Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lightning Top Flyers for the Sixth Straight Game

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a defensive battle tonight, 3-1. 

Philadelphia played generally well against the second best team in the Eastern Conference tonight, but were unable to gain a point due to their lack of offense. Both the Lightning and the Flyers played a defensively sound game, neither taking too many risks on offense. This led to the low shooting and scoring game this evening. 

The Flyers knew trying to win a third consecutive game tonight would be a daunting task, not only because of how good Tampa Bay has been this year but also due to the struggles they have faced against this team in the past. Philadelphia had lost five in a row and eight of their last nine against Tampa Bay. 

They played a solid opening period against the Lightning coming away with a 1-0 lead; however, they faltered just enough early in the middle period and Tampa Bay took advantage collecting two goals in 4:44 minutes. The Lightning buckled down defensively after their pair of goals and never looked back. 

Wayne Simmonds was the lone goal scorer for the Flyers. While on the PowerPlay with just 41 seconds remaining in the 1st period, Simmonds deflected Mark Streit's shot from the point past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made his NHL debut tonight. It was the sixth straight game in which the Flyers netted the game's first goal. 

It took Steven Stamkos just 1:50 minutes into the 2nd to tie the game on a sniped shot over Steve Mason's shoulder. Less than five minutes later and just seconds after an expired PowerPlay, Tyler Johnson received a slap pass from Ryan Callahan scoring the eventual game winner. 

"They came out with a lot more jump than we did to start the second period," Mason told reporters after the game. "And they got rewarded with two quick goals for it."

Tampa Bay held Philadelphia to just one shot in the final five minutes of the game and then ended it with an empty net goal from Valtteri Filppula. 

"It was a tight checking game both ways," said coach Craig Berube. "We just didn't create enough offense tonight."

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia honored Peter Forsberg tonight, who was recently inducted into the NHL hall of fame. Forsberg partook in the ceremonial dropping of the puck.  
  • The Flyers outshot the Lightning 24-23. The 47 shots total taken in this game was the second lowest total of the Flyers season.
  • Philadelphia was a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. It was just the fourth time in their last 16 games that they didn't surrender a PowerPlay goal against. 
  • The Flyers were 1 for 3 on the man advantage. They have now scored a PowerPlay goal in eight straight games. 
  • Wayne Simmonds has scored a goal in three straight games and has six goals in his last six games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers play their final home game of the calendar year on Thursday when they host the Florida Panthers.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Laughton Scores First Career Goal as Flyers Roll Over Hurricanes

The Philadelphia Flyers got contributions from their three top lines helping them top the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 this afternoon.

Laughton celebrating his first career NHL goal
After putting together a full 60 minute effort in their last game on Thursday versus the New Jersey Devils, the Flyers carried that effort over into today's contest. 

Philadelphia scored early and often today getting contributions from all around. Each of the first three lines tallied at least one goal while they also scored on the PowerPlay as well. Ten different Flyers, including all top nine forwards, registered at least one point; five of those players picked up two points. 

Sean Couturier got the Flyers rolling early scoring 53 seconds in. Couturier jabbed at the puck in front then found his rebound behind the goal line and snuck it past Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin giving the Flyers the early lead. 

Wayne Simmonds extended the lead halfway through the period on a big blast. Brayden Schenn led Simmonds with a long pass over the blue line. Simmonds let the puck bounce off the boards so he could wind up and for a full slap shot, depositing his 13th of the season. Simmonds now has five goals in his last five games. 

Philadelphia confidently outshot Carolina 12-5 in the opening period. However, the Hurricanes got one back early in the middle stanza while on the PowerPlay. Steve Mason overplayed Eric Staal's bid for a shot as he rushed up the ice. Staal however chose not to shoot and carried the puck behind the net and wrapped it around putting Carolina on the board. 

Instead of allowing the Hurricanes to gain momentum, the Flyers took charge once again and really opened up the scoring. The Orange and Black netted three goals in a 5:11 minute span. 

Jake Voracek picked up the first on the PowerPlay after receiving a backhanded feed from Simmonds. Scott Laughton picked up the fourth goal on a rush up the ice while Michael Raffl notched the fifth cutting off Claude Giroux's shot and making a nice move all alone in front. Laughton's goal was the first of his NHL career. 

"I kind of blacked out," Laughton told CSNPhilly in between periods. "It's been a while. It definitely is a good feeling and it's nice that we're up right now."

With the goal and an assist, Scott Laughton, who registered his first multipoint effort, was named the number one star of the game for the first time in his NHL career. 

"It's about time he helps the team win," Giroux joked about Laughton. "He's fun to watch. When you score that first goal, it's another step. And when you see that smile, all the guys enjoyed that."

The Flyers went into shutdown mode in the 3rd period, keeping the Hurricanes off the board clinching back to back victories for the first time since November 8th. Philadelphia improves to 3-0-2 in their last five games. 

Game Notes:
  • Steve Mason stopped 25 shots on 26 attempts.
  • Mason and Emery won back to back starts for the first time this season.
  • It was the first time since October 22nd that the Flyers scored five goals in a game and first time scoring more than four goals at home.
  • Sean Couturier's goal extends his point streak to six games, tying his career high. 
  • The Flyers picked up their first win while wearing their Winter Classic jerseys. 
  • Philadelphia went 1 for 1 on their PowerPlay today. It marks the seventh straight game in which they have scored a PowerPlay goal. 
  • Jake Voracek's two points jumps him over Sidney Crosby and Tyler Seguin for the NHL scoring lead. Giroux is fifth on the list. 
  • RJ Umberger registered his 200th career assist tonight. 
Drop The Puck:
Philadelphia continues their home stand on Tuesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Read & Couturier Help Flyers Defeat Devils

The Philadelphia Flyers got a full 60 minute effort in tonight's 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

After a long road trip that saw the Flyers go 1-2-2, they finally returned to Philadelphia and started the home stand on a high note. 

"I thought we played consistent the whole game, something we've been striving for," Ray Emery, who stopped 17 of 18 shots tonight, told reporters. "We played real tight defensively." 
Matt Read and Sean Couturier picked up two points each for the Flyers who finally got their secondary scoring. The main reason Philadelphia has been struggling of late is their lack of secondary scoring. However, Matt Read played like a man on a mission tonight and he and Couturier combined twice to put the Flyers up by two in the first period. 

While on the penalty kill, which has also been like Kryptonite to the Flyers, Read gave the fans something to cheer for as he blocked a shot and tried to go in on a breakaway. Read was tripped before even getting to the puck but immediately got up and raced down the ice retrieving it and feeding Couturier for the first goal of the game. The score was the first shorthanded goal of the season for the Flyers.  

About six minutes later in the period the two combined for another goal. This time it was Couturier with a nice back door pass to Read, who snapped his 11 game goalless drought. 

The Flyers doubled the Devils in shots in the middle period, yet it was New Jersey who would score the lone goal in the period. Martin Havlat tipped in Scott Gomez's shot while on the PowerPlay cutting the lead in half. The Flyers have now given up a PowerPlay goal against in 14 of their last 19 games. 

The 3rd period would belong to the home team tonight. Philadelphia outshot New Jersey 14-7 and spent much of their time in the offensive zone. Wayne Simmonds netted an insurance goal for the Orange and Black with just over four minutes to play on the PowerPlay. Simmonds found Mark Streit's rebound collecting his team leading 12th of the season. 

"All around we played a good game," Couturier told CSNPhilly. "We created turnovers and capitalized, we didn't sit back in the third, we kept pressing and I think that's what made the difference tonight."

Jake Voracek sealed the victory with a empty net goal giving the Flyers their second win in three games. 

Philadelphia has quietly picked up points in four straight games going 2-0-2. They will play their next three games at home where they are 7-4-2.

Game Notes:
  • Ray Emery picked up his first win since October 28. 
  • Matt Read picked up his first multi point game of the season. Read had one goal, one assist, was a plus 2, took five shots and blocked two shots in 16:30 minutes. 
  • Sean Couturier has picked up six points in his last five games. 
  • The Flyers went 1 for 5 on the PowerPlay and 1 for 2 on the penalty kill. 
  • Philadelphia double up New Jersey in shots every period: 10-5 in the 1st, 12-6 in the 2nd and 14-7 in the 3rd for a game total of 36-18. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look for their first back to back victories in a month when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Flyers Squander Late Game Comeback, Fall in Overtime to Jackets

"We let a point get away," Claude Giroux told reporters after the 3-2 overtime loss to Columbus. "We have got to find away to get the extra points. We're a better team than that."

Giroux was referring to his team's 11th loss in their last 13 games. Philadelphia found a way to force overtime through late game heroics tonight but could not complete the comeback to pick up both points. 

Down 2-1 late, the Flyers fought hard at the end of regulation and despite being outshot and outplayed throughout most of the game tonight, they were able to find a way to get that all important point in the standings. With under a minute to play and the goalie pulled, Jake Voracek snapped a shot from long range that Brayden Schenn got a stick on. The puck slowly snuck through the pads of Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and crossed the goal line with 55 seconds remaining. 

But in overtime it was Columbus that got the last laugh. Philadelphia went hard for the overtime victory playing three men deep in the offensive zone and one man at the point when Sean Couturier turned the puck over in the slot leading to a 2 on 1 odd man rush. Ryan Johansen fed Kevin Connauton and he beat Steve Mason for the game winner. 

"It's satisfying, but it's a lucky point," Braydon Schenn spoke honestly after the loss. "We didn't generate a lot, weren't great in our own end, [and] we were lucky to squeeze into overtime. We've got to be better in general."

One of the areas the Flyers needed to be better at today and in general is the penalty kill. Philadelphia allowed two PowerPlay goals to Columbus tonight. The first came in the opening period on a goal by Boone Jenner. Braydon Coburn blocked a potential back-door pass, unfortunately the puck came right back to Jenner and he buried it into the empty cage as Mason slid across the crease anticipating the pass. The second came in the middle period off the stick of ex Flyer Scott Hartnell. Hartnell found the bouncing puck in front and did what he does best, score the dirty goal. The goal was Hartnell's first career tally against the Flyers. Both PowerPlay goals also came at opportune moments for the Jackets as each broke the tie and put them in the lead in this hockey game. 

Philadelphia scored a PowerPlay goal as well, which came in the 1st period between the two Blue Jacket strikes. Giroux made a nice saucer pass to Schenn cutting through the slot and he notched his first of two tonight.   

But at the end of the day, Columbus picked up the second point and inch one point closer to Philadelphia in the standings. The Flyers finish their five game road trip at 1-2-2. They will return home for a four game stand before returning to the road for the next eight. 

Game Notes:
  • The tying goal scored by the Flyers with 55 seconds left was initially called 'no goal' by the referee. He claimed he was in the process of blowing his whistle. At the beginning of the season, the NHL adjusted their reviewing system to allow goals to be reviewed even if the whistle was in the process of being blown. So the play was reviewed and the call was reversed. The NHL made the correct rule change and got this play right. 
  • The Blue Jackets outshot the Flyers 24-21. 
  • The Flyers failed to reach the 30 shot mark for the seventh time in their last eight games. 
  • Philadelphia went 1 for 4 on the PowerPlay. They have scored a PowerPlay goal in each of their last five games. 
  • Schenn snapped his seven game goalless drought. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers return home on Thursday to face the New Jersey Devils.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Flyers Finally Win, Snap Six Game Skid

The Philadelphia Flyers snapped their six game losing streak today behind a great effort from Steve Mason in a 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. 

Flyers celebrate first win in December
Steve Mason was absolutely stellar tonight making 37 saves including 15 in the final period allowing the Flyers to hang on, sweeping the season series against the Kings. The elusive victory on the road has ended their nine game skid away from home.  

Philadelphia has now picked up points in two straight games and will come away with a .500 record from their California road trip going 1-1-1. The only regulation loss came on a last second game winning goal by San Jose, otherwise Philadelphia would have picked up points in all three contests. 

One of the reasons, other than Mason, for some of the success on this recent road trip has been their penalty killing. The Flyers killed off all five PowerPlay opportunities against the Kings today and have successfully thwarted 10 of 11 opportunities during the three game trip.

"They did a great job, the PK tonight for sure, including the goalie," coach Craig Berube told reporters after the game. "[The penalty killers] won us the hockey game."

Claude Giroux got the Flyers on the board first, something Philadelphia did in each of their last three games, on a nice 'give and go' with Mark Streit. Giroux's eighth of the season came just 4:35 into the 1st period. The Flyers improve to 7-1-2 when scoring the game's first goal. 

Wayne Simmonds added to the Flyers lead early in the 2nd period while on the PowerPlay. Simmonds took a pass from Sean Couturier crossing the blue line and skated it in before taking a shot on two-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Jonathan Quick, that somehow snuck through his pads and into the back of the cage. 

Philadelphia surrendered an early 3rd period goal to Justin Williams, but then it became the Steve Mason show. After the goal, which was scored 4:09 into the period, the Kings took 12 shots in a furious attempt to tie the game. Los Angeles was even given two PowerPlay opportunities in the final five minutes of regulation; however, the Flyers stepped their game up and successfully killed off both chances securing their first road win since October 22nd. 

"Our penalty killers did a really good job," Mason said after the game. "And that's the type of effort in the D-zone that we need to win hockey games."

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia improves to 8-0-1 at Los Angeles in their last nine games. 
  • Los Angeles outshot Philadelphia 38-16. 
  • Wayne Simmonds scored his 11th goal of the season tonight which puts him back in the lead for the Flyers. 
  • The 16 shot total for the Flyers was their lowest of the season. 
  • Not one Flyer took more than two shots tonight, while seven Kings had three or more. 
  • With another PowerPlay goal tonight, the Flyers have now scored on the man advantage in four consecutive games and 10 of their last 13. 
  • Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch in the last two games. 
  • Luke Schenn sat out tonight along with Vinny Lecavalier, who has been benched in the last three games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers return home on Tuesday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Flyers Fall in Shootout to Ducks Despite Late Second Heroics

The Philadelphia Flyers forced overtime with 1.8 seconds to go behind a great effort from Wayne Simmonds. They then gave it their all in the extra session to no avail before falling in the shootout, losing to the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 tonight. 

Despite the shootout loss, the Flyers picked up a huge point. Prior to tonight, Philadelphia had only earned points in two of their last 10 games. Points are at a premium and the Flyers finally got one. One point may sound ridiculous, but this point could be the difference in confidence moving forward. And if nothing else, the Flyers proved that they are still going to fight to the end. They had that magic last year, making multiple late comebacks, and tonight they were able to find that magic again. 

After giving up a PowerPlay goal to Patrick Maroon with under five minutes to play in the game, which broke the 3-3 tie, the Flyers went into desperation mode. With under :05 seconds remaining Andrew MacDonald sent in a shot on goal from the point which was stopped, then Scott Laughton found and quickly threw the rebound back on goal. Wayne Simmonds got the next rebound and had two attempts at it before finally putting the puck in the back of the net with 1.8 seconds on the clock forcing overtime. 

"We're playing better hockey," Wayne Simmonds told CSNPhilly after the game. "Our effort is definitely there."

In overtime, Philadelphia threw everything they could at Anaheim to end this game before the dreaded shoootout. The Flyers took eight shots on goal however could not convert. 

The Ducks scored twice in the shootout behind Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry, while the Flyers were only able to score once, from Sean Couturier. 

The loss is the Flyers sixth consecutive and ninth straight on the road. 

"We'll take the one point," said Steve Mason. "It's great to see the guys battle with a couple seconds to go. [But] It is still a loss." 

The Ducks and Flyers had a slow 'feeling out' start to the game picking up just four shots apiece in the opening period. The 2nd period, however, was a complete 180, seeing six combined goals, five of them coming in a 5:29 minutes span. The wide opened hockey led to multiple odd man rushes going both ways resulting in several goals.  

Michael Raffl got things started for the Flyers on a rush with Claude Giroux, before Cam Fowler tied it up on a blast from a Ducks 3 on 2 odd man rush. 

32 seconds later, Wayne Simmonds put the Flyers back on top on another 2 on 1 odd man rush up the ice. Just over two minutes later, the Flyers extended their lead while on the PowerPlay when RJ Umberger snapped his 17 game goalless streak finding the loose puck in the crease. 

The two goal lead only lasted 28 seconds as Ryan Getzlaf beat Steve Mason on a 3 on 1 rush.  

Anaheim tied the game up at 3 late in the 2nd when Mason lost site of the puck behind the net and Sami Vatanen wrapped it around to the opposite side. 

"We let them back in the game from defensive mistakes," coach Craig Berube said to reporters after the game. "I like the way our team is competing, the work ethic is there, but we have to be smarter."

The loss drops the Flyers to an 8-12-3 record on the season. 

Game Notes:
  • The shootout loss was the Flyers fourth of the season. They are 0-4 this year and have lost their last nine shootout attempts. 
  • Wayne Simmonds played arguably his best game of the season scoring two goals, firing seven shots on goal while dishing out four hits. 
  • Vinny Lecavalier and Michael Del Zotto were healthy scratches for a second consecutive game. 
  • The Flyers outshot the Ducks 35-33 tonight. 
  • Scott Laughton picked up another assist tonight and has two points in as many games. 
  • The Flyers allowed another PowerPlay goal against tonight going 4 for 5 on the kill. It is the ninth time in their last 11 games that they have surrendered at least one PowerPlay goal against. 
  • Philadelphia went 1 for 2 on the man advantage and have now scored a PowerPlay goal in nine of their last 12 games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers West Coast road trip continues on Saturday when they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sharks Score With 11 Seconds Left To Beat Flyers

The San Jose Sharks broke the 1-1 tie with 11 seconds remaining in the game to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 this evening. 

The Flyers fumbled the puck around in the neutral zone in the final minute of play which led to a breakaway for Patrick Marleau. Mason stopped Marleau's bid as Tommy Wingels and Braydon Coburn fought for the rebound. The two cancelled each other out leaving the puck in front and then crashed into Mason pushing him out of position. Matt Nieto beat Brayden Schenn to the loose puck and buried it into a wide open cage. 

The last minute loss is a heartbreaking one for the Flyers, not only because it's their fifth straight and eighth consecutive defeat on the road, but because Philadelphia finally played a very good road game and deserved at least one point. 

"We played a pretty solid game, I think we probably deserved to win," Steve Mason told reporters. "We made a mistake at the end and it cost us. It's disappointing but you take the positive of how the team played."

The Flyers got off to a great start in tonight's game out shooting the Sharks 16-6 while cashing in on the PowerPlay. 
Sean Couturier received a nice backhanded feed from Scott Laughton and put the Flyers on the board first, snapping his 10 game goalless drought. The assist was Laughton's first NHL point. 

Philadelphia slumped a little in the 2nd period and San Jose took full advantage. Marc-Edouard Vlasic joined the rush up the ice late in the middle stanza and snapped one past Mason, knotting the game up at one. 

The pace picked up again for the Flyers in the 3rd as they looked to snap their losing streak which resulted in exciting back and forth hockey. Unfortunately for the Flyers, a small miscue late in the game destroyed those chances. 

The Flyers will have to put this behind them immediately and look to get back on track tomorrow when they continue their road trip against Anaheim. 

"Nothing seems to be going our way lately," Couturier told CSNPhilly. "But if we give this kind of effort on a consistent basis we should get some wins." 

Game Notes:
  • Vinny Lecavalier was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. Michael Del Zotto was also a healthy scratch today. The benchings were clearly to send a message to all the players that if you do not play well, you do not play. 
  • Del Zotto and Lecavalier join Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, and Pierre Edouard Bellemare on the list of players who have been healthy scratches due to their performance. 
  • Tonight was the first time this season that the Flyers scored first in a road game. 
  • Couturier's goal today was the first ever PowerPlay goal of his career. 
  • MacDonald returned to action tonight after being a healthy scratch in the last game. MacDonald registered an assist on Couturier's goal.
  • Tonight was the first time Jake Voracek didn't register a point in a game that the Flyers scored at least one goal. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers California road trip continues Wednesday night when they face the Anaheim Ducks and then the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rangers Sweep Home and Home

"You can't beat us," was the chant coming from the home fans as they watched their New York Rangers complete the home and home sweep against the Philadelphia Flyers with their 5-2 victory this afternoon.

And that statement is pretty accurate. The Flyers have now lost four in a row versus New York and ten consecutive against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. 

The loss drops the Flyers to 8-12-3 on the season leaving them seven points behind the third placed Rangers. Philadelphia's struggles have now surmounted to four losses in a row, six straight road defeats and have dropped eight of their last nine. 

"We can't panic," Nicklas Grossmann told reporters after the game. "[We have to] stick to the game plan and stay positive. We need to come together as a group to turn this around."

Heading into the final period tied at two apiece, the Flyers gave themselves a chance to win. Instead, the Rangers were the team that won the period scoring three unanswered goals. Derick Brassard scored on a 3 on 2, J.T. Miller on a wraparound and Lee Stempniak with an empty netter to close it out. 

"Going into the third 2-2, that was a good position," Ray Emery said. "[We] want to have a better third as a team."

The Rangers and Flyers traded goals in the 1st period, New York getting on the board first. Brassard scored his first of two on the day on the PowerPlay before Grossmann beat Henrik Lundqvist cleanly from the top of the circle. 

Jake Voracek put the Flyers on top in the 2nd period for the first time not only in the game but in the season series versus the Rangers. On their only PowerPlay of the game, Brayden Schenn found Voracek for his team leading ninth goal of the season. 

The lead lasted less than three minutes for Philadelphia. Jesper Fast tied the game back up on his first career NHL goal on Emery. Ray Emery stopped 30 shots on 34 attempts. 

After the game, several players tried to remain positive looking forward. 

"We know we have to step it up and play more consistently," said Emery. "I think we're capable of it once we get our confidence."

"It's mental. It's a confidence thing for sure. We need to get that back," Berube told reporters. "I think this team is a close team and we need to find that chemistry on the ice. When you find that you'll play a lot better."

Finally, Voracek stated, "We have a good group, we're gonna get better."

Game Notes:
  • Flyers went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. They have now allowed a PowerPlay goal against in eight of their last nine games. 
  • Voracek picked up two points today. It is his 11th multi point game of the season. 
  • Andrew MacDonald was a healthy scratch today. Luke Schenn, who sat out the last two games, replaced him. 
  • Vincent Lecavalier played a season low 5:56 minutes. 
  • Rangers outshot the Flyers 35-24 today. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will head west for a long road trip the starts in San Jose on Tuesday versus the Sharks.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Beatdown

The Philadelphia Flyers were booed off the ice by their home fans after a 3-0 shutout loss to the New York Rangers this afternoon.

"We're playing like crap," Wayne Simmonds told reporters after the game. And [we] deserve to get booed." 

It's the second time in as many games that the Flyers have been shutout by Cam Talbot and the Rangers. New York, who was three points ahead in the standings now extend their lead to five. The two teams will rematch tomorrow and if the Flyers can't find a way to win they will find themselves in a massive uphill climb to get back in the playoff race. 

Rock bottom isn't too far away for Philadelphia who has lost seven of their last eight, been shutout three times in their last six, and have scored just eight goals in their last six games, including just two in their last three. 

Their PowerPlay was awful, going 0 for 6. In those six opportunities, the Flyers only picked up six shots and on top of that, they surrendered a shorthanded goal against. The tally came late in the 3rd period when the Rangers took a double minor for high sticking. Down by two, this was a huge opportunity for Philadelphia to not only get back into the game but possibly tie it up as well. Instead they gave up a shorthanded rush and Rick Nash found the back of the net putting the Rangers up by three, essentially icing the game. 

Philadelphia failed to play disciplined, taking six penalties surrendering another PowerPlay goal. The Flyers have now allowed at least one PowerPlay goal against in six of their last seven games. A failed Flyers clear during the first Rangers PowerPlay of the game in the opening period, led directly to a Dan Boyle blast from the point which beat Steve Mason, giving New York a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game. 

Puck possession and turnovers also plagued the Flyers throughout the contest. The Rangers hustled and had active sticks leading to several turnovers in all zones and numerous blocked shots. A turnover at the blue line in the second period resulted in Martin St. Louis finding the back of the cage. The Flyers attempted to break out of their zone when Scott Laughton was poke checked at the blue line and turned the puck over to the Rangers. Derek Stepan took the initial shot which was stopped by Mason, but St. Louis was able to find and bury the rebound for his 1000th NHL career point. 

The Flyers played this afternoon and past week without any emotion or enthusiasm in their game. The fight or drive to win seems to be missing. Whether it's the players, coaches or management, something has to change quickly. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers fall to 8-11-3 on the season remaining in sixth place in the division. 
  • Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Brayden Schenn combined for two shots today. 
  • Steve Mason stopped 21 shots on 24 attempts. 
  • Scott Laughton, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl, arguably the Flyers best line today, picked up a combined 7 shots. 
  • Laughton's minutes continue to rise. He logged 17:00 minutes and even saw some PowerPlay time. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers and Rangers will continue their home and home in New York tomorrow (Sunday).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Struggles Continue as Flyers Fall to Red Wings

The Philadelphia Flyers road woes continue as they drop another game away, tonight a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. 

The loss extends the Flyers losing streak to six games on the road. Philadelphia has only won a total of two away games this season in 10 tries, 2-7-1. 

After the game, coach Craig Berube held a closed door meeting to discuss the state of the team after having lost six of their last seven games. 

"It stays in the locker room," Jake Voracek remarked when asked about the meeting. 

Philadelphia actually got off to a great start and it appeared early as if they were going to turn the tide. The Flyers came out playing very strong and got multiple chances but were unable to cash in. Detroit, on the other hand, capitalized on their first good chance picking up the first goal of the game on just their third shot, 10 minutes into the period. 

The goal from Steven Weiss dampened the Flyers and they appeared beaten already. For the rest of the period the Flyers put only two more shots on goal. 

Desperate to regain the momentum, Sean Couturier dropped the gloves engaging in his first fight of the season. Unfortunately, little was gained from the bout. 

Claude Giroux knotted the game up early in the middle period on a nice shot from the slot; however, even that failed to get the Flyers going. 

Detroit tallied twice in 89 seconds to take a 3-1 lead. The first came from Tomas Jurco, while the second off the stick of Pavel Datsyuk while on the PowerPlay.

"I thought we played a really good first [period]," Craig Berube told reporters after the game. "We need to fight through adversity better. They got the second goal and our level dropped off."

After the pair of goals at the 11 minute mark of the second, Philadelphia registered just three shots on goal (two coming in the final minute) for the remainder of the period. 

Steve Mason was pulled by coach Berube following the third goal in favor of Ray Emery in hopes to get his team rolling. 

Yet again, it did not. Pavel Datsyuk scored his second of the night for Detroit before the period was out giving the Red Wings a commanding 4-2 lead heading into the third period. 

Philadelphia gave a better effort in the final stanza yet it proved too late. Jake Voracek cut the lead to two while on the PowerPlay; however, that would be as close as the Flyers would get. 

Henrik Zetterberg tacked on an empty net goal finalizing the score at 5-2. 

"We had a good first period, then we got scored on a couple times and stopped playing," Jake Voracek reiterated what Berube said. "It's a tough loss. Maybe [the long road trip ahead] is what we need right now."

Game Notes:
  • Claude Giroux scored his seventh of the season tonight. The goal was his first at even strength.
  • After playing a season high of almost 25 minutes on Monday, Sean Couturier found himself in the coaches doghouse, playing a season low 13:36 minutes. 
  • Couturier hasn't scored a goal in his last eight games and has just one in his last 14. 
  • Matt Read, who is also struggling only logged 13:55 minutes. Read also only has one goal in his last 14 games.
  • Luke Schenn was a healthy scratch tonight. 
  • Michael Raffl returned from a lower body injury tonight after missing nine games. Raffl picked up one shot on goal in 12:32 minutes.
  • Scott Laughton, who is playing better and better every game, logged a career high 15:05 minutes and three shots on goal. He was also a plus one for the first time in his young career.  
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will have a home and home against the New York Rangers on Friday and Saturday. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!! 

Flyers Flaws

The Philadelphia Flyers appeared to right their wrongs last weak, having won three in a row and six of their last eight. However, since then, they have lost five of their last six games, including four
straight at one point, and were shutout twice during that span.

A couple weeks ago, I listed what the Flyers were doing right, to which they are still succeeded in that area:
  • Home Play- The Flyers are still a solid 6-3-2. 
  • PowerPlay- Philadelphia is 7th in the NHL at 22.9%
  • The Play of Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto- Streit has picked up three points and a plus three during the last six games while Del Zotto has one goal and is even for five of those games (was injured for one).
  • The Play of Jake Voracek- Voracek has recorded seven points and a plus four during this span.
  • Ray Emery's Solid Goaltending- This one is hard to judge as Emery has only played once since, a 6-3 loss to Montreal
So this begs the question, what is going wrong? 
  • Secondary Scoring- The Flyers first line has been explosive all season seeing Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux scoop up 53 combined points in 20 games. Michael Raffl was the third piece of that line scoring six goals in 12 games before getting injured. Brayden Schenn replaced Raffl and has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games. However, this is the only productive line for Philadelphia. Wayne Simmonds, last season's leading goal scorer, has been productive on the PowerPlay, but his even strength play has been non existent. Simmonds, who has been moved up and down the lineup in hopes to spark him, has just three even strength goals this season and only one in his last 17 games. Sean Couturier and Matt Read have combined for just 16 points in 20 games (eight each) for the second line while Vinny Lecavalier and RJ Umberger have just 9 together (six for Lecavalier, who has only played 13 games and three for Umberger in 20) for the third line. Philadelphia needs to get scoring from other lines very soon if they want to be in the playoff hunt later in the season. 
  • Road Woes- The Flyers have won just two road games all season. They are an Eastern Conference worst, 2-6-1. Philadelphia is winless on the road in all of November so far and have lost five straight dating back to October 30th. Wins against Dallas and Pittsburgh, on October 18th and 22nd respectively, are the Flyers only away wins. In the nine road games played so far, Philadelphia has only scored 19 goals, averaging 2.1 goals per game. To put this into perspective, the Flyers have picked up 38 goals in 11 games at home, averaging 3.5 goals per game. The Orange and Black must turn this tide around soon as they are about to play the next 14 of 19 games on the road. 
  • Penalty Killer- In the first 14 games, the Flyers were 36 for 45 on the penalty kill, 80%. This is not a great number, but it is acceptable as it would fall in the middle of the ranks in the NHL. At that point, they had a 7-5-2 record. In the six games since, Philadelphia is a terrible 59% allowing nine PowerPlay goals on 22 attempts, falling to a league worst 73.1% on the season. They are 1-4-1 during that stretch. The Flyers have a good set of penalty killers and a great special teams coach, Ian Laperriere, who was a great penalty killer himself and knows the game very well. So they will turn it around, it is just a matter of how long it takes and how big of a hole it will have left them in. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will need to correct these problems if they are going to be successful when they go on the road to face the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday before a home and home against the New York Rangers on Friday and Saturday. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mason Shuts Outs Islanders, Flyers Still Fall in Shootout

The Philadelphia Flyers got a terrific effort from goaltender Steve Mason tonight despite the 1-0 shootout loss to the New York Islanders. 

Steve Mason stopped all 46 shots sent his way, including 19 in the 3rd period and overtime, earning his first shutout of the season. Unfortunately, the Flyers failed to score as well, yet did not quite play as well. 

Philadelphia was only able to muster up 21 shots on goal, their third lowest shot total of the season. 

"He played awesome, kept us in the game allowing us to get a point," Wayne Simmonds told CSNPhilly. "He deserves better from us."

The 46 shots allowed was a season high for the Flyers forcing Mason to play by himself for long stretches at a time. The Islanders attempted a ridiculous 75 shots tonight (46 on goal, 17 missed and 12 blocked). In comparison, the Flyers attempted only 39 shots. 

Mason's excellent effort, which earned him his 23rd career shutout, allowed the Flyers to steal at least one point in the standings, that otherwise was not deserved. 

"It's frustrating not being able to get the extra point," Mason said after the game. "Hopefully down the road that point will help us in the playoff [race]."

After 65 minutes and zero goals, a shootout was necessary. Coming in, the Flyers had lost seven consecutive shootouts while the Islanders had won six straight. 

Tonight was no different. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored for the Islanders while Scott Laughton, in his first attempt, and Claude Giroux both failed to cash in. 

The Flyers fall to an incrediblely poor, NHL worst, 27-54 career record in the shootout. 

Game Notes:
  • With the point, the Flyers are now 8-9-3 for 19 points, 6th place in their division. 
  • The Flyers went 3 for 3 on the penalty kill tonight. It was the first time in five games that they didn't surrender a PowerPlay goal against. 
  • Kyle Okposo and Johnny Boychuk combined for 14 shots on goal. 
  • Sean Couturier led the Flyers in ice time with 24:57 minutes. 
  • Philadelphia falls to 0-3 in shootouts on the season. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will be at it again on Wednesday when they face the Detroit Red Wings.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Flyers Snap Losing Streak, Defeat Blue Jackets

The Philadelphia Flyers gave an all around team effort tonight snapping their four game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek picked up two points each tonight helping right the ship for the Flyers, whose losing streak started last week against this Blue Jackets team. 

The Flyers got off to a good start scoring the game's first goal less than three minutes in. Voracek snapped a shot from the edge of the circle that Brayden Schenn deflected past ex Flyer goalie Sergei Bobrovski. The goal marked only the sixth time all season that Philadelphia registered the game's first goal. The Orange and Black are a different team when leading first; in those six games, including tonight, the Flyers are 5-0-1. 

Throughout the four game losing streak, one major weakness was evident: their penalty kill. Philadelphia allowed eight PowerPlay goals during their streak, and they got off to a rocky start in that area once again tonight. The center of the Flyers penalty killing box was picked apart again as James Wisniewski made a long east to west pass to Boone Jenner, who tied the game at one. 

After taking three penalties in the first period, the Flyers remained disciplined and stayed out of the box for the rest of the game, eliminating their weakness. 

Before the period was out, Mark Streit put the Flyers back on top after burying his own rebound. Giroux picked up an assist on the play marking his 400th career point. 

Philadelphia dominated the 2nd period outshooting the Blue Jackets 18-4 while the extended their lead on the PowerPlay. Jake Voracek's initial shot was stopped and the rebound went airborne. Simmonds caught it, dropped it to himself and snuck it past Bobrovski. 

Columbus grabbed a goal early in the final stanza from Matt Calvert on a 2 on 2 rush and appeared to be en route to making a comeback, yet the Flyers thwarted that effort almost immediately. 

Just 72 seconds later, Braydon Coburn scored from the point on Bobrovski, who lost his stick on the play putting the Flyers up by two again. 

In the final 16 minutes following Coburn's goal, the Flyers buckled down defensively allowing only five shots against, earning their eighth victory of the season. 

Game Notes:
  • Steve Mason played well tonight stopping 20 shots on 22 attempts. 
  • Claude Giroux was excellent on the faceoff dot winning 23 of 28 draws, 82%. 
  • Voracek's two points keeps him atop the NHL's scoring race with 29 total points. 
  • Giroux is tied for third in the NHL with 24 points, two behind Sidney Crosby and five behind Voracek. 
  • Michael Del Zotto returned tonight after missing the last game with a lower body injury; therefore, the Flyers decided to play with seven defensemen. 
Drop The Puck: 
The Flyers will look to put together a winning streak when they go on the road to face the red hot New York Islanders. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Late Goal Leads to Wild Spoiling Lindros and LeClair Night

The Minnesota Wild scored the go-ahead goal with just 45 seconds remaining on their way to defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 tonight. 

Hall of Fame Ceremony video for Lindros and LeClair
The Flyers honored both Eric Lindros and John LeClair this evening with a nice ceremony inducting them into the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame. The induction was extremely well deserved and overdue for both Lindros and LeClair, who played on the Legion of Doom line (along with Mikael Renberg) that dominated the 1990's. 

"What a thrill to be back," Eric Lindros addressed the fans at his ceremony. "It's nice to be back in the rink that we had such a great time playing in and playing for you!" 

LeClair went on to say, "We loved winning together and hated losing even more. I gave Philly my best hockey and I hope you feel the same way too. We will be forever incredibly proud and honored to have played for the Philadelphia Flyers."

Lindros and LeClair give their speeches
LeClair is still the only Flyer ever to record three consecutive 50 goal seasons, while Lindros was only the second Flyer to win the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) and first since Bobby Clarke. Both Lindros and LeClair led the Flyers to three Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final in 1997 (lost to Detroit). 

"To this day and forever more, it is so easy to say the Philadelphia Flyer fans are one of a kind," Lindros exclaimed. "I just want to say thank you so much for the memories and your support and for this night. Let's go Flyers."

After the speeches, busts and banner reveal, there was a hockey game to be played. The Flyers played very well in the opening stanza outshooting the Wild 14-6; however, could not break through. 

The Wild opened the scoring halfway through the 2nd period while on the PowerPlay. Nino Niederrieter one-timed a shot from the top of the circle beating Ray Emery. The Flyers have surrendered eight PowerPlay goals against in their last four games and are now the worst penalty killing team in the NHL. 

Mark Streit knotted the game up just over three minutes later when Vinny Lecavalier found him jumping up in the play. The tying goal was Streit's third of the season. 

Minnesota took the lead early in the 3rd period on a bomb by Marco Scandella from the point and the Wild led 2-1. 

Philadelphia continued their strong play and were rewarded with a PowerPlay late in the game. Claude Giroux cashed in with his sixth of the season on a one-timer in his office (in the circle) tying the game with 3:30 to go. 

With under a minute to play, Andrew MacDonald, who returned to the lineup after missing almost a month with a lower body injury, turned the puck over behind the net. This led directly to pressure in the defensive zone and ultimately the go ahead goal from Jason Zucker. Ryan Suter found Zucker back-door, who beat Emery with just 45 seconds remaining. 

The 3-2 defeat hands the Flyers their fourth consecutive regulation loss dropping them to a 7-9-2 record on the season. 

The Flyers deserved a better fate tonight. They gave a good effort outplaying the Wild for most of the game, while out chancing and outshooting them 39-29. Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper played very well allowing the Wild to steal this one. 

"Yesterday was horrible, today was good," Mark Streit told reporters. "It's a step in the right direction. It's one step, a baby step, but we have to build on that and come back Saturday and put the same effort in."

Game Notes:
  • Both Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn returned for the Flyers tonight. They replaced the injured Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Carlo Colaiacovo (healthy scratch). 
  • Chris VandeVelde left the game early and did not return. The Flyers are saying he is day to day with a lower body injury. 
  • Mikael Renberg, the third part of the Legion of Doom line, came out to present both Lindros and LeClair with special busts. 
  • It was the first time the Flyers had a joint induction into their Hall of Fame. 
  • Both Lindros and LeClair had some great words to honor the fans during their speeches.
    • LeClair: "To the best fans in the NHL, you guys are awesome. Win or tie you were always behind us. And that's what I loved about playing here. You didn't accept losing, you demanded the best from your team and that relentless enthusiasm and passion for the game was a contagious energy I felt every time I stepped on the ice and I want to thank you for that."
    • Lindros: "To the fans I thank you. Night in and night out you guys brought passion and energy to the Wells Fargo center for every game. We felt you, we played for you and whether it was a chat on the street or down an isle in a grocery store you couldn't get away from this energy. It was fantastic, it was everywhere."
Drop The Puck:
The Philadelphia Flyers look to end their longest losing streak of the season when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rangers Blank Struggling Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers continue to struggle at Madison Square Garden getting shutout tonight 2-0. 

The Rangers have now beaten the Flyers nine consecutive times at home dating back to 2011. And now, three of those have been shutouts. 

New York simply played a better all-around hockey game. The Flyers looked slow, out of position and could not control the puck all game. It took Philadelphia to pull Steve Mason with over three and a half minutes left before they got any sustained pressured. 

The Rangers, who had lost their last three games, brought the pressure early and it payed off. Kevin Klein was left alone in the slot and Carl Hagelin found him from behind the net putting New York up 1-0 just 5:10 into the game. 

One of the main problems the Flyers have been facing lately is their penalty kill. Philadelphia had given up six PowerPlay goals in their last seven kills. The Rangers exploited their weakness and Rick Nash cashed in on the PowerPlay in the 2nd period finishing a nice passing play that made the Flyers defense look like Swiss cheese. 

Before the game, the story was about whether or not Claude Giroux would play tonight. GM Ron Hextall said he was out, but then Giroux took part in the pregame and declared himself ready to play. Unfortunately Giroux was a non factor despite playing 25:45 minutes. 

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers starting goalie, was given the night off, and it still didn't matter. Cam Talbot stopped all 31 shots, including nine shots in the last four minutes as the Flyers were scrambling to catch up. 

The 2-0 shutout handed the Flyers their third consecutive loss and they fall below .500 again, 7-8-2. 

Game Notes:
  • Michael Del Zotto left the game in the 3rd period after taking a hit from Dan Girardi and did not return. No word has been given yet on his status.  
  • Three scoring streaks were snapped in tonight's shutout: Jake Voracek's ends at 10, while Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn's stop at five. 
  • Scott Laughton was recalled this morning and played his first game in the NHL since January of 2013. Laughton only played 7:00 minutes and didn't register a shot on goal. 
  • Flyers went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill and 0 for 4 on the PowerPlay. 
  • Steve Mason, who played well despite the loss, stopped 32 shots on 34 attempts. 
  • Braydon Coburn has now been on the ice for all eight PowerPlay goals scored against in the last three games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to end their losing streak tomorrow when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Claude Giroux Out, Scott Laughton Recalled

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that captain Claude Giroux will miss at least Wednesday with a lower body injury. 

Giroux practiced yesterday and appeared to be ok. However, later that night, he was unable to attend a season ticket holder event because he was being evaluated by doctors. 

“He was examined last night [Monday] by our doctor and everything looked good at that time," GM Ron Hextall told reporters. "Between last night and this morning he wasn’t feeling the same way so he talked to Jimmy [McCrossin] and further testing he just felt like he needs a little time off to get better.”

Giroux will definitely miss Wednesday's game versus the New York Rangers and is questionable for Thursday's game at home against Minnesota. 

“I can’t give a definitive timeline, but we don’t expect it will be a long time,” Hextall said on the conference call. 

As a result the Flyers recalled forward Scott Laughton tonight. Laughton, a 2012 first round draft pick, has recorded 11 points in 13 games with the LV Phantoms. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Montreal's Perfect PowerPlay Leads Them Past Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers allowed three PowerPlay goals for the second consecutive game in tonight's 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. 

The Canadiens had two PowerPlay opportunities in the opening period cashing in on both of them, on their way to going 3 for 3 on the man-advantage, and never looked back. The Flyers attempted multiple comebacks, but every time they came close, Montreal scored again.

Ray Emery got the start tonight and did little to help the cause. Emery looked a bit leaky, had trouble with rebounds and gave up a few soft goals. Emery stopped just 22 shots on 28 attempts. 

"I have to make some saves on the PK and [late in] the game," Emery told reporters after the game. "You let six in and you're not holding up your end of the bargain, so I definitely need to make more saves than that."

PA Parenteau and David Desharnais traded PowerPlay goals just 2:02 minutes apart in the 1st, each coming after Emery had trouble stopping both initial shots. 

Montreal tacked on another goal early in the 2nd period keeping their PowerPlay perfect on the night. PK Subban finished off a nice tic tac toe passing play giving the Habs a commanding 3-0 lead. 

Philadelphia fought back with the help of Jake Voracek and Brayden Schenn. Schenn netted two goals in the final eight minutes of the period. Voracek knifed through the neutral zone on both occasions; the first one Voracek found Schenn who ripped it home while on the second he found Claude Giroux, who's shot was stopped and Schenn buried the rebound. 

The Canadiens refused to let the Flyers carry that momentum into the final period scoring just 62 seconds in. Parenteau picked up his second of the game deflecting the puck past Emery, restoring the two goal lead. 

Philadelphia continued to battle back and cut the lead to one again just minutes later. While on the PowerPlay, Matt Read found the loose puck in front after Carlo Colaiacovo, who was on all fours by the edge of the crease, creatively kneed the puck to Read, who snapped his eight game goalless streak. 

Momentum was finally back on the Flyers side and they pushed hard to get the equalizer, yet instead it was Canadiens forward Dale Weise who scored the goal that broke the Flyers back. Weise took a weak shot from the circle that snuck through Emery giving Montreal a 5-3 lead with 6:42 remaining. 

After the goal, Philadelphia failed to take even one shot on net. 

Weise tacked on one more, totaling three in the period for the Canadiens, sealing the deal at 6-3. 

After the game, coach Craig Berube simply stated, "We let it get away from us in the third." 

Game Notes:
  • Tonight was the first time the Canadiens have led after the first period this season. 
  • Brayden Schenn's second goal was his 100th career point. 
  • It was the first time since November of 2010 that the Flyers have allowed three PowerPlay goals in back to back games. 
  • Jake Voracek extended his point streak to 10 games, a new career high. 
  • Voracek's 26 points puts him alone atop the NHL in scoring. 
  • Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux have extended their point streaks to five games each. 
Drop The Puck:
Philadelphia has another layoff having to wait until Wednesday to get back on track when they go to New York to face the Rangers.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Columbus Snaps 9 Game Losing Streak in Hartnell's Return to Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers allowed three PowerPlay goals against in their 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. 

Coming into the game tonight, Columbus had lost their previous nine games (0-8-1), while the Flyers were riding a three game winning streak. Unfortunately for the Flyers, their schedule left five days off in between games. 

Philadelphia definitely showed some rust tonight while Columbus was extremely hungry for their first win since October 23rd; that combination resulted in both streaks ending. 

"We couldn't keep up, couldn't break out properly, [and] didn't shoot the puck enough," coach Craig Berube told interviewers after the game. "We looked like we were a step behind."

Special teams turned out to be the story tonight. The Blue Jackets tallied three goals on the man advantage, while the Flyers picked up two (which should be three as they scored another with one second left on the PowerPlay, but was somehow credited as an even strength goal). 

Two of Columbus' PowerPlay goals came in the opening period. The first tally broke the scoring in the game on a shot from the point off the stick of James Wisniewski while the second was scored by Nick Foligno late in the period. 

Philadelphia picked up a PowerPlay goal of their own coming in between both of Columbus' tallies. Claude Giroux blasted a slap shot past Curtis McElhinney for his fifth of the season. 

Jake Voracek knotted up the score at two apiece in the 2nd, again while on the PowerPlay. Voracek found the loose puck in the slot and found the back of the net extending his point streak to nine games. 

Halfway through the 2nd, Nick Foligno put the Blue Jackets back on top. Foligno patiently carried the puck through the slot and waited for Steve Mason to go down, picking up his second of the game and ninth of the season. 

Then more penalty trouble for the Flyers. Already down a man, Sean Couturier took a penalty giving the Blue Jackets a two man advantage. On the ensuing PowerPlay, Columbus picked up their third PowerPlay goal of the game on James Wisniewski's second of the night picking up a loose rebound on the goal-line. 

Down 4-2 heading into the 3rd, the Flyers started the period on the PowerPlay. With one second left on the man advantage, Michael Del Zotto blasted a cannon from the top of the circle cutting the lead to one. The goal was oddly changed to an even strength goal later in the game. 

In the end, ex Flyer Scott Hartnell, who made his first appearance at Philadelphia since being traded, got his revenge as the Blue Jackets hung onto their lead gaining their first win in November.  

"It was kind of weird playing against [Hartnell]," Giroux said. "You saw the standing ovation, even for us it was kind of touching. He's a good guy."

The loss gives the Flyers a 7-6-5 record on the season. "We want to be a good team," Mark Streit responded when asked if the layoff hurt the team. "Even when you have five days off you still have to manage to put out a good effort to get a point. Luckily enough we play tomorrow." Philadelphia will look to rebound against Montreal Saturday night. 

Game Notes:
  • Jake Voracek's nine game point streak is tied for the longest in his career. 
  • Scott Hartnell took six shots but didn't pick up any points against his former team tonight. 
  • The Blue Jackets out shot the Flyers 38-27 tonight. The Flyers have been outshot in four straight games and seven of their last 10. 
  • Columbus has now beaten Philadelphia four straight times. 
  • It was the first time all season the Flyers gave up three PowerPlay goals in a single game. 
  • Claude Giroux picked up a goal and an assist while taking a game high 7 shots. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers get right back into action tomorrow (Saturday) night when they go on the road to face the Montreal Canadiens.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How The Flyers Got Back On Track

After waiting five games for their first win in 2014, the Flyers now find themselves in third place in the Metropolitan Division, boasting a 7-5-2 record (14 points).
Here’s how they got back on track...
To read my full article featured on NJPen: CLICK HERE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Gostisbehere Out Indefinitely

The Philadelphia Flyers announced this evening that highly touted d
efensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere has torn his ACL in his left left.

Gostisbehere, who registered 5 points in 5 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in his rookie season, will go under the knife on November 13th and will be out indefinitely. Injuries of this kind can typically take between four to eight months.  

The 21 year old was called up and played two games with the Flyers averaging 12:33 minutes. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Flyers Hang On To Beat Avalanche

The Philadelphia Flyers hung on despite a three goal 3rd period from Colorado to beat the Avalanche 4-3 tonight. 

Giroux scores his second of the game, the eventual GWG
The Flyers played exceptionally well in the first two periods picking up 4 goals including 3 on the PowerPlay. Everything was going Philadelphia's way; then the 3rd period started. The Avalanche took 21 shots and picked up 3 goals before pulling their goalie with almost 3 minutes remaining while on the PowerPlay. Colorado pushed hard for the equalizer taking 5 shots with the net empty but  Philadelphia hung on as the clock expired. 

"We played a great 40 minutes," Wayne Simmonds told CSNPhilly after the game.  "But then we didn't play our up-tempo game in the 3rd and it [almost] cost us."

The PowerPlay was the difference maker in tonight's game. It all got started on an ugly play in the Flyers end when Nathan MacKinnon pushed Luke Schenn from behind sending him dangerously into the boards. MacKinnon would get a 5 minute major, but Schenn left the game and did not return. 

"I thought he shoud have got kicked out of the game," Wayne Simmonds said referring to MacKinnon. "But that's [the referee's] decision and you can't do anything about that. Hopefully he's ok." 

The Flyers responded scoring 2 goals on the ensuing major. Claude Giroux sniped the first goal with just 3 seconds to go in the period for this third of the season. "had no idea [there were only 3 seconds left] I think the fans should get an apple for this one, everybody was yelling at me," Giroux said with a smile about his goal after the 1st period. "A little assist from the fans out there."

Wayne Simmonds scored the second goal on MacKinnon's major. Giroux fed Simmonds in front and turn and fired it past Avalanche goalie Reto Berra giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead. 

Brayden Schenn added to the Flyers lead halfway through the 2nd period. Schenn's goal, assisted by Matt Read from behind the net, gives him points in 6 of his last 7 games. 

Philadelphia was then given a two man advantage after a roughing and high sticking call and the Flyers took advantage again. Vincent Lecavalier faked his shot from the circle and slap-passed it to Giroux, who buried it for his second of the game, fourth of the season, giving the Flyers a commanding 4-0 lead.  

Ex-Flyer Max Talbot broke the shutout on the the first shot of the 3rd period and the wheels slowly started to fall off for Philadelphia. 

Colorado took the next 7 shots and picked up another goal. Alex Tanguay beat Steve Mason off a 2 on 1 with a bit of a weak shot that Mason needed to have. The Avalanche had all the momentum and soon enough they scored yet another goal. RJ Umberger lost the puck to Talbot, who found Zach Redmond between the circles and it was a one goal game, with 8:22 still remaining. 

Following Colorado's third goal, the Avalanche took 8 shots in a furious effort to tie this game, but instead the Flyers shut them down earning their 3rd win in a row. 

"Its not that they stopped playing, it's an attack mentality," coach Craig Berube said after the game. "You stop skating and that's the biggest thing. Skate and work no matter what the score is. We played a hell of a game for 40 minutes and at the end of the game." 

Game Notes:
  • Braydon Coburn returned to action tonight for the first time since the opening game of the season. Coburn was a -2 with 2 hits in 20:18 minutes. 
  • Jake Voracek registered 3 assist tonight extending his point streak to 8 games. He has 15 points during the streak. 
  • Claude Giroux also had 3 points, 2 goals and an assist. It was Giroux's first 3 point game of the season. 
  • Luke Schenn left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. After the game, brother Brayden said Luke was sore, yet no other information was given. 
  • Giroux led the Flyers in shots with 7. It was the third time this season Giroux has taken that many shots.
  • Colorado outshot the Flyers 39-27 including 21-6 in the 3rd period.
  • The Flyers have now won 5 in a row at home and 6 of 8. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will have off until Friday when they host Scott Hartnell and the Columbus Blue Jackets.