Saturday, April 23, 2016

Neuvirth Backstops Capitals, Flyers Stay Alive

Michal Neuvirth absolutely stole the show tonight helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Washington Capitals 2-0 tonight. 

As Frank Calder once coined, Michal Neuvirth stood on his head, stopping all 44 shots faced tonight in an extremely lopsided game. The Flyers managed to only muster up 11 total shots on goal in the entire game, a franchise low for either playoff or regular season game. 14 shots in the first period, 16 in the second and 14 more in the third. The Capitals took more shots in any period than the Flyers did all game. However, none of that matter since Neuvirth played out of his mind frustrating the Capitals at every turn. 

Ryan White snapped the scoreless tie in the second period just seconds after a Flyers PowerPlay expired. White found a loose puck in front and swung it around banking it off a Capitals defenseman and past Braden Holtby for the 1-0 lead and eventual game winning goal. 

The Capitals poured it on again out shooting the Flyers 14-3 but yet again were unable to get one past the wall that was Neuvirth. 

Chris VandeVelde wrapped the game up with his empty net goal and the Flyers did something that hadn't happened all season by giving the Capitals their first back to back regulation losses. 

• Alex Ovechkin took eight shots on goal, just three less than the entire Flyers lineup. 
• Not one Flyers defenseman registered a shot on goal. 
• The Flyers first line (Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn) accounted for six shots. The rest of the team took five. 
• The Flyers went scoreless again on the PowerPlay, 0-6, for the fourth time in five playoff games. 
• The Capitals went 0-3 on the PowerPlay. 
• VandeVelde's goal was the first playoff tally of his career. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will host Game 6 on Saturday at noon.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Flyers Bounce Back, Avoid Sweep

Following a brutal 6-1 defeat on Monday night the Philadelphia Flyers came out strong tonight beating the Washington Capitals 2-1 in Game 4. 

The guiding force in the first three games was clearly specialty teams. The Capitals scored at least one PowerPlay goal in each of the first three games while the Flyers came up empty. As a result, Washington went on to win all three contests. Tonight, the Flyers stayed more disciplined only having to kill one full PowerPlay (and another one that was only a few seconds long, since it overlapped with a Flyers PowerPlay), while they finally cashed in on their man-advantage. 

Shayne Gostisbehere, who turned 23 today, received a pass from Claude Giroux on their first of two PowerPlays, and one-timed the puck past Braden Holtby for his first career playoff goal giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead 5:51 into the game. 

A scary moment happened toward the end of the period. Flyers forward Scott Laughton fell hard into the boards behind the Capitals goal and he did not get up. After about a 10 minutes delay, Laughton was taken off on a stretcher and taken to Jefferson Hospital. It was announced after the game, that Laughton was responsive, had movement in all his extremities and all his tests came back negative. The rookie will remain in the hospital overnight for precautionary purposes. 

Flyers had a few shaky shifts to end the first as if their fallen comrade was the only thing on their minds. However, they came out strong again in the second and extended their lead when Andrew MacDonald's shot from the point found its way past Holby. The Flyers had a two goal lead for the first time in the series. 

The third period belonged to the Capitals, who outshot the Flyers 13-4 and made a strong push to get back into the game. TJ Oshie started the comeback just 2:38 into the period breathing life into the Capitals. 

Michal Neuvirth, who got his first start of the playoffs, shut down the Capitals for the rest of the period earning the number one star of the game stopping a total of 31 shots on 32 attempts.   

• Flyers went 1-2 on the PowerPlay scoring their first PowerPlay goal of the series. 
• The Capitals were 0-2, scoreless on the PowerPlay for the first time in the series. 
• Claude Giroux's assist on Gostisbehere's goal was his first point of the series. 
• Colin McDonald replaced Pierre Edouard Bellemare, who was suspended one game for his hit on Dmitry Orlov on Monday. 
• McDonald took two shots and seven hits in 14:24 minutes. 
• The Flyers took 24 shots on goal tonight. Gostisbehere led with five. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers head to Washington for Game 5 on Friday. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Capitals Embarrass Flyers, Fans Embarrass Themselves

The Washington Capitals scored four goals in the third period beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 in Game 3 tonight to take a 3-0 strangle hold in the first round series. 

The game was close heading into the third period as the Capitals held a 2-1 lead over the Flyers. However, Washington took advantage of an extremely fortunate bounce the caromed off the boards ending up right in front of Steve Mason and on the stick of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead. It was at that moment when the all the wheels fell off. The Flyers ended up giving the Capitals five more PowerPlays in the period in which Washington scored thrice, one from John Carlson, another from Alex Ovechkin and Jay Beagle. The Capitals ended the game with five PowerPlay goals in nine attempts, a new club record. 

During the collapse, the fans got restless which then to to classlessness. Wristbands, that were given to the crowd prior to the game for a pre game pump-up light show, ended up showering the ice, not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions. After the second time, public address announce Lou Nolan urged the fans to halt their actions saying, "Ok ladies and gentleman, hold those wristbands in your hand, this is Philly. Put the wristbands where they're supposed to be. Do not throw them on the ice. Have some class." 

The message was not sent. The next chance they had, the wristbands came flying into the ice again, despite the threat of a bench penalty and the urge from both teams including Wayne Simmonds and Alex Ovechkin, who were lined up at the faceoff circle. At that point, the referees were given no choice but to call the penalty on the Flyers due to their fans. Again on the loud speaker as Lou Nolan announced the penalty, he rightfully said, "Ok, those of you who have been throwing [the wristbands], you've done it now, two minute bench minor for Delay of Game. Way to go." 

Simply put, both the players and the fans should be ashamed of themselves. Tonight was the special night to honor their founder and father, Edward Malcolm Snider, who's initials were painted behind the goals. Before the game, the Flyers honored Mr. Snider with a beautiful tribute video and a moment of silence (which a couple of classless fans also ruined by responding to the Pittsburgh Penguins classless act of chanting 'Flyers suck' during their moment of silence in Pittsburgh, by saying something of the same degree back to the Penguins). They also had a massive banner put up on the side of the Wells Fargo Center that could be seen from I-95! But instead of it ending with a special goodbye the players put up a horrible effort in the third starting with Pierre Edouard Bellemare's hit from behind on Dmitry Orlov, who thankfully was alright. Bellmare, who is usually a very respectful player, made a horrible choice and took a five minute major. 

And the Flyers gave up. And because of that, so did the fans. After the game, head coach Barry Trotz of the Capitals said, "I thought it wasn't good for the game plain and simple. They weren't interested in playing anymore. We're on national television and I don't think it displays our game well." 

Despite the loss, the Flyers still have at least one more game to play in this series, possibly more. And they need to save face on Wednesday by playing with the heart and soul that Ed Snider founded this team on. 

• Regardless of the fact that many fans threw their bracelets on the ice, not all fans did; the true fans did not. Several fans took to social media including Twitter saying how embarrassed they were at the actions of the 'other' fans and felt shame that they did not deserve. Many fans proudly flashed a picture of their bracelets after the game showing they still had it. There are still many good,  classy fans still out there. 
• Michael Raffl scored the Flyers lone goal 57 seconds into the game. It was his first playoff goal of his career. 
• Brandon Manning and Sam Gagner got the assists on Raffl's goal also earning their first career playoff points. 
• The Flyers took 53 penalty minutes tonight including game misconducts for Pierre Edouard Bellemare, Ryan White and Radko Gudas for the scrum that ensued after the Bellemare hit. 
• Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin score the Capitals two goals prior to the third period. 

Drop The Puck:
The Capitals will look to close out the series in Game 4, which will take place on Monday in Philadelphia.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Capitals Take Commanding 2-0 Series Lead With Saturday's Victory

The Philadelphia Flyers fell 4-1 to the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight. 

Despite the outcome, Philadelphia dominated much of the play tonight and ultimately outshot Washington 42-23. Braden Holtby, who posted a 19 save shutout against the Flyers in Game 1, had 19 saves in the first period alone tonight and 42 throughout the entirety of the game, earning the number one star for the second consecutive contest. 

Also similarly to Game 1, special teams helped win the game for the Capitals tonight. Washington went a perfect 2-2 on the man-advantage with John Carlson scoring from the point in the first period, putting the Capitals up 1-0, and Alex Ovechkin in the second for a 3-1 lead. On the other side, the Flyers went 0-4 on the PowerPlay including missed opportunities on 5 on 3 and 4 on 3 man-advantages. 

Unlike Thursday, the Flyers did, however, manage to get one past Holtby. Jake Voracek beat the all star goalie through the five hole on a rush up the ice with Brayden Schenn in the second period. But that would be the only light the Flyers would see all game. 

Steve Mason on the other hand had a bit of a rough night allowing four goals on 23 shots, including an embarrassing one off the stick of Jason Chimera from the opposite side of the red line that snuck through Mason's pads. 

Nicklas Backstrom sealed the Game 2 victory with his first of the series with just over two minutes to play in the final period extending the Capitals lead to 4-1. 

• The Flyers outshot the Capitals 19-5 in the first period. The Capitals, however, went into the intermission with a 1-0 lead. 
• Rookie Shayne Gostisbehere picked up his first career playoff point assisting on Voracek's second period goal. 
• Brayden Schenn, who replaced Sean Couturier (out with shoulder injury) at second line center, had an assist and was a plus 1 tonight. 
• The Flyers first line accounted for 13 total shots. 
• Scott Laughton played in his first NHL playoff game. He registered five shots in 11:10 minutes and was a minus 1. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will try to get back into this series at home in Game 3 on Monday.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Flyers Drop Game One, Lose Couturier

The playoffs are finally here and the Washington Capitals hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in Game One tonight. The Flyers came out strong but it was the Capitals in the end winning 2-0. 

Even worse news for the Flyers, other than the loss in Game One, was the injury to Sean Couturier. Couturier went down in the second period after taking a heavy, but legal hit from Alex Ovechkin. Couturier skated off holding his shoulder and did not return in the third period. Early word from reporters was that the center had a sprain and will miss the remainder of the series, yet the Flyers did not confirm this, stating the extent to his injury is still unknown. Couturier will be evaluated further tomorrow. 

The loss is huge for the Flyers since Couturier is their top defensive center and plays the PowerPlay and penalty kill. And special teams essentially won the game for the Capitals tonight. 

Philadelphia went 0-3 on the PowerPlay in the first period and scoreless on their fourth in the second. The referees starting evening out the man-advantages and the Flyers took the next five minor penalties. The Capitals finally broke the scoreless tie late in the second on their third PowerPlay. John Carlson's shot from the point ricocheted around and beat Steve Mason, who made 29 saves on 31 shots. 

After all the PowerPlays starting swaying the Capitals way, they simply started to dominate. Washington outshot Philadelphia 23-8 in the final two periods. 

Down a goal, the Flyers were only able to muster up four shots on goal in the third. Braden Holtby stopped them all earning his first shutout of the playoffs, making 19 total saves. The Capitals took advantage of a poor turnover by Jake Voracek combined with a poor change by Shayne Gostisbehere, which led directly to Jay Beagle's goal from the slot with only 3:24 minutes remaining, sealing the victory for the Capitals in the series opener. 

• Washington took a 1-0 lead in the best of seven quarterfinals series. 
• Flyers only took 19 shots on goal. Voracek was the only Flyer to take more than two shots; he took three. 
• Tonight was the Flyers lowest shot total since March 19th, 13 games back, when they took 17 against the Penguins. 
• The Capitals took 13 of their 31 shots on the PowerPlay. They went 1-6 on the man-advantage. 
• Six PowerPlays against was the most the Flyers have allowed in 27 games. 

Drop the Puck:
The Washington Capitals host Game Two against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Flyers Win Final Regular Season Game vs Islanders

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders 5-2 in the final game of the regular season. 

Both clubs had already clinched a playoff spot, therefore, neither had much to play for. If the Islanders won, they would move up into the third seed and would face the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. However, New York played as if they wanted nothing to do with the Penguins. 

The two teams rested their main stars which allowed for some of the depth players to shine. For the Flyers, this was the case for Michael Raffl. Raffl, who was the number one star of the game, picked up a season high three points tonight, scoring a goal and two assists. 

Michal Neuvirth, who hasn't started a game since March 16th, admittedly started off a bit rusty allowing two goals on the first six shots just nine minutes into the first. Nikolay Kuleman and Matt Martin gave the Islanders an early 2-0 lead. 

Shayne Gostisbehere and Evgeny Medvedev both scored on the PowerPlay knotting the game up at two before the period was out and the Flyers completely took over the game. 

Michael Raffl put the Flyers in the lead in the second period and Philadelphia never looked back. The Flyers ultimately scored five unanswered goals including three on the PowerPlay. 

Scott Laughton and RJ Umberger, playing for Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, each scored goals in the third period. 

Neuvirth eventually settled in earning the victory, making 15 saves on 17 shots. 

• Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier and Steve Mason were all given the day off. 
• Flyers outshot the Islanders 27-17. Gostisbehere and Laughton led with four each. 
• Evgeny Medvedev played his first game since March 12th. He picked up a goal and an assist. It was his first goal since January 9th. 
• Brayden Schenn, who picked up two assists, ended his season with a career high in goals (26), assists (33) and points (59). 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers begin the playoffs at the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Flyers Clinch Playoffs With Huge Win Over Penguins

After both the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins lost today, the Philadelphia Flyers needed one win and they would be in, and that's exactly what they did, earning a 3-1 victory over their cross state rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins today. 

The magic number for the Flyers was four coming into the day; however, when both the Red Wings and Bruins lost, the number decreased to just two, meaning all the Flyers had to do was win today. 

The Flyers got off to a bit of a shaky start in the first as the Penguins took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Nick Bonino off a two on one. 

Late in the period, Brayden Schenn went in on goal and crashed into Penguins goalie Matt Murray whose helmet went flying off. He was pulled from the game in favor of Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh's third goalie. The Penguins were now without starting goalie Marc Andre Fleury (injury), backup goalie Murray, Sidney Crosby (healthy), Evgeni Malkin (injury), and Kris Letang (healthy). 

Philadelphia settled in after some of the nerves seemingly wore off plus were helped by a huge momentum changing save from Steve Mason and were able to knot the game up at one before the period was out. Jake Voracek made a perfect pass to Wayne Simmonds crashing the net and he buried his 31st goal of the season. 

The second period was much different than the first and the Flyers dominated it outshooting the Penguins 13-4 and were able to take their first lead on the game as a result. Shayne Gostisbehere made a nice lateral move along the blue line to get an open shot which deflected off Simmonds and in. 

In the remaining 24 minutes following Simmonds go-ahead goal, the Flyers only surrendered five shots against all of them stopped by Steve Mason, who played very well stopping 18 shots on 19 attempts. 

Pierre Edouard Bellemare sent the whole building to their feet with his empty net goal that clinched the playoffs for the Philadelphia Flyers with 57 seconds remaining. 

• Jake Voracek:
It was tough, I'm not gonna lie. We dug in and it wasn't the prettiest win but we did it. Mason was outstanding not only today but during the whole stretch. Everyone chipped in and it feels pretty good. We had a tough start but since November we've played well and I think we deserved it. 

• Claude Giroux:
We believed in what we were doing and it's a relief to know we're going to play in the playoffs. When Hextall didn't make any trades at the deadline, we got pretty close as a team and set some goals. We got our first goal.

• Wayne Simmonds:
Unbelievable. We worked so hard to get to this point. It's a huge step for us. We fought hard and got the two points tonight. We battled our butts off tonight.

• Steve Mason:
All the weight came off our shoulders. The guys fought all season long to get to this point. We had one goal in mind and it was to get into the playoff picture. It's definitely a good feeling and we'll enjoy it and get ready for the first round of the playoffs.

• The Flyers have officially clinched the final wildcard spot. They cannot move up or down in the standings no matter what happens in the other games tonight or tomorrow. 
• As a result, the Flyers will face the President Trophy winning Washington Capitals. The first game will most likely be on Thursday. 
• The Flyers outshot the Penguins 36-19. Giroux led the Flyers with seven shots. 
• Shayne Gostisbehere, who picked up an assist and two shots, led the Flyers with 22:21 minutes. 
• The Flyers went 0-3 on the PowerPlay tonight including a five minute major. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play at the New York Islanders tomorrow to make up the game that was snowed out earlier in the season. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Simmonds Scores Late to Force Overtime, But Fall to Leafs in Overtime

The Philadelphia Flyers scored twice in the third period including Wayne Simmonds' goal with 57 seconds left to force overtime where the Toronto Maple Leafs won it 4-3.

It was almost a nightmare situation tonight for the Flyers, who saw the Boston Bruins defeat the Detroit Red Wings, meaning both teams leap frogged the Flyers in the last 24 hours. If the Flyers, who found themselves down 3-1 heading into the third period, lost in regulation, they would lose the ability to control their own destiny. However, the Flyers played a torrid pace in the third period outshooting the Leafs 18-8. 

Andrew MacDonald started the comeback 8:33 minutes into the period on a shot from the point for his first of the season and first since January of 2015, and the Flyers were alive again. 

With under a minute to play, and Steve Mason on the bench in favor an extra attacker, Mark Streit took a shot from the point that was tipped by Wayne Simmonds past Jonathan Bernier tying the game with 57 seconds left. The goal was Simmonds 30th of the season, a new career high. 

In overtime, MacDonald was called for tripping sending the Leafs to a four on three man advantage. On the ensuing PowerPlay, Jake Gardiner's shot from the point snuck past Mason for the victory. 

Despite the loss, the Flyers picked up arguably the biggest point of their season. By adding a single point, the Flyers remain in control of their own destiny. If they win out, they are in. If either Boston or Detroit loses on Saturday in regulation, the Flyers magic number becomes two. 

Philadelphia got off to a horrible start allowing the first two goals to the opposition. Rookie William Nylander scored 5:28 into the first while Colin Greening beat Mason, who made 22 saves on 26 shots, on a breakaway late in the period. 

The Flyers cut the lead in half on Brayden Schenn's 26th of the season; however, Michael Grabner restored the two goal lead on another breakaway halfway through the period. 

• The Flyers outshot the Leafs 44-26. Simmonds led the Flyers with seven while Jake Voracek had six. 
• Shayne Gostisbehere, who had an assist and was a plus 2, played a team high 24:49 minutes. 
• The Flyers have out their annual awards tonight. Here are the winners:
• Shayne Gostisbehere won the Barry Ashbee Trophy for best defenseman along with the Gene Hart Memorial Award for the player that displays the most heart. 
• Claude Giroux won the Bobby Clarke Trophy for team MVP and the Toyota Cup for most 'stars of the game.' 
• Brayden Schenn won the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy for most improved player. 
• Wayne Simmonds won the Yankick Dupre Class Guy Award. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play their penultimate and most important game of the season on Saturday afternoon when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Red Wings Shutout Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers, who split the weekend games with a win over the Ottawa Senators followed by a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, were shutout tonight by the hungrier Detroit Red Wings 3-0 tonight. 

For the first time since February 14th, the Flyers have lost back to back games and now find themselves tied with Boston with 91 points for the final wildcard spot. The Flyers have a game in hand, but the Bruins own the tiebreaker, so currently the Flyers would need to have more points than the Bruins at the end of the season. Therefore, despite the fact that the Flyers were shutout by the Red Wings tonight, they need Detroit to beat Boston tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Flyers would do themselves a huge favor if they can defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night. 

Tonight's matchup started with both teams tied at 91 points fighting for two more important ones, but only one team came out with some fire. To start the game, Detroit came out with a strong forecheck giving Philadelphia fits in their own end, which led directly to their first goal. Brad Richards pressured Shayne Gostisbehere in the corner, who threw the puck out front and in on Steve Mason. Mason pushed it aside but Darren Helm found the loose puck and buried his 13th of the season. 

Detroit added to their lead in the second period while shorthanded. Jake Voracek couldn't handle the puck along the boards and Andreas Athanasiou raced down the ice on a breakaway beating Mason with a nice deke. Despite outshooting Detroit in the period, Philadelphia found themselves on the wrong side of the scoresheet again. 

The Flyers picked up the pace in the third period, but we're just unable to solve Jimmy Howard, who made 30 saves for his second shutout of the season. Kyle Quincey buried an empty net goal on a wraparound the boards from behind his own goal. The puck took a strange bounce off the boards and right into the empty cage, summing up the how the whole game played out for the Flyers. 

• Steve Mason made 23 saves on 25 shots tonight. 
• The Flyers were unable to convert on their PowerPlay tonight going 0-4. 
• The Red Wings also went 0-4 on the PowerPlay snapping their eight game streak. 
• Jimmy Howard picked up an assist on Quincey's goal. It was the goalie's first point of the season. 
• Flyers outshot the Red Wings 30-26. Voracek and Mark Streit led with four shots each. 
• Gostisbehere was -3 tonight tying his season low. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play a hugely important game at home tomorrow versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Huge Win for the Flyers over the Capitals in Shootout

With the game on the line, Sam Gagner took to the ice. Tied at 1, but ahead 1-0 in the shootout, Gagner skated in alone on Braden Holtby with a lot of speed. Gagner went five hole beating Holtby giving the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals tonight. 

The shootout win was only their third of the season, but it could not have come at a better time. With the two points, the Flyers take sole possession of the final wildcard spot in the standings with 89 points, two ahead of the Detroit Red Wings, with a game still in hand. 

Philadelphia and Washington played the first two periods to a scoreless tie before trading PowerPlay goals in the third period. Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring for the Capitals early in the period from his office in the circle, while Brayden Schenn responded for the Flyers at 14:32 by tipping in Claude Giroux's shot. Both teams went 1-3 on the PowerPlay. 

In overtime, Wayne Simmonds was called for tripping sending one of the league's top PowerPlay units to a four on three man-advantage. The Capitals took five shot attempts; however, with two misses (one off the post) and two blocked shots only one made it in on Steve Mason, who made 29 saves on 30 shots. The Flyers killed off the PowerPlay and went on to take three shots in the extra session but were unable to get one past Holtby. 

TJ Oshie went first in the shootout and was stopped by Mason. Nick Cousins went for the Flyers and beat Holtby on a backhanded deke through the five-hole. 

Next up, the Capitals leading point scorer, Evgeny Kuznetsov. Mason went down early but was still able to make a spectacular glove save setting up Gagner for the win. Gagner made no mistake beating Holtby again through the five-hole securing the second point for the Flyers. 

• Shayne Gostisbehere was butt-ended by Jason Chimera in the second period tonight sending the young defenseman to the ice. The referees missed the call, which under the NHL rules would have been a five minute major and a game misconduct. Gostisbehere was ok and continued the game. 
• The Flyers outshot the Capitals 34-30 and amazingly outhit them by the exact same number, 34-30. Voracek led the Flyers with five shots while Schenn led in hits with eight. 
• The first PowerPlay unit scored a goal for the first time since February 29th. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers will have off until Saturday when they host the Ottawa Senators. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Giroux Scores in Overtime Keeping Flyers in Playoff Spot

Shayne Gostisbehere dove to break up a potential three on one in overtime, corralled the puck with his hand and then passed it to a wide open Claude Giroux. Giroux was all by himself in front of the net and fired a shot past Ondre Pavelec giving the Flyers a much needed 3-2 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets tonight. 

On Saturday night, Claude Giroux was boarded by Martin Hanzal in a game against Arizona. With his eyes closed as he laid on the ice, it was uncertain as to whether he would play tonight or not. But Giroux passed all his baseline concussion tests and said he felt good. So not only did the captain suit up tonight, but he left his mark on the game registering an assist along with the game winning goal with 13.6 seconds left in overtime. 

After a tough four games in six night road trip, in which the Flyers went 2-1-1, the Flyers got off to a good start in the first period yet neither team were able to light the lamp. 

The second period was a much different story as three goals were scored in the first seven minutes of the stanza. Mark Streit put the Flyers on the board early scoring just 41 seconds in when Sean Couturier found the defenseman pinching to the net. Wayne Simmonds extended the lead with his team leading 26th goal assisted by Brayden Schenn and Giroux. 

Mark Scheifele cut the lead in half just minutes after Simmonds goal when a Jake Voracek turnover led to a breakaway for the Jets leading goal scorer. 

The Jets knotted the game up at two, 2:35 minutes into the third period. Scheifele set up Blake Wheeler in front, who made a nice move beating Steve Mason, who was left out to dry due to poor defensive coverage on the play. 

The Flyers garner another two points with the victory tonight and remain tied with Detroit, who also won, for the last wildcard spot with 87 points. 

• The Flyers haven't lost back to back games since February 13th and 14th. 
• Giroux picked up a multipoint game for the first time in his last ten games. 
• Jake Voracek remains snake bitten. He has only picked up two points in the six games since returning from injury. 
• Flyers outshot the Jets 32-28. Claude Giroux and Radko Gudas tied for five each. 
• For the first time all season the Flyers didn't give the opposition any PowerPlays. It was the first time since March 4th 2012 that the Flyers accomplished his feat. 
• Philadelphia went 0-2 on their man advantage taking three shots. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers will host the Presidents Trophy winning Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flyers Fall to Coyotes, Lose Giroux in Process

Two second period goals separated by just 4:22 minutes was all the Arizona Coyotes would need to beat the Flyers tonight, 2-1. 

The worse news for the Flyers is that Claude Giroux left the game after being boarded in the final minutes of the game. Martin Hanzal, the same player who essentially ended Chris Prongers career, sent Giroux head first into the boards at 17:45 of the third period. Giroux laid on the ice, possibly unconscious, for a little, while the rest of the Flyers, specifically Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, jumped Hanzal. Giroux did eventually get up on his own power and skated around before leaving for the locker room. Hanzal was given a five minute major and a game misconduct. Simmonds also received a game misconduct, while Schenn was given a roughing.

As a result, the Flyers would spend the remainder of the game, 2:15 minutes, on the PowerPlay; however, they were without Giroux, Simmonds, Schenn and later, Ryan White who was also given a game misconduct for a tussle with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. 

On the ensuing PowerPlay, the Flyers, who were down 2-0, scored with 40 seconds remaining cutting the lead to one. Sean Couturier snapped his 21 game goalless streak on a shot from the top of the circle giving the Flyers a little life. 

Unfortunately, the Flyers were unable to complete the comeback losing 2-1. Philadelphia missed a golden opportunity to take a lead in the standings yet instead remain tied for the final wildcard spot with Detroit at 85 points.  

After a scoreless first, the Coyotes struck twice in the second period. Shane Doan scored the first on the PowerPlay off a rebound, while Michael Stone tallied the second with 0.5 seconds remaining. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol challenged the play for goalie interference since Steve Mason's mask was almost knocked off during the play. However, the call on the ice stood and the Coyotes took a two goal lead into the third. 

• Coyotes captain Shane Doan also left the game due to an injury. Radko Gudas pushed him down prior to the boards then Gudas' momentum slammed Doan into the boards. Doan did not return to the game. 
• Shayne Gostisbehere registered an assist on Couturier's goal. It was his 41st point of the season. 
• Flyers outshot the Coyotes 35-17. Voracek and Gostisbehere led with five each. 
• Flyers went 1-5 on the PowerPlay and 2-3 on the penalty kill. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers return home to face the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Flyers Score Twice in 19 Seconds in Third to Defeat Avalanche

The Philadelphia Flyers fell down 2-1 in the third period, only to score three of their own in the final six minutes to win 4-2 over the Colorado Avalanche tonight. 

Tied at one after two periods, the Avalanche took a 2-1 lead 6:13 minutes in when John Mitchell scored on Steve Mason in front after receiving a pass from Andreas Martinsen. 

Philadelphia continued to stick to their game plan without panicking and at 14:17 it finally paid off. Radko Gudas, who has 11 points in his last 16 games, ripped a shot from the point that snuck through a Jake Voracek screen and past Semyon Varlamov for the tying goal. 

Just 19 seconds later, the Flyers took the lead for the first time in the game. Claude Giroux scooped up Wayne Simmonds' rebound controlled it with his skates and buried the eventual game winning goal. 

Colorado made a furious push in the final three plus minutes attempting nine shots on goal: three blocked, six on goal; however, Mason, who turned aside 32 shots on 34 attempts in another excellent effort tonight, was up to task stopping all six. 

The Flyers secured the two points after Ryan White was given an awarded goal on an empty net in the closing seconds. Philadelphia remains in the final wildcard spot, still tied with Detroit, who also won tonight. 

Despite the win, the Flyers got off to a slow start. Even though it was scoreless after one, the Avalanche outplayed and outshot the Flyers 15-7 and then carried that momentum into the second scoring the first goal of the game. Nick Holden scored from the bottom of the circle just 3:05 into the period. The goal, however, seemed to spark the Flyers, who finally came alive and went on to outshoot the Avalanche 19-10 in the period, while also scoring the equalizer. Pierre Edouard Bellemare tipped in Shayne Gostisbehere's shot from the point scoring his sixth goal of the season. 

• Giroux's goal was his fifth game winning goal of the season. 
• Sean Couturier, who hasn't scored in 21 games, has 9 assists in his last 10 games. 
• Pierre Edouard Bellemare picked up a goal and an assist tonight. It was his first career multipoint game in the NHL. 
• The Flyers outshot the Avalanche 45-34. Bellemare and Simmonds led the Flyers with six shots each. 
• Gostisbehere snapped the longest pointless streak of his career, four games, with an assist tonight. 
• Flyers went 0-2 on the PowerPlay and 1-1 on the penalty kill. They have gone six straight games without giving up a PowerPlay goal against going 16-16. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers remain on the road to face the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jackets Score Twice in Final 64 Seconds, Win in Shootout

The Philadelphia Flyers held a 2-0 lead in the final minutes of play and where given a PowerPlay. The game was all but over. Then Boone Jenner scored a shorthanded deflection goal with 1:04 remaining in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets had life. They pulled their goalie again and with eight seconds left, Cam Atkinson found a loose rebound and buried it past Steve Mason, who had a career day stopping 51 shots on 53 attempts, tying the game at two. 

After overtime wasn't enough a shootout was needed. And for the eighth time this season and 70th time out of 102 all time shootouts, the Flyers lost. All five Flyers failed to convert, while Jenner, Jackets fifth shooter, scored winning the game 3-2 for the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

• Claude Giroux scored the Flyers first goal in the first period which was assist by Brayden Schenn and Nick Schultz. 
• Ryan White scored the second goal for the Flyers 11:54 into the third period on the PowerPlay. The goal was assist by Schenn and Sean Couturier. 
• The Flyers did still pick up one crucial point in the standings. Detroit lost their game against Tampa Bay; therefore, the Flyers are back in the second wildcard spot. 
• Flyers were outshot 53-33. It was the most shots the Flyers allowed all season. Claude Giroux took nine of those 33 shots. 
• Flyers went 1-5 on the PowerPlay and 4-4 on the penalty kill. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers will look to put this game behind them when they head to Colorado to face the Avalanche on Thursday. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Flyers Defeat Islanders, Inch Closer to Playoffs Again

Steve Mason made 23 saves on 24 shots helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the New York Islanders 4-1 tonight. 

Mason, who learned yesterday that he would get a huge workload to end the season following the announcement that Michal Neuvirth will out for three weeks with a lower body injury, was simply outstanding tonight. Mason did not have to make a ton of saves due to the Flyers solid play on defense, but the ones that got through were some excellent chances that Mason denied keeping the Flyers alive. 

After a scoreless first, the Flyers got on the board early in the second on Nick Cousins sixth of the season, set up by Jake Voracek, his first point since return from injury. 90 seconds later, the Islanders responded. Kyle Okposo buried his own rebound for his 20th of the year.  

Later in the period, Brandon Manning was called for a cross checking penalty. The Flyers killed off the penalty and Andrew MacDonald found Manning fresh out of the box. Manning ripped a shot past Thomas Greiss for his first career NHL goal. 

Similarly to the second period, Philadelphia got off to a great start in the third as well, scoring just 4:22 minutes in. Sam Gagner was the recipient of a nice Sean Couturier pass in the crease and his eighth of the season put the Flyers up by two. 

The Flyers buckled down defensively allowing just two shots against in the final seven minutes of play and tacked on an empty net goal from Claude Giroux to close this one out 4-1. 

With the victory, the Flyers pull to within three points of the Islanders and one point of the Detroit Red Wings. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Crosby Extends Point Streak in Win over Flyers

The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Philadelphia Flyers from start to finish in their 4-1 victory this afternoon. 

Despite having won eight of their last ten and getting Jake Voracek back in the lineup, the Flyers looked like a bad team. Pittsburgh was all over the ice playing a very high paced game that Philadelphia seemingly could not keep up with. 

After a scoreless first period the Penguins scored three times in the second, but not before the Flyers lit the lamp. Radko Gudas got the Flyers on the board early in the second on just the Flyers fifth shot on goal from the point. Instead of using the momentum, the Flyers fell completely flat after the goal and the Penguins responded almost immediately. 

61 second later, Trevor Daley knotted the score at one beating Steve Mason. Pittsburgh continued their torrent pace and tack on two more in the final minutes of the period. Carl Hagelin scored the first on a shot from the point while Chris Kunitz was the recipient of the second after Mason lost site of the puck and accidentally kicked it in his net. 

Flyers took eight shots in the third, their most of any period, but it still wasn't enough. 

Kris Letang sealed the victory with an empty net goal in the closing minutes giving the Penguins a six point cushion over the Flyers. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Flyers Beat Hawks, Back in Playoff Spot

For the first time since October 28th, the Philadelphia Flyers are back in a playoff position after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 tonight. 

The Flyers came into the game tonight just one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final wildcard position and leave the game one point ahead. On October 28th, the Flyers, who were 4-2-2, were in the first wildcard spot with 10 points. Yet the following day, they were passed by both Pittsburgh and New Jersey. Philadelphia then lost seven of their next eight games. Four and a half months later, the Flyers, who have won eight of their last 10, are finally back in

After getting off to a tremendous start against Detroit yesterday, the Flyers did not quite get the start they wanted, giving up an early shorthanded goal to Marian Hossa, who took off on a breakaway when Shayne Gostisbehere broke his stick on a shot from the point. Hossa beat Michal Neuvirth, who made 24 saves on 26 shots, for his 11th of the season. However, the Flyers responded before the period was out on a PowerPlay goal from Ryan White. And despite being outplayed and outshot in the first, the score was tied at one after one. 

Jonathan Toews and Brayden Schenn traded goals in the second period. Toews scored on a wraparound 4:58 into the period for his 25th of the season while Schenn scored his 24th after receiving a beautiful spin around pass from Claude Giroux on a rush. 

Both teams played a safer third period looking to secure at least one point; the Flyers wanted to get that playoff spot while the Hawks are still vying for first place in their division. Neither team took more than four shots in the period. 

Radko Gudas, who hadn't registered a point since his career four point night on March 5th, broke through for the Flyers at 9:53 of the final period on a long shot from the point. Gudas' shot, which was just the third shot of the period for the Flyers, found its way through a maze of players and past Chicago goalie Scott Darling for the eventual game winning goal. 

The Flyers played tight defense allowing only three shots against in the final 10 minutes securing their 3-2 victory. 

• Gudas' goal was his first game winner of the season. 
• Brayden Schenn's goal was his 48th point of the season, setting a new career high. 
• Flyers went 1-2 on the PowerPlay and 3-3 on the penalty kill. 
• Sean couturier picked up two assists tonight. He has six points in his last six games. 
• All 12 Flyer forwards took at least one shot today; Couturier led with four.

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have another huge matchup on Saturday when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flyers Climb the Standings with a Huge Win Over Red Wings

In arguably their most important game of the season, the Philadelphia Flyers came out and played one of their best opening periods of the year leading to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings tonight. 

Coming into tonight's game, Detroit held a three point lead over Philadelphia for the final spot in the wildcard standings. Knowing they could pull within one point, the Flyers came out in the first period like a team possessed. 

Philadelphia outshot Detroit 23-3 in the first period and out scored them 2-0. Michael Raffl got things started for the Flyers 5:41 into the game on a strong individual effort for his 11th of the season. Just 74 seconds later, Wayne Simmonds extended the Flyers lead to two after burying Brayden Schenn's rebound. 

Detroit finally came alive in the middle period and cut the lead to one on an Andreas Athanasiou goal just 2:14 in. 

Michael Raffl continued his strong night restoring the Flyers two goal lead burying his own rebound for his first multigoal game of the season. 

The Red Wings and Flyers traded goals in the final five minutes of the period on goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Shayne Gostisbehere. 

Gostisbehere's goal, which was his first that didn't change the lead or put the Flyers in front at the time, ironically became the game winning goal. 

Detroit made it a close game in the end on a late goal from Tomas Tatar, however, Steve Mason, stopped 20 of the 21 shots thrown his way in the third period alone to preserve the 4-3 victory for the Flyers. 

Philadelphia is now one point behind Detroit with two games in hand; one of those will be played tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks. They also remain three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with one game in hand. 

• The Flyers, who took 23 shots in the first period, outshot the Red Wings, who took 21 shots in the third, 46-37. 
• Wayne Simmonds combined for seven shots in his previous four games, tonight he led the Flyers with eight shots. 
• Shayne Gostisbehere was next with six, tying his career high. 
• Mark Streit led the Flyers with 24:33 minutes tonight. It was his fifth straight game logging over 23 minutes.
• Flyers went 0-6 on the PowerPlay and 2-2 on the penalty kill. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers are right back into action tomorrow when they head to Chicago to face the Blackhawks.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Gostisbehere's Late Goal Forced OT, Panthers Won in Shootout

Shayne Gostisbehere made his homecoming game a memorable one as he scored the game tying goal in the final minutes of play forcing overtime. However, the Florida Panthers recovered in time to win 5-4 in a shootout over the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. 

Gostisbehere, who grew up in Margate Florida rooting for the Panthers, played his first game in the BB&T Center, where his grandfather once owned season tickets and took the youngster regularly. 

Philadelphia lost their 3-2 lead midway through the third when Florida scored twice in 65 seconds from Aleksander Barkov on the PowerPlay and Reilly Smith. Then it was the Shayne Gostisbehere show. With under two to play, Ghost made a move at the blue line and wristed a shot on goal that snuck through Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo tying the game at four apiece sending his friends and family out of their seats. According he had over 50 members of his friends and family at the game. 

The Flyers were given a PowerPlay in overtime and despite a lot of pressure in the offensive zone, were unable to convert. 

Nick Bjugstad and Barkov scored in the shootout for the Panthers while Sam Gagner and Nick Cousins were turned away by Luongo. Luongo also made 22 saves on 26 shots. 

The Flyers picked up a valuable point but also lost an important one. They are now two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and three back of the Detroit Red Wings. 

Reilly Smith opened the scoring for the Panthers in the first period on his 22nd goal of the season. Nick Cousins responded for the Flyers on a goal in front late in the period for his fifth. 

The Flyers and Panthers traded goals in the second on tallies from Ryan White and Jonathon Huberdeau. 

Michael Raffl put the Flyers back in the lead with his 10th before the Panthers scored back to back goals on Steve Mason, who made 25 saves on 29 shots. 

• Andrew MacDonald was a late scratch for the Flyers with a lower body injury. Evgeny Medvedev suited up in replacement. 
• Scott Laughton played his 100th career NHL game tonight.  
• Mark Streit played a season high 28:49 minutes tonight leading all players. 
• Streit also led the Flyers with five shots on goal. Gostisbehere and Giroux had four each. 
• Flyers went 1-5 on the PowerPlay and 2-3 on the penalty kill. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will play one of their biggest games of the season on Tuesday when they face the Detroit Red Wings, who are only three points ahead of them in the standings.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flyers Sweep Home and Home with Lightning

For the second consecutive game, the Philadelphia Flyers outplayed last year's Eastern Conference Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning earning a 3-1 victory tonight. 

After having lost 10 of their last 12 games to Tampa, Philadelphia has now won two in a row and three of their last four against the Lightning. They did it by outworking the opposition and in both games held the Lightning to under 20 shots. Philadelphia outshot Tampa a combined 56-36 (22-19 today) in their two wins this week. 

The second PowerPlay unit carried their weight tonight scoring two goals including the opening one in the first period. Sam Gagner chopped a rebound in front and got a little help from Lightning forward JT Brown, who pushed the puck into his own net. Gagner has scored five goals in his last nine games after finding the scoresheet just twice in his previous 28 games. 

Matt Read scored the Flyers second PowerPlay goal from the top of the circle with Ryan White providing a nice screen in front. It was the first time all season the Flyers second PowerPlay unit provided more than one goal in a game. 

Just over four minutes following Matt Read's goal in the second period, Brayden Schenn extended the lead to 3-0. Schenn's 23rd of the season came on a wraparound. 

Philadelphia played an excellent third period keeping Tampa to just one shot in the first 14 minutes. The Lightning made a strong push in the final minutes including while their goalie was pulled and snapped Steve Mason's shutout bid on a goal from Brian Boyle with under three to play. The Flyers only allowed one shot after the goal. 

With the victory, Philadelphia kept pace with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who also won today, while picking up two points on the Detroit Red Wings. They are currently three back of the Penguins and two of the Wings. 

• Steve Mason made 18 saves on 19 shots earning his third straight win. 
• Brayden Schenn has 31 points in his last 29 games and 27 points in 28 games since his brother Luke was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. 
• It was Philadelphia's first win at Tampa Bay since February 15, 2011. 
• It was also the Flyers first back to back wins against Tampa Bay since 2010. 
• Flyers went 1-1 on the penalty kill. They have now gone four straight games without surrendering a PowerPlay goal against. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers will head to Florida to face the Panthers on Saturday night. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Gostisbehere Scores Twice as Flyers Snap Lightning Streak

Shayne Gostisbehere recorded his first career two goal game helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.  

The Lightning came into tonight's game on a franchise record nine game winning streak, then they ran into the Flyers. 

Tampa Bay got on the board early on a goal from Ondrej Palat, who buried a rebound on Steve Mason; but that didn't stop the Flyers from dominating the period. Philadelphia outshot Tampa 9-3 in the first yet were unable to find the back of the twine. 

The Flyers carried their momentum into the second period where they took a season high 22 shots and with three minutes remaining on their 30th shot of the game, the rookie defenseman broke through. Gostisbehere pinched in on the play, found the loose puck in front and buried it tying the game with his 13th of the season. The goal tied Gostisbehere for the Flyers rookie defensive goal record with Behn Wilson. 

Record were made to be broken, as Gostisbehere has displayed all season. And Wilson's record became a thing of the past in the third period. On the PowerPlay, Claude Giroux set up Ghost for a one-timer in the circle giving the Flyers their first lead of the game. Gostisbehere's 14th goal set the new franchise high for a rookie defenseman. 

Philadelphia extended their lead to 3-1 on a Brayden Schenn deflection goal; however, the Lightning responded less than a minute later when Vladislav Namestnikov scored from the slot. 

In the final five minutes, Philadelphia held Tampa to just two shots on goal. Wayne Simmonds sealed the victory with an empty net goal in the closing minute. 

The Flyers successfully picked up 10 of a possible 12 points during their six game home stand and as a result are only two points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot in the East. 

• The Flyers outshot the Lightning 40-18. 
• It was the second straight game in which the Flyers held their opposition to under 20 shots and just the fourth time all season. 
• Claude Giroux recorded two assists tonight, while Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds both had a goal and an assist. 
• All 18 Flyers players incredibly registered at least one shot on goal tonight. Giroux and Schenn tied for the Flyers lead with five each.
• It was just the third time all season the Flyers registered at least 40 shots. 
• Philadelphia went 1-5 on the PowerPlay and 2-2 on the penalty kill. 
• Tonight was Gostisbehere's first career multi goal game. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will face the Lightning again on Friday, except this time the game will be played in Tampa Bay. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Gudas Had Career Night as Flyers Shutout Blue Jackets

The Philadelphia Flyers responded after a rough 4-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday with a shutout victory of their own today 6-0 over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The Flyers played a full 60 minute hockey game and the results were apparent. All the Flyers pulled their weight, but none more than Radko Gudas. I repeat, Radko Gudas. Gudas, who came into tonight's game with zero goals and six assists on the season, picked up two goals and two assists for a career high four points! 

Gudas was on fire right from the get-go setting up Michael Raffl, who scored on the first shot of the game for the Flyers, three minutes into the first period. Seven minutes later, the Czech native scored his first goal of the season and as a Flyer from the redline. Gudas blasted a 90 footer that caught Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney off guard putting the Flyers up 2-0 after one. The goal was Gudas' first since December 4th 2014. 

Picking up right where he left off, Gudas helped the Flyers get on the board again in the second. Late in the middle stanza, Gudas got the puck to Andrew MacDonald and he lobbed it up the ice to a cutting Sam Gagner, who buried his fourth goal in seven games. 

10 seconds later, the captain extended the lead to four. Claude Giroux netted his 18th of the season from the slot after receiving a pass from Wayne Simmonds on a rush up the ice and the Flyers were in full control of the game. 

26 seconds after Nick Cousins scored his fourth halfway through the third period which put the Flyers up 5-0, Gudas was at it again. This time it came on a blast from the point that ricocheted around and found the twine. 

Gudas' amazing four point night helped pull the Flyers to within three points of the Pittsburgh Penguins again in the playoff hunt. 

• Flyers outshot the Jackets in every period and 36-19 for the game. It was only the third time all season the Flyers held the opposition to under 20 shots. 
• No one had more shots than Gudas, who took 7, also a career high. 
• Gudas, who lead the Flyers in goals, assists and points tonight, also led the Flyers in hits (5) plus/minus (+4). 
• Steve Mason got the start tonight and earned his 30th career shutout and fourth of the season. 
• Flyers went 0-4 on the PowerPlay and 2-2 on the penalty kill. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers will complete their six game home stand on Monday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Talbot, Oilers Shutout Flyers

Cam Talbot made 35 saves leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. 

Talbot stole the show for the Oilers tonight earning his second shutout of the season. The former New York Ranger made 29 saves in the final two periods and an incredible 15 stops on the penalty kill. Philadelphia had their chances receiving seven PowerPlays, yet Talbot had all the answers. 

Rookie phenom Connor McDavid showed why there has been so much hype surrounding him when he blew by Evgeny Medvedev halfway through the first. McDavid came flying down the ice and went around the Russian defenseman like he was a cone and in on Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth, who was recently choosen to play for Team Czech Republic in the upcoming World Championship tournament in September, along with fellow countrymen Jake Voracek and Radko Gudas [Sean Couturier was selected to the North American 23 and under team, while Mark Streit will play for team Europe (a team comprising of European players not from Sweden, Russia, Finland or Czech)], stopped McDavid's attempt, however, Nail Yakupov followed the play up and buried the rebound giving Edmonton the early lead, and they never looked back. 

Philadelphia looked strong in the second period outshooting Edmonton 12-2 at one point but were unable to cash in. Edmonton then scored twice in less than two minutes late in the period on tallies from Taylor Hall and Patrick Maroon. Hall took advantage of a Shayne Gostisbehere turnover at the blue line and beat Neuvirth on a breakaway while Maroon, who was drafted by the Flyers in 2007, scored on a rebound in front. 

Lauri Korpikoski destroyed any chance the Flyers had of mounting a comeback in the third period when he scored his first goal in 33 games. The Flyers were given a four minute PowerPlay and a prime opportunity to get back into the game, instead Korpikoski scored while shorthanded when Gostisbehere gave the puck up behind the net to Mark Letestu, who fed Korpikoski in front which took the wind completely out of the Flyers sails. 

With the loss and a Pittsburgh Penguins win, the Flyers fall to five points back in the standings. 

• Last time the Flyers were shutout was November 21st when they lost 4-0 to Ottawa. 
• Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere led the Flyers with six shots each. Flyers outshot the Oilers 35-31. 
• Gostisbehere, who led the Flyers in ice time with 24:01 minutes, was a season low -3. 
• Oilers only had one PowerPlay, which the Flyers were successful in killing off. 
Drop the Puck:
The Flyers look to get back to their winning ways when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Schenn's Hat Trick Leads Flyers Past Flames

Brayden Schenn recorded his first career NHL hat trick tonight as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-3.  

On the night that the Flyers inducted one of their best defenseman, Jim Watson into their franchise Hall of Fame, five of the Flyers six defenseman scored a point. 

But not to be outdone, the captain's line scored five goals and four assists tonight. Claude Giroux collected all four of those assists, while Schenn scored three and Simmonds a pair. 

Hometown boy, Johnny Gaudreau got the scoring started when he fed Sean Monahan in the slot. Monahan's 20th of the season came on the Flames first PowerPlay of the game. Flames went 1-4 on the PowerPlay tonight. 

A little over six minutes later, Brayden Schenn responded. However, moments before Schenn's first of the night, a review took place to see if one of his shots crossed the goal line. It appeared as if it had, yet the war room in Toronto used their newest technology, which apparently consist of small cameras along the posts, to see that it did not cross the line. Schenn worked hard to get it back and three minutes after the disallowed goal, Schenn scored for real. Giroux out muscled a Flames player in the circle and found Schenn in front for his 19th of the season. 

Philadelphia blew the game wide open in the second period scoring three times. Simmonds scored the first on the PowerPlay, while Brayden Schenn scored his second and third of the game completing his first career hat trick. All were assisted by Giroux. Schenn's first of the period and second of the night came off a perfect fake-shot pass to Brayden in front. It was MacDonald's first point of the season. Schenn's hat trick goal came just three minutes later on the PowerPlay after receiving a great feed from Mark Streit in Jake Voracek's usual spot. Prior to the game, GM Ron Hextall announced that Voracek will be sidelined for two weeks with an ankle injury. 

Schenn's hat trick goal turned out to be the game winner after Calgary made a strong push to tie the game up. The Flames scored back to back goals in a matter of 50 seconds. Micheal Ferland scored off a rebound while Michael Frolik beat Michal Neuvirth off a rush and it was a one goal hockey game. 

Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol called timeout after the Flames second goal at a time in which they were also being outshot 10-4. Philadelphia settled in and played much better following the time out, holding the Flames to just three shots in the final eight minutes. 

Wayne Simmonds sealed the victory with his empty net goal in the final minute. 

As the teams continue to shuffle in the standings, the Flyers win keeps pace with Pittsburgh, who remain three points ahead, with a game in hand, after their victory tonight. Boston is now the other wildcard team, who is ahead of Philadelphia by five points; however, the Flyers hold a game in hand.

• Brayden Schenn scored his 19-21st goals today setting a new career high. Schenn has 42 points in 60 games this season. His career high in points is 47 from last year. 
• Flyers went 2-3 on their PowerPlay tonight. They have now scored a PowerPlay goal in three consecutive games.
• Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds combined for 15 shots on goal. The rest of the Flyers team had 14. 
• Shayne Gostisbehere, Mark Streit, Radjo Gudas, Nick Schultz and Andrew MacDonald all picked up an assist today. 
• Evgeny Medvedev replaced Brandon Manning tonight. 
• Michal Neuvirth made 29 saves on 32 shots. 
• The Flyers have won three in a row, four of five and five of seven. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to keep their perfect home stand intact a when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Giroux Returns Helping Flyers Top Coyotes

Claude Giroux suited up after missing three contests and scored a PowerPlay goal as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 today. 

Giroux sat out three games with an upper body injury, some thought to be a concussion, before returning to action today and he did not miss a beat. The captain scored the Flyers second goal of the game on the PowerPlay from his office at the top of the circle earning his 500th career NHL point. Giroux became the just the 14 Flyer ever to accomplish the feat. 

Philadelphia got off to a terrific start this afternoon outshooting Arizona 15-9 while scoring three goals in the opening period for the first time all season. Scott Laughton got the Flyers on the board first after Nick Cousins made a perfect lob pass sending the rookie on a breakaway. Laughton went forehand to backhand beating Louis Domingue through the five-hole. 

Meanwhile, Sam Gagner, who is playing his best hockey of the season, scored the Flyers third goal and ultimate game winner late in the period. Sean Couturier chipped the puck up the boards sending Gagner in on a two on one. Gagner held onto the puck and scored his fifth of the season and third goal in his last four games. 

Brad Richardson scored the lone goal for the Coyotes after Laughton's tally. Star defenseman Oliver Eckman-Larsson scored his team leading 48th point and 19th goal cutting the lead to 3-2, 6:33 into the third period after a scoreless second. But that's all the Coyotes would get past Michal Neuvirth, who again, played another solid game. Neuvirth stopped 29 shots on 31 attempts on his way to earning his 16th win of the season. 

Pierre Edouard Bellemare scored the Flyers insurance goal late in the period on a rush with Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. Bellemare went 31 games without a goal before snapping his streak on Thursday. Now he has two goals in two games. 

With the victory, the Flyers have currently pulled to within one point of the final playoff spot held by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who play later tonight. 

• Mark Streit picked up three assists in the game, all coming in the first period. The third assist was his 400th career point. 
• Gagner scored his fifth of the season today. The Flyers are 5-0 when Gagner scores. 
• Bellemare has goals in back to back games for just the second time in his career. He has never gone three straight. 
• Brayden Schenn picked up two assists today. He has nine points in his last seven games.
• Both teams had four PowerPlay attempts. The Flyers were the only team to breakthrough once. They have now scored PowerPlay goals in back to back games. 
• Gostisbehere led the Flyers with six blocked shots. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will try to win their third straight on Monday when they host the Calgary Flames.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Neuvirth Makes Last Second Save to Preserve Flyers Win over Wild

Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves tonight but none were bigger than his 24th save. With 2.6 seconds remaining, Neuvirth made a diving stick save leading to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild tonight. 

Mikael Granlund slid the puck through the Flyers defense to Charlie Coyle who had a wide open net staring at him. Coyle settled the puck and fired it on goal. He and the rest of the Wild players raised their hands in celebration thinking they just tied the game; however, the referee behind the net waved his arms emphatically signaling 'no goal.' The play would be reviewed and the replay showed that Neuvirth dove across the crease and stopped the puck with his stick in midair directly above the goal line with less than three seconds remaining in the game. 

The call would stand and the Flyers held on to win for the third time in their last three games, going 3-1-1.  They are currently three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final playoff spot. 

Sam Gagner got the Flyers on the board first in the opening period with his fourth of the season. Brayden Schenn attempted a wraparound that Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped yet Gagner found and buried the rebound scoring his second goal in the last three games. 

The Wild and Flyers traded PowerPlay goals in the first six minutes of the second period, Thomas Vanek scoring for Minnesota while Mark Streit for Philadelphia. 

Granlund knotted the game up at two apiece on a rebound in front of Neuvirth at 13:16 of the second period. The goal was his seventh of the season. 

The third period was a carefully played one as both teams desperately needed points in the standings to get back into the playoff hunt. There were only 12 shots taken between the two clubs in the final period, six by each. 

On just their second shot of the period, 3:21 in, the Flyers broke through. Pierre Edouard Bellemare picked the perfect time to snap his 31 game goalless drought. Bellemare's fourth of the season came while he was being cross checked in front. Bellemare went flying but was still able to score the eventual game winning goal. 

• Bellemare's goal was his second career game winning goal and first since January 12th 2015. 
• Mark Streit scored for the first time in 19 games. 
• Flyers outshot the Wild 31-26 tonight. Gudas led all players with five shots. 
• Wild went 1-3 on the PowerPlay while the Flyers were 1-1. Philadelphia snapped their three game streak without a PowerPlay goal. 

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers continue their six game home stand on Saturday afternoon when they face the Arizona Coyotes. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Gostisbehere's Point Streak Snapped in Loss to Hurricanes

Shayne Gostisbehere's streak came to an end as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 tonight. 

After 15 games, the rookie defenseman, Shayne Gostisbehere's streak was snapped but it wasn't for a lack of effort. Gostisbehere and the Flyers outshot the Hurricanes in every period; however, ran into a hot goaltender. 

Carolina goaltender Cam Ward stopped 36 shots on 37 saves handing the Flyers their seventh loss in the last 10 games. Ward allowed a soft goal late in the first period on a shot at the top of the circle from Scott Laughton, which snapped his 22 game goalless streak. After Laughton's fifth of the season, Ward went into shutdown mode stopping all 27 shots for the remainder of the game. 

Philadelphia carried their 1-0 lead into the second period when Michal Neuvirth made a crucial turnover from behind the net to Joakim Nordstrom, who buried it into the wide open cage tying the game at one. 

Furiously trying to get their lead back, the Flyers took 21 shot attempts in the final 12 minutes of the period (11 on goal, 7 missed, 3 blocked). Instead it was the Hurricanes who got a fortuitous bounce off a referee in the corner which ended up on the stick of Jordan Staal in front, who scored his fourth goal in his last five games. At the time, it was Carolina's first shot in eight minutes. 

Despite the Hurricanes being outshot 9-3 in the third period, they still found a way to extend their lead to 3-1. Eric Staal, who had not scored in his last 16 games, batted the puck out of midair right next to the crossbar and past Neuvirth with under six minutes to play. 

The Flyers took seven shot attempts in the final five minutes to no avail as Ward stopped all five that made it on goal.

Having lost 11 of their last 18 games, the Flyers still remain just five points out of the final playoff spot. This week, the Orange and Black will embark on a six game home stand where they have amassed a 13-8-7 record thus far at the Wells Fargo Center.  

• Sean Couturier returned to the lineup after missing nine games. He took two shots and logging a season high 23:25 minutes, his highest since November of 2014. 
• Gostisbehere played a career high 25:17 minutes tonight and took two shots on goal. 
• The Hurricanes took just 18 shots on goal, tying their season low. 
• Flyers went 0-3 on the PowerPlay and are now scoreless in that category for the last three games. 
• Radko Gudas picked up an assist for his second consecutive game. It is the first time Gudas registered points in back to back games this season. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Gostisbehere Extends Points Streak with Overtime Game Winner

Shayne Gostisbehere scored in overtime extending his point streak to 15 games as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 tonight. 

"Special. He's really special," Wayne Simmonds said after the game about the young rookie. "Every game you look at the scoresheet, he has a point." And Simmonds is correct. Every game for the past 15 contests, Shayne Gostisbehere's name has been on the scorecard. Tonight he did it in dramatic fashion scoring his fourth overtime goal of the season. Jake Voracek won a battle for the puck along the boards at his blue line and took off. Gostisbehere saw the opportunity to create an odd man rush and raced down the ice. Voracek made the perfect backhanded pass right on the tape of Gostisbehere's stick and he knew exactly what to do. Ghost's fourth overtime goal set an all time rookie record in the NHL. 

"I'm living the dream, what can you say," Gostisbehere said with a smile on his face. "It's just cool to have my teammates do it with me and see how happy they get. I'm just doing what I can to contribute to the team."

The Flyers needed all the help they could get after it was announced prior to the game that captain Claude Giroux would not be in the lineup. Giroux took an elbow to the head from PK Subban yesterday. Although he finished the game, he was clearly in a little discomfort. The Flyers are calling his injury an upper body but most assume it's a concussion.

Brayden Schenn filled in as the top line center and did a wonderful job at the helm. Schenn went on to score a goal and an assist on the night. His assist came on the Flyers opening goal in the first period. Seven minutes after Shawn Matthias put the Leafs up 1-0 89 seconds in, Schenn found Sam Gagner, who snapped his 24 game goalless streak. Schenn's goal at 57 seconds into the second period put the Flyers up 3-1. Schenn has 21 points in his last 22 games. 

Jake Voracek also had a solid game for the Orange and Black tallying a goal and an assist as well. Voracek scored the Flyers second goal of the game and his 10th of the season only 39 seconds after Schenn's 18th, following up on his own rebound after a two on one with Scott Laughton. 

Philadelphia squandered their 3-1 lead allowing the next three goals to Toronto. Nick Spaling scored in the second period on a deflection in front of Steve Mason, while Peter Holland and Byron Froese scored goals separated by just 76 seconds apart to take a 4-3 lead. Steve Mason pulled himself from the game with what Dave Hakstol later said was cramps in favor of Michal Neuvirth following Holland's goal. Froese beat Neuvirth on the Leafs second shot after he replaced the injured Mason.

32 seconds later, the game was tied again, this time at four when Matt Read blew one past James Reimer, who replaced Jonathan Bernier in the second period after he allowed three goals on 13 shots. Read's one-timer from the slot ultimately sent this game into overtime allowing for the Shayne Gostisbehere show. 

And all it took was 29 seconds for Voracek and Gostisbehere to end this one. 

"He's unbelievable. He's extremely confident and always wants it on his stick," Schenn said of the rookie defenseman. "15 games in a row with a point, it's absolutely incredible. It was nice to see him get one."

• Claude Giroux had played in 99 straight games game before missing tonight's. He is day to day. 
• Nine Flyers registered at least one point tonight while five picked up two points.
• Neither team scored on the PowerPlay tonight. Flyers went 0-1 while the Leafs were 0-2. 
• Nazem Kadri's assist on Holland's goal was a highlight reel play. He blew past three Flyers players and beat a fourth with a perfect pass practically embarrassing the entire Flyers team. 
• Evgeny Medvedev left the game after blocking a shot. He did not return.
• Philadelphia had two goals that were disallowed tonight both due to goalie interference. The referee waved off the first when Matt Read bumped Bernier while the second was overturned due to a coaches challenge that deemed Schenn interfered with Reimer. 
• All four goalies saw action tonight. Mason started for the Flyers stopping 11 of 14 before pulling himself out due to cramps in the third. Neuvirth replaced him stopping 9 of 10. Jonathon Bernier started for the Leafs stopping 10 of 13 before being pulled. James Reimer stopped 13 of 15 in relief. 
• Gostisbehere's 15 game point streak is the longest streak by any defenseman since Chris Chelios had 15 in the 1995-96 season. "He seems to have a way of being in the right place at the right time," Hakstol said after the game. "Shayne was in attack mode and he did it."

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers finish their five game road trip in Carolina when they take on the Hurricanes on Tuesday.