and 1 in the 2nd, then scored his 25th goal of the season, which turned out to be the game winner for Philadelphia. It was the 6th time this season Giroux registered 3 points or more in a game; the Flyers are now 6-0 in those games. 

Before the game, Vincent Lecavalier was demoted to the 4th line for his recent lack of production. Lecavalier recorded 14 points in his first 22 games; however, he then suffered from back spasms causing him to miss 3 weeks of action. After returning from injury, Lecavalier has played in 37 games and has only recorded only 16 points. 

The good teammate that Lecavalier is, he was able to put it behind him and work hard to get back to where he was. And he was rewarded tonight. Lecavalier scored the game's opening goal for the Flyers while on the PowerPlay. Philadelphia was on a 2 man advantage, when Lecavalier one-timed his 16th goal of the season. 

James van Riemsdyk erased that lead immediately after the 2nd period began. The former Flyer scored just 4 seconds into the middle period completely catching the Flyers off guard, who had a man in the box for only 2 more seconds.  

Halfway through the period, the Flyers PowerPlay struck again. Scott Hartnell tipped in Kimmo Timonen's shot putting Philadelphia in the lead once again. 

Claude Giroux and Leafs Dave Bolland traded goals 1:23 minutes apart, then it was Wayne Simmonds, who would give the Flyers their largest lead of the night. Simmonds took advantage of a Dion Phaneuf misplay in the slot and buried his 25th goal of the season giving the Flyers a 4-2 lead. 

After Simmonds' tally, which came at 12:39, the Flyers shutdown the Leafs allowing only 1 shot on goal. 

Steve Mason stopped 32 shots on 34 attempts sending the Leafs home with their 7th straight loss, while the Flyers improve to 39-27-7, still in 3rd place, 5 points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers went 2 for 4 on the PowerPlay on goals by Vincent Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell. 
  • Philadelphia also went a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. 
  • They have gone 4 consecutive games without allowing a PowerPlay goal (16 for 16) and have only surrendered 1 PowerPlay goal against in their last 10 (36 for 37). 
  • The 3 points by Giroux jumps him into 3rd place in scoring in the league with 78. He is only 1 behind Ryan Getzlaf for 2nd. 
  • In the first 15 games of the season, Giroux only registered 7 points. Since then he has picked up 71 points in 58 games. 
  • With Lecavalier on the forth line, Tye McGinn was supposed to take his place on the second line. Instead, McGinn only played 8:13 minutes while Lecavalier played 13:32. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers get back into action on Sunday when they host the top team in the Eastern conference, the Boston Bruins. 

With a heavy heart, I'd like to dedicate this post to DropThePuck contributor and good friend Dave Nahill, who lost his father last night. The world lost a good man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family Dave. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rangers Continue Domination of Flyers at Home

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New York Rangers 3-1 tonight.

With the victory, the Rangers have now won 8 straight games against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden dating back to 2011. 

The confident Rangers have won 5 in a row and suddenly the once red hot Flyers have now dropped 2 in a row. 

New York played a near perfect game against Philadelphia this evening, using tight defense, great goaltending and were very opportunistic. 

Derek Dorsett got things going for the Rangers scoring his 4th of the season 8:41 into the 1st. Steve Mason chipped the puck around the boards and the puck hopped over Kimmo Timonen's stick right to Brian Boyle who threw it right on goal. Mason made the save but Dorsett chipped in the rebound, taking advantage of the mistake. 

Ryan McDonagh added to New York's lead by turning another Flyers mistake into a goal. McDonagh intercepted Andrew MacDonald's failed clear attempt and beat Mason over the shoulder giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead after 2. 

New York practically sealed the deal with Dominic Moore's goal halfway through the 3rd. Moore's tally was another goal resulting from a failed cleared by the Flyers.

Whether it was the pressuring of the defenders to make an outlet pass or the clogging up of the neutral zone, Philadelphia never quite got things going, as the Rangers frustrated them all night. 

The Flyers finally broke the Rangers shutout with Jake Voracek's goal with 1:53 remaining, but that would be all the Flyers would get. 

The loss drops Philadelphia to a 38-27-7 record now 3 points behind the Rangers for 3rd place in the division. 

Game Notes:
  • Claude Giroux is goalless in Madison Square Garden during the Flyers 8 game losing streak. 
  • Mark Streit and Claude Giroux registered assists on Voracek's goal. 
  • Both the Flyers and the Rangers went 0 for 2 on the PowerPlay. 
  • The Flyers have now killed off 32 of their last 33 PowerPlays against. 
  • Giroux failed to record a shot on goal. It was only the 3rd time since January 1st that he failed to do so. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to get back on track versus the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kings Snap Flyers 5 Game Winning Streak

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 tonight.

Philadelphia fell behind 2-0 after 2 poorly played periods and then went into comeback mode in the 3rd. The Flyers were successful in doing so, scoring 2 goals before the midway point of the period; however, the Kings struck one last time putting them back on top, for good this time. 

"Playing 20 minutes isn't going to win a hockey game," Matt Read told CSNPhilly after the game. 

The Kings played a very solid hockey game tonight taking 41 shots on goal. 
After a scoreless 1st, former Flyer Jeff Carter got things started for LA in his first game back in Philadelphia since the trade that brought Jake Voracek and a 1st round pick that turned into Sean Couturier. Carter scored his 25th of the season 1:49 into the 2nd period. 

The Kings appeared to add to their lead while on the PowerPlay; however, the goal was waved off due to a penalty on Carter during the play. LA continued to outwork the Flyers and did eventually get that second goal. Justin Williams, who was drafted and played parts of 4 seasons with the Flyers, extended the Kings lead to 2 when Ray Emery left a rebound with a wide open net. 

Philadelphia finally woke up in the 3rd period and scored almost immediately. Matt Read tipped in a shot from the point just 29 seconds into the period, and suddenly the Flyers had life. 

8:18 minutes in, Jake Voracek scored the equalizer for the Flyers. Voracek's 20th came on the deflection of Scott Hartnell's shot and the game was knotted at 2. 

Just over 2 minutes later, the Flyers made a simple mistake at their blue line which led to a 2 on 1 goal from Dwight King, proving to be the game winner. 

The Flyers threw everything they had at the Kings in the final minutes yet were unable to solve Jonathan Quick. 

The win streak comes to an end at 5 games leaving the Flyers with a 38-26-7 record. The NY Rangers won tonight therefore they leap-frog the Flyers for 2nd place. 

Game Notes:
  • Both Voracek and Read scored their 20th goals of the season, now giving the Flyers four 20 goal scorers.
  • Steve Downie missed tonight's game with an upper body injury. He remains day to day.
  • Tye McGinn was called up to replace Downie. McGinn was shotless in 7:52 minutes of ice time. 
  • Both the Flyers and the Kings went 0 for 4 on their respective PowerPlays tonight. 
  • Claude Giroux's point streak of 6 games came to an end tonight. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to start a new winning streak when they host their division rival, the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Flyers Top League Leading Blues For 5th Straight Win

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 this afternoon.

The red hot Flyers extended their winning streak to 5 games against Ken Hitchcock's Blues, who are currently the number one team in the NHL. 

Steve Mason was once again exceptional, stopping 32 shots on 33 attempts, while the rest continued to play together like a team. 

Philadelphia got contributions from all around on today's huge victory. Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn all registered 2 points today as the Flyers picked up their 5th consecutive win this afternoon. It was the first time in over 2 years that Philadelphia has put together 5 wins in a row. 

Despite the 3 goal victory, today's game wasn't an easy one. The Blues came out of the gates quickly and outshot the Flyers 13-8 in the opening period, while breaking opened the scoring. Jaden Schwartz tallied the Blues only goal of the game 6:23 minutes in while shorthanded. 

When scoring the first goal of the game, St. Louis has only lost in regulation once all season; but they hadn't played the Flyers yet. 

Philadelphia settled in and recovered in the 2nd period. The period began with a Flyers PowerPlay, in which they took full advantage. Jake Voracek set up Scott Hartnell who made no mistake burying his 19th of the season, tying this game at 1. 

Then it was Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn who combined for the Flyers go ahead goal later in the period. Simmonds created the turnover and then crashed the net. Schenn followed him up and cashed in on the rebound, giving the Flyers their first lead of the game. 

St. Louis came out flying in the final period but it was Mason time after time shutting the door. Mason stopped all 11 shots in the 3rd period. 

Jake Voracek would add an insurance goal for the Flyers with just over 4 minutes to go, then Simmonds wrapped it up with his empty net goal completing the victory. 

"We're playing as a team, that's why we're successful," Craig Berube told CSNPhilly after the game. The win improves the Flyers to 38-25-7 on the season. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers 1st line (Giroux, Voracek, and Hartnell) took a combined 16 PIM. At one point they were all in the penalty box at the same time. 
  • The Flyers penalty kill, however, went a perfect 6 for 6. 
  • Philadelphia has killed 26 of their last 27 penalties over the course of 7 games. 
  • The Flyers PowerPlay went 1 for 5. They have scored a PowerPlay goal in 4 of their last 5 games going 5 for 19. 
  • Philadelphia took only 19 shots. It was their lowest shot total in their last 13 games. 
  • After the game, the Flyers announced that they signed Michael Raffl to a 2 year $2.2 million extension. 
  • Steve Downie left the game in the 1st period with a lower body injury and did not return. More will be known tomorrow. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to stay hot when they host the LA Kings on Monday night. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Simmonds' Two Goals Propels Flyers to Fourth Straight Win

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Dallas Stars 4-2 tonight.

Wayne Simmonds paved the way for the Flyers this evening with 2 goals, including the game winner in the 3rd period, while Steve Mason was brilliant down at the other end. Mason made 33 saves on 35 attempts, helping clinch the Flyers fourth consecutive victory. 

"I thought we came out strong in the 3rd," Simmonds told CSNPhilly. "[We] played great defensively and Mason played unbelievably today." 

Mark Streit got the Flyers on the board first at the 10:23 minute mark when Claude Giroux won the face off directly to him. Streit pulled the trigger registering his 9th goal of the season. 

Less than 3 minutes later, Philadelphia added to their lead while on the PowerPlay. Wayne Simmonds buried the rebound after Scott Hartnell's redirection hit both posts. 

Dallas came back with a strong 2nd period, taking 17 shots while finally getting one past Mason. Jamie Benn scored his first of the game and 28th of the season on the PowerPlay. 

In the 3rd period, Simmonds lit the lamp again, giving the Flyers their 2 goal lead right back. Simmonds made a nice move at the blue line then ripped a shot past Stars goalie Tim Thomas. The lead, however, was very short lived. Dallas responded just 30 seconds later, from Benn again, and again it was a 1 goal game. 

Michael Raffl destroyed any chance of a Stars comeback when he broke away after receiving a nice pass from Sean Couturier going forehand to backhand. The insurance goal was Raffl's 9th of the season. 

"We're pretty confident in ourselves right now," Simmonds said after the game. "And as a result were getting 2 points."

The win improves the Flyers to 37-25-7 on the season. 

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia's 5 game streak of not allowing a PowerPlay goal against was snapped tonight. 
  • The Flyers went 2 for 3 on the penalty kill and 1 for 2 on the PowerPlay. 
  • Simmonds picked up his 51st and 52nd points tonight setting a new career high. 
  • Tonight's win marks the 3rd time this season the Flyers have won 4 games in a row. They have yet to win a 5th. 
  • Nicklas Grossmann was a +2, blocked 3 shots and had 5 hits in 20:08 minutes against his former team. 
  • Giroux's assist today extends his point streak to 5 games. He has 8 points during that span. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look for that elusive 5th straight win against the NHL's best, the St. Louis Blues. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Giroux's Overtime Goal Lifts Flyers Over Blackhawks

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime tonight.

Claude Giroux was the star of tonight's game as he scored the game winning goal for the Flyers with just 4 seconds remaining in overtime. 

Giroux scores in OT
Tied at 2 apiece, 60 minutes wasn't enough for these two hockey teams, an extra session was needed. Another 4:50 went by without a goal and both coach Craig Berube and forward Vincent Lecavalier said they were ready for the shootout. However, it was at that time that Claude Giroux received the puck and raced up the ice. "I knew there wasn’t a lot of time," Giroux told CSNPhilly. "So I was just trying to shoot as hard as I could." With 4.2 seconds left in overtime, that's exactly what he did, beating Chicago's goaltender Antti Raanta over the right shoulder for his 24th goal of the season.  

Philadelphia comes away with a well deserved victory as they outplayed the defending Stanley Cup champions throughout the majority of the game, with the exception of the first 4 minutes. The Blackhawks scored both their goals in the opening 3:51 minutes of tonight's game. Andrew Shaw scored the first 2:21 in, while Duncan Keith scored the second. 

But of course the Flyers made a comeback. Less than 2 minutes after Keith's goal, Scott Hartnell tried to center the puck but instead got a fortunate bounce off a Chicago defenseman and into the net, cutting the lead in half. 

Before the period was out, it was Hartnell again. Giroux found Hartnell in the high slot and he blasted a one-time shot for his 2nd of the game, 18th of the season.  

Philadelphia went on to outshoot Chicago 17-7 in the 3rd period and overtime and 37-25 for the game. The win improves the Flyers to 36-25-7 for the season. 

Game Notes:
  • Ray Emery, who won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks last year, got the start in net tonight for the first time since February 8th. 
  • Emery allowed 2 goals on the first 4 shots, then stopped all 21 shots faced after. 
  • The Flyers went a perfect 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. 
  • They have now gone 5 consecutive games without allowing a PowerPlay goals against going 18 for 18. 
  • Claude Giroux scored a goal and an assist, was a +3, took 4 shots on goal and won 57% of his face offs in 27:00 minutes. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have won 3 in a row and will look to make it 4 when they face the Dallas Stars on Thursday night

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Flyers Sweep Home and Home Over Penguins

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 today.

The Flyers picked up right where they left off yesterday as they were able to score 3 1st period goals, including 2 from Wayne Simmonds. 

Brayden Schenn struck first for the Flyers burying Simmonds' rebound just 2:06 into the game. Then the Flyers PowerPlay took over.  

Wayne Simmonds tallied his 21st and 22nd goals of the season, both assisted by Claude Giroux while on the PowerPlay. Philadelphia's PowerPlay went 2 for 3 today and 3 for 7 during the weekend series. 

Pittsburgh got one back before the period was out on a bouncing shot from Brooks Orpik, then added one more early in the 2nd from Matt Niskanen cutting the Flyers lead to 1. 

The Flyers were outstanding on special teams this weekend, not just on the PowerPlay. Philadelphia went 4 for 4 on the penalty kill today and 9 for 9 on the weekend. Matt Read also scored while on the kill for the second consecutive game. Today's shorthanded goal was his 19th of the season, giving the Flyers their 2 goal lead back. 

Sloppy neutral zone play by Philadelphia led to a 2 on 1 for Pittsburgh, who cut the lead to 1 once again on the goal by Jayson Megna. 

That would be as close as Pittsburgh would get. Steve Mason, coming off his 4th shutout of the season, stopped all 11 shots thrown his way in the 3rd period, preserving the Flyers 4-3 lead. 

The sweep of the weekend series versus the Penguins propels the Flyers back into 2nd place in the division with a 35-25-7 record. 

Game Notes:
  • The last time Flyers swept the Penguins in back to back games was on January 21 and 23, 2006 (2-1 in Pittsburgh, 4-2 in Philadelphia). 
  • Wayne Simmonds registered 2 goals and an assist, while taking 6 shots and 2 hits in 14:47 minutes. 
  • Claude Giroux picked up 2 points today and 4 for the weekend. 
  • Matt Read ends the home and home with 3 goals, including 2 shorthanded. 
  • Braydon Coburn led all Flyers with 25:04 minutes of ice time today. 
  • The Flyers outshot the Penguins for the second consecutive game; 35-23 today.
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to keep their winning streak alive when they face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Flyers Shutout Penguins in First of Home and Home Series

The Philadelphia Flyers shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 today.

Philadelphia easily played their best and most complete game of the season this afternoon. The Flyers played from start to finish with their foot on the gas, while never looking back. 5 on 5, Philadelphia out scored Pittsburgh 2-0, went 1 for 4  on the PowerPlay, all while shutting down the Penguins on the penalty kill going 5 for 5, and even scored a shorthanded goal. 

"I think we've been looking for a game like that a long time ago," Claude Giroux told CSNPhilly. "Make sure that everybody follows the game plan and everybody plays 60 minutes. It feels pretty good."

The Flyers got off to a great start opening the scoring while on the PowerPlay. Claude Giroux to Scott Hartnell, and the Orange and Black were up 1-0 just 3:50 minutes in. 

5 minutes later, the Penguins got their chance to tie the game on their PowerPlay, but instead it was the Flyers again. Sean Couturier stole the puck deep in Pittsburgh's end and found Matt Read, who one-timed it past Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury putting the Flyers up 2. 

The middle period this season has not treated Philadelphia very well. The Flyers have surrendered 71 2nd period goals, 7th most in the NHL. But not today. 

Despite giving Pittsburgh two more PowerPlays in the period, Philadelphia still outshot them 17-11, while tacking on 2 more goals. 

Vincent Lecavalier, increased the Flyers lead to 3, when Luke Schenn found him on a perfect stretch pass sending him on the breakaway. Lecavalier made no mistake and beat Fleury for his 15th goal of the season. 

Just before the period was out, Philadelphia struck again. Matt Read tallied his 2nd of the game, 18th of the season on a perfect 3 on 1 with Couturier and Giroux with only 17 seconds left in the 2nd period. 

Philadelphia entered the 3rd leading 4-0; however, nothing changed for them. They kept skating hard, battling hard and outshot for the Penguins for the 3rd consecutive period, 11-7. 

Steve Mason also played a perfect game stopping all 25 shots sent his way, earning his 4th shutout of the season. 

The win puts the Flyers back into 3rd place with 75 points, a 34-25-7 record. 

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia shutout Pittsburgh for the first time since April 6th, 2008. 
  • Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Claude Giroux all registered 2 points today. 
  • Pittsburgh was credited with 14 giveaways, while Philadelphia only had 3. 
  • The Flyers outshot the Penguins 40-25 today, led by Read, who had 6. 
  • Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were a combined -5. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers and Penguins will complete their home and home series tomorrow afternoon in Pittsburgh. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Devils Frustrate Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New Jersey Devils tonight 2-1. 

In an important divisional matchup, in which New Jersey needed a win, the Devils played their defensive brand of hockey, frustrating the Flyers all game picking up the all important 2 points. 

Philadelphia was given all the opportunities to win this game including 6 PowerPlays, 2 of which came in the 3rd period; however, the Flyers squandered all their man advantages going 0 for 6 on the night. 

So it all came down to one final push with the goalie pulled. Kimmo Timonen kept the puck in at the point sending it across to Jake Voracek. Voracek skated in dishing it off to Scott Hartnell in front and the puck crossed the goal line, which should have sent the game to overtime. Instead, referee emphatically waved his arms back and forth yelling, 'no goal' over and over again. His exclamation was that Hartnell had pushed Devils goalie Martin Brodeur into the net causing the puck to cross the line. 

The replay showed both Hartnell and Devils defenseman Anton Volchekov crash into each other then both bumped Brodeur just after the puck went on goal. The puck was under Brodeur for a split seconds before trickling through over the line. 

Hartnell after disallowed goal
"The playoffs are on the line and you make a call like that?  It's [expletive] incredible. Sorry for the language, but its a joke." Jake Voracek exclaimed angrily after the game. 

The much calmer, coach Craig Berube simply said, it's a 50/50 play, stating that's not why they lost the game.

When asked about the PowerPlays, Berube pointed out that the effort was there, just not the execution. 

Travis Zajac scored the lone goal in the opening period, while Philadelphia scored the only 2nd period goal from Nicklas Grossmann. 

Tied at 1 apiece after two periods, it was the ageless Jaromir Jagr who netted the eventual game winner, 7:42 minutes into the 3rd. The tally was Jagr's 702nd career NHL goal. 

The loss means no points for the Flyers, dropping them to 33-25-7 on the season. 

Game Notes:
  • Grossmann, who scored the lone Flyers goal tonight, registered his first goal of the season and first in 76 games. 
  • Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek were credited with the assists on Grossmann's goal. 
  • Philadelphia out shot New Jersey 31-26.  
  • The Flyers first line (Giroux, Voracek and Hartnell) combined for 11 of those shots. 
  • Claude Giroux took 32 of the 58 draws in tonight's game. He won 22 of his 32 face offs (69%). 
  • Giroux also led all players in ice time logging 24:35 minutes tonight. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have off until Saturday when they open up their home and home series against their cross state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Flyers Comeback in 3rd, Only to Fall in OT to Leafs

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime tonight. 

Philadelphia got off to a very slow start allowing 2 goals against in the first 4 minutes; however, they once again fought back in the game to eventually force the extra session. 

In overtime, Toronto took advantage of a Flyers breakdown ending up with a mini 2 on 1 right in front of Steve Mason. Dion Phaneuf fed ex Flyer Joffrey Lupul for the winner. 

Leafs score the winner in OT
Philadelphia played a decent game and gave a great effort to comeback from both a 2-0 and a 3-2 lead earning 1 important point, but it just wasn't enough for the victory in the end. 

Both coach Craig Berube and captain Claude Giroux blamed the loss on their poor 1st period. In that period, the Leafs outshot the Flyers 14-9 and scored 2 goals in the first 3:38 minutes. 

Jake Gardiner scored the first 2:21 minutes in then Nazem Kadri got the second just 1:17 minutes later, and the Flyers had another hill to climb.   

Late in the 2nd period, the Flyers finally got on the board on a 4 on 2 rush from Kimmo Timonen giving them some much needed life. 

The newly rejuvenated Flyers struck again in the 3rd period. And again it was Timonen. Jake Voracek set up Timonen from behind the net and the game was tied at 2. 

Toronto was able to restore their lead with just over 6 minutes on a goal by Mason Raymond, only to see the Flyers comeback once again. 

With 2:32 minutes remaining, Braydon Coburn blasted a slap shot from the point past Jonathan Bernier knotting this game up at 3, forcing overtime. 

In the extra session, the Flyers were buzzing but couldn't take advantage of any of their chances, while the Leafs went down and scored on their first chance in the overtime. 

The loss drops the Flyers to a 33-24-7 record, still hanging on to the 2nd seed in the Metropolitan division. 

Game Notes:
  • Kimmo Timonen registered his first multi goal game since December 14th 2009. 
  • Neither team scored on the PowerPlay. 
  • The Flyers went 0 for 2 while the Leafs 0 for 3. 
  • Timonen and Coburn combined for 3 goals, +6, 8 shots, 4 blocks and 6 hits. 
  • Nicklas Grossmann and Mark Streit were a combined -6. 
  • Voracek provided 2 assists tonight. It was his third consecutive multi point game. 
  • In those 3 games, Voracek has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points. 
  • The Flyers were out shot 36-31 tonight. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have off until Tuesday when they face off against the New Jersey Devils. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Flyers Hang On, Sweep Home and Home With Capitals

Lecavalier and Erskine mix it up
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals 6-4 tonight.

The Flyers played an excellent first 2 periods and had a 4-0 lead at one point; however, the Capitals turned things around quickly scoring the next 3 goals, making this a competitive hockey game. In the meantime, the rivalry heated up as both star captains went head to head: Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist, while Claude Giroux collected his second straight 3 point night scoring 2 goals, while the 2 teams added 70 penalty minutes, including multiple fights and ejections. 

Claude Giroux got things started early for the Flyers, who picked things up right where they left off in their last game (where they outshot the Capitals in the final period and overtime on Wednesday's game 13-0). Giroux raced in alone, went forehand to backhand and beat Capitals goalie Brayden Holtby. The Flyers went on to outshoot the Capitals 13-3 in the period. 

One of those shots came off Jake Voracek's stick while on the PowerPlay which led to a 2-0 lead heading into the 2nd period. And in that period, Philadelphia kept up their strong play and added 2 more goals to their lead. 

Both Giroux and Voracek scored twice tonight
Giroux netted his 2nd of the game, 23rd of the season, while Michael Raffl score his 8th, giving the Flyers a commanding 4-0 lead. 

Before the period was out, Washington got one back on the PowerPlay. Joel Ward tipped in Mike Green's shot from the point giving the Capitals some much needed life. Prior to the goal, the Capitals had only taken 5 shots in the game. 

The goal sparked the Capitals as they went on to take 17 shots in the 3rd period in an attempt to make a huge comeback. 

Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer both lit the lamp before the halfway mark of the period making this a 1 goal game. 

But the Flyers were not going down easily. Jake Voracek, who was one of the few Flyers still hustling, created a turnover which led to his 2nd of the game, restoring the Flyers 2 goal lead, if only momentarily. 

However, 20 seconds later, the Flyers were called for another penalty, allowing the Capitals to climb right back. Brooks Laich scored Washington's 3rd PowerPlay goal of the game, once again making this a 1 goal game. 

That would be as close as the Capitals would get. Steve Downie's empty net goal iced the game for the Flyers, finalizing the score at 6-4. Philadelphia sweeps the home and home and wins the series versus Washington going 3-1-1 in 5 games. 

The Flyers improve to 33-24-6 on the season, 2 points ahead of New York and 4 ahead of Washington. 

Game Notes:
  • Luke Schenn and Tom Wilson dropped the mitts in the 1st period, then immediately afterwards John Erskine ended up fighting Vincent Lecavalier. Both Erskine and Lecavalier were given game misconducts.
  • Andrew MacDonald played in his first game as a Flyer since being traded from the Islanders. MacDonald picked up an assist and was a +2, blocked 3 shots and took 3 hits in 18:07 minutes. 
  • Claude Giroux registered 2 goals and an assist tonight. He had 4 goals and 2 assist in the home and home series.  
  • It is the first time Giroux has had back to back 3 point nights since April of 2012. 
  • Washington went 3 for 4 on the PowerPlay while the Flyers were 1 for 2. 
  • The Flyers were dominant once again in the face off circle winning 39 of the 62 draws.
  • Giroux led the way winning 76%. 
  • The Flyers took 30 shots tonight. The Voracek (6), Giroux (5) and Hartnell (2) line combined for 13 of those. 
Drop the Puck:
The Flyers look to keep their winning streak alive when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.