Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Flyers Even Series Versus Panthers

Brayden Schenn set up two goals early to help the Philadelphia Flyers even the series with the Florida Panthers 4-1 tonight. 

Del Zotto scores first goal as a Flyer
The Flyers scored early tonight picking up the first goal in consecutive games for the first time all season. And similar to Tuesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers, they never looked back. 

Brayden Schenn has quietly picked up 9 points this season, 3rd in scoring on the Flyers, and two of those came in the 1st period tonight. Matt Read did some good work along the boards and got the puck to Schenn in the circle, who one-timed a shot on goal. Sean Couturier tipped Schenn's shot past Florida goalie Roberto Luongo giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead 3:53 into the game. 

2:45 minutes later, Schenn made a beautiful east to west pass from one circle to the other finding a pinching Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto, having to skate around the referee first, pulled the trigger and scored his first goal as a Flyer. 

After a dominant 1st period, Philadelphia took a page out of their previous game (they scored twice in the opening period against the Oilers Tuesday, then extended their lead early in the 2nd) and added to their lead on their first shot of the period just 2:50 minutes in. Pierre Edouard Bellemare tallied his second goal in as many games and 3rd of the season after receiving a feed from Carlo Colaiacovo. The assist was Colaiacovo's first point as a Flyer. 

"We've had 2 really good games and for myself I just want keep it going and get better every day," Colaiacovo told CSNPhilly. "It feels great [to pick up my first point], any way I can contribute offensively or defensively and help the team win is what I'm trying to do. At the end of the day it's about getting the win and that's what we accomplished tonight."

Nick Bjugstad cut the lead to 3-1 while on the PowerPlay but that did not last long. Jake Voracek responded just 39 seconds later while on a 2 on 1 with Claude Giroux. Giroux looked shot then passed to Voracek, who deposited it into the net for his league leading 19th point. 

Steve Mason recorded his second straight win and again looked good in doing so making 34 saves on 35 shots. But more importantly, the team played well in front of him. Three of the Flyers defenseman picked up a point tonight, 3 d-men logged 20 plus minutes and the Mark Streit, Nicklas Grossmann pair were a combined plus 4. 

Philadelphia has now won 4 straight home games and have picked up points in 6 of their 7 home games this season. The Flyers improve to 6-5-2 this season. 

Game Notes:
  • Jake Voracek's goal extended his point streak to 7 games. 
  • The Flyers were 0 for 2 on the PowerPlay tonight. They haven't scored a PowerPlay goal in 5 games and are just 1 for 21 in their last 8 games. 
  • Florida outshot Philadelphia 35-30 tonight. It was the 6th game in a row that the Flyers have given up 30 or more shots against. 
  • The Flyers went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. The PowerPlay goal against was their first allowed at home this season. 
  • Not only did Del Zotto score but he took 3 shots, blocked 4 shots, had 2 hits and was a plus 1 in 23:18 minutes. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to extend their winning streak when they host ex Flyers Danny Briere and Max Talbot and the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Raffl Out 6 Weeks

The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that leading goal scorer Michael Raffl will miss about 6 weeks with a lower body injury.

Raffl left the game early yesterday (Tuesday, November 4th) versus the Edmonton Oilers after blocking a shot with his foot/skate.

Raffl becomes the fourth Flyer to be injured this season blocking a shot (Braydon Coburn, Vincent Lecavalier, and Andrew MacDonald).

Prior to the injury, Raffl, in his second season in the NHL, was tied for the team lead in goals with Wayne Simmonds, collecting 6 in 12 games. Raffl played his way onto the first line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek early in the season and never looked back.

"It's not good news for us obviously," GM Ron Hextall said to reporters. "But it does open up an opportunity for someone else to play in a higher position."

When asked if Hextall would consider bringing up top offensive prospect Scott Laughton, Hextall said, "I'm not going to speculate. I hope not. Scott's doing well, Shayne [Gostisbehere] is going to do well starting tonight. [We are going to] let those kids grow at at the right rate rather than rush them for something they're not ready for. Why stunt their growth?" Hextall continued, "But if it gets to a point where we need a young player we're going to look at all our options. We're not going to put this team in a position where we're not going to give them the best chance to win."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voracek Scores Twice as Flyers Cruise Past Oilers

Steve Mason earned his first win helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 tonight. 

Mason gains first win of the season
One of the things that many of the Flyers players and coaches have stressed lately is getting off to a better start. Tonight the Flyers finally got the start they were looking for and dominated the Oilers early on. 

Jake Voracek, who has been nothing short of spectacular this season, got the Flyers on the board early. 3:59 into the game, Voracek wrapped the puck around from behind the net and put it past Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth, giving the Flyers the first goal of the game for just the third time this season. 

But Jake was not finished. Once again buzzing in the Oilers zone, with just over 4 minutes left in the 1st period, Voracek setup Michael Del Zotto cutting to the net. Del Zotto's shot was blocked and came right back to Voracek, who wasted no time, and ripped it past Fasth for his second of the game. 

Voracek has now scored points in all but one game this season and is currently on a 6 game point streak in which he has collected 11 points. His 18 points are currently tied for the NHL lead. 

"He's playing with a lot of confidence and when a player with a lot of confidence and that kind of skill is pretty dangerous," Claude Giroux told CSNPhilly. "I'm just enjoying playing with him, it's a lot of fun."

Philadelphia carried their two goal lead into the 2nd period and did not waste anytime as they picked up right where they left off. 

The fourth line contributed nicely tonight and scored the Flyers third goal of the game. Chris VandeVelde's shot from the circle apparently hit Pierre Edouard Bellemare and trickled into the net 4:09 minutes in. 

The rest was left up to Steve Mason, who played very well in his first victory of the season. Mason stopped 35 of 36 attempts including shutting down Edmonton in the 3rd making 10 saves preserving the Flyers lead. The only one that got past him came on a terrific individual effort from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who used his speed to blow by the Flyers defense and beat Mason on the glove side.  
"It was nice to get it," Mason stated about the win after the game. "Took a lot longer than I originally plan but you stick with the process and keep working hard and good things happen." 

Luke Schenn scored the fourth goal for Philadelphia when brother Brayden set him up from behind the net. It was the first time Brayden assisted on one of brother Luke's goals. Just a couple weeks ago, it was Luke who assisted Brayden's goal for the first time. 

The Flyers snap their 2 game losing streak and pull to an even. 500 record again, 5-5-2. 

Game Notes:
  • Newest Flyers defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo suited up for the first time this season. Colaiacovo played well in the 16:50 minutes of ice time. He registered 1 shot, 1 hit and was a plus 1. 
  • Michael Del Zotto had another great game tonight. Del Zotto picked up an assist, took 1 shot, while leading the Flyers in hits (6) and ice time (23:17 minutes). 
  • Luke Schenn's goal was his 100th career point. 
  • Michael Raffl left the game early with a lower body injury. GM Ron Hextall said he will be re-evaluated tomorrow. 
  • Edmonton outshot the Flyers 36-25. 
  • The Flyers went without a PowerPlay in the whole game for the first time since March 15th 2012. 
  • Philadelphia went 4-4 on the penalty kill. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to even the series with the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night at home. 

Genius or Disgrace?

Two nights ago a very unusual play occurred in the AHL.

It was during a game between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Springfield Falcons. While on the PowerPlay, Bridgeport turned the puck over and a rare 2 on 0 broke out for Springfield. But instead getting that rare and golden chance, Tigers goalie David Leggio intentionally knocked the net off its moorings to prevent the play.

After a lot of discussing, the referees deemed a penalty shot was necessary, which is exactly what Leggio wanted. On the ensuing penalty shot, Leggio made the save and his team went right back on the PowerPlay.

If the video does not work, click: Here

Leggio found a loophole in the rules and exploited it to his advantage. He found a way to negate a 2 on 0 in favor of a penalty shot, which is only against one player.

So does this make Leggio a genius or a disgrace to the game?

In my humble opinion, I first want to give credit to Leggio for his creativity; that said, this play is a disgrace to the sportsmanship of the game. The mindset was, I can't stop a 2 on 0, so I will create my own odds by cheating. And this simply cannot happen.

I would personally like to see the rules altered so this will never happen again, not that I think any NHL goalie in their rightful mind would do this. However, we never thought we would see Sean Avery turn away from the play and hold his hands in front of Martin Brodeur's face just to provide a better screen either, but it did.

So what kind of penalty would be worse than a penalty shot, since it has already been established by Leggio that it is clearly not worse than a 2 on 0? I would like to see a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct. This way, Leggio might think twice about his antics; might.

But that's just me!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Flyers Suffer Disappointing Loss To Panthers

Behind the great play of Roberto Luongo, the Florida Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 tonight. 

A lackluster start and missed opportunities bundled with Roberto Luongo's strong play led to a tough loss for Philadelphia. 

The Flyers finally faced off against a team that missed the playoffs last year for only the second time this season, and it was as if they played down to the Panthers this evening. This was evident in the 1st period; Florida outshot Philadelphia and scored the game's first goal. 

Willie Mitchell took a shot from the point that snuck past Steve Mason's left leg pad. Later Mason stated, 'that's one I have to find.' It was the 9th time the Flyers have surrendered the first goal against in the 11 games this season, tied for the most in the NHL. 

"We didn't come out very good in the first period," coach Craig Berube told CSNPhilly. "We didn't pressure, didn't skate, didn't shoot pucks. [We were] not competitive, bottom line."

The scoreless 2nd period did not see much of a better effort from the Flyers. In the first 15 minutes, Philadelphia only registered 2 shots on goal. 

The Flyers finally started to pick up the pace in the 3rd period and were given ample opportunities which included 3 PowerPlays and even 32 seconds of a two man-advantage. Yet all were squandered as the Flyers could not beat Luongo, who stopped 35 shots tonight including 17 in the 3rd. Philadelphia went 0-6 on the PowerPlay tonight. 

2014 first overall pick, Aaron Ekblad put the Panthers up by 2 with just 4:22 minutes remaing in the game on a blast from the point while on the PowerPlay. The goal was Ekblad's first career NHL tally. 

In an attempt to spark a late comeback, coach Berube pulled the goalie with nearly 4 minutes to play. The Flyers took 6 shots and finally beat Luongo when Vinny Lecavalier, who returned to action today after missing 7 games with a lower body injury, found and buried the puck from the edge of the crease. 

The goal broke the shutout, but that was all. Coming with just 7.4 seconds remaining, it was too little, too late. 

For the first time since the first two games of the season, the Flyers failed to pick up points in consecutive games; their record falls to 4-5-2. 

Game Notes:
  • After going 0-6 on the PowerPlay tonight, the Flyers are now 1 for their last 19 over the span of their last 6 games. 
  • Philadelphia picked up 18 shots in the 3rd period and ultimately ended up out shooting Florida 37-30. 
  • Steve Mason got his first start since October 21st. Mason stopped 28 shots in the losing effort. 
  • It was only the 3rd time this season the Flyers failed to score 2 goals or more. 
  • Mark Streit led all players in ice time logging 28:37 minutes. 
  • Lecavalier scored a goal, took 5 shots and was a +1 in his return tonight. 
  • In order for Lecavalier to return to the lineup, the Flyers were forced to send Shayne Gostisbehere back to the AHL. 
Drop the Puck:
Philadelphia will look to end their losing streak when they return home to face the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Flyers Sign Veteran Defenseman

Moments after the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night, the team announced that they have signed veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. 

Colaiacovo, 6'1" 201lbs, has 401 games of NHL experience spread out over 12 years and 3 teams. He has registered 31 goals and 144 points during that span. 

With Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald out an extended period of time, GM Ron Hextall wanted someone with NHL experience rather than keeping up a rookie such as Shayne Gostisbehere. 

The knock on Colaiacovo, who was once drafted in the first round by Toronto in 2001, is that he is too injury prone. The list of known injuries (many labeled upper or lower body) that kept him out extended periods of time during his career are: concussion (2006), knee surgery (2007), another head injury (2011), a sprained wrist (2012) and a shoulder injury (2013). 

Hopefully, Philadelphia will only need his services for 3 or 4 weeks to allow MacDonald and/or Coburn to get healthy. Until then, Colaiacovo will fill that void with his smooth skating and puck moving abilities. 

"I'm really happy and looking forward to this great opportunity," Colaiacovo told Josh Rimer of Sportsnet Canada. 

No details on the contract have been announced yet. 

Colaiacovo most likely won't be in the Flyers lineup when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. He may be ready either Tuesday or Thursday based on how long it takes him to get into game shape. 

Colaiacovo's contract is a 1 year, 2 way deal worth $625K. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stamkos Nets Two as Lightning Beat Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 tonight. 

Too many penalties ended up costing the Flyers the game tonight as they gave the Lightning 5 PowerPlay opportunities. Tampa Bay ended up cashing in on two of those including the game winner by Jason Garrison late in the 3rd period which gave the Lightning a 4-2 lead. 

The Flyers made a late push scoring in the final minute to cut the deficit to one, yet despite the furious effort to tie the game, Philadelphia fell short, losing their 5th in a row to the Lightning and 7th straight in Tampa Bay. 

Another slow start cost the Flyers and they surrendered the game's first goal for the eighth time in their first 10 games. Vladislav Namestnikov tipped in a shot from the point just 3:29 into the opening period. 

Four shots were all Philadelphia could muster in the 1st period; however, Wayne Simmonds found the back of the net with under 7 minutes to play on the Flyers second shot of the game giving them some much needed life. Brayden Schenn found Pierre Edouard Bellemare cutting to the net and Simmonds buried the rebound tying the game at 1, despite being heavily outplayed early on.

After a penalty free 1st period, the referees pulled out their whistles and called 9 minors in the 2nd period, 5 against the Flyers. And late in the period, with just 46 seconds remaining, sniper Steven Stamkos finally broke through on the PowerPlay with a high wrist shot over Ray Emery's shoulder. 

Ray Emery got the start for the fourth consecutive game tonight. The four goals against doesn't tell the whole story as Emery played fairly well keeping the game close early on; he stopped 28 shots on 32 attempts. 

Steven Stamkos was a force tonight taking shot after shot. Stamkos registered a game high 7 shots and picked up his second goal of the game 5:30 minutes into the final period. Jason Garrison made a perfect east to west pass right on the tape to Stamkos, who one-timed it from the circle giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead. 

Jake Voracek responded just 68 seconds later. Recent call up, Brandon Manning, who replaced Shayne Gostisbehere, got a shot from the point through traffic and Voracek pounced on the rebound cutting the deficit to one again. 

Philadelphia got into penalty trouble again late in the game and got called for a 'too man men on the ice' penalty. Pierre Edouard Bellemare was within 5 feet of the bench (which is the regulation in the rule book) when Michael Raffl took off, yet the call was still made. 

Tampa Bay scored on the ensuing PowerPlay increasing their lead to 2 with just 3:12 remaining. Stamkos found Garrison at the point and his shot beat Emery for the eventual game winner. 

The 'never say die' Flyers made a strong push to comeback despite only having a few minutes left on the clock. With Emery on the bench, Philadelphia peppered Tampa Bay with 6 shots in under 2 minutes. Michael Raffl finally found the back of the net in front after receiving a nice pass from Voracek. 

Ben Bishop, who stopped 24 shots on 27 attempts for the Lightning, made 3 saves in the final 15 seconds ending the Flyers comeback bid. The 4-3 loss gives Philadelphia an even 4-4-2 record for the brutal month that was October. 

"It's a tough loss," Voracek told CSNPhilly after the game. "But the game overall was better than the result." 

That's the attitude the Flyers need moving forward. The month of November will be a lighter schedule than October, which had the likes of Boston, Chicago, LA, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Dallas, Montreal and New Jersey. The Devils were the only team on that list who didn't make the playoffs last year. That list also comprised of the last 8 Stanley Cup winners. 

Game Notes:
  • Brandon Manning played his first game for the Flyers this season. It was the first time he saw NHL action since April 27, 2013. 
  • Manning picked up 1 assist, 1 shot on goal and was even in 14:09 minutes. 
  • The 5 PowerPlays given to Tampa Bay was the most the Flyers have surrendered in a game this season. 
  • Voracek has a 4 game multi-point streak. He has picked up 2 points in each of those 4 games. 
  • Michael Del Zotto led the Flyers in ice time for the 3rd straight game. Del Zotto logged 23:41 minutes tonight and is now averaging over 20 minutes per game. 
  • Simmonds snapped his 5 game pointless streak. 
  • Raffl now has 4 goals in his last 3 games.
  • The Flyers began their traditional fathers trip as several dads joined the team tonight. They will also travel to south Florida when the Flyers play the Panthers.   
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to get back on the winning side when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Flyers Call Up Manning

The Philadelphia Flyers recalled defenseman Brandon Manning from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms today. 

Manning will most likely serve as the 7th defenseman during the Flyers upcoming roadtrip. Manning, who has 5 points and a +2 rating in 6 games with the Phantoms, has been called up twice before with the Flyers in his career. In 2012, Manning played 4 games and 6 in 2013, picking up 2 assists in the latter call up.

The Flyers will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and the Florida Panthers on Saturday. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Schenn's Controversial Overtime Goal Leads To Flyers Victory Over Defending Stanley Cup Champions

A controversial goal in overtime led to the Philadelphia Flyers victory over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 tonight.

"Upon further review, the puck crossed the line before any contact. Good goal," are the words the referee exclaimed before emphatically pointing to center ice. The Flyers jumped out of the bench to mob Brayden Schenn who instantly became the hero of the night. 

Schenn found himself on a breakaway in overtime, after 60 minutes was not enough for an outcome in this contest. Schenn barreled down the ice with Jake Muzzin hot on his tail. Schenn let the shot go, Philadelphia's 43rd shot of the game, which appeared to be stopped initially by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick, however, drifted back into his net as Schenn was poking for a rebound and both he and the puck trickled back into the cage. 

"No goal, no goal," is what the referee yelled before going upstairs. The 'War Room' in Toronto got a good look at the play and correctly reversed the call on the ice, giving the Flyers their third victory in a row. 

"It was an exciting finish to an exciting game," Ray Emery told CSNPhilly afterwards. "It was a good home stretch for us, now we have to go on the road and win some." 

Emery, the third star of the game, was just as exciting to watch as the finish he referred to. In his third straight start, Emery stopped 38 shots on 40 attempts tonight. 

"He's got a lot of confidence right now and it's paying off for us," Claude Giroux complimented Emery. "He's a hard worker and he's pretty hot right now."

That hard work has paid off in a big way for the Flyers this season. Philadelphia has picked up points in every game Emery has started this season going 4-0-1. 

The Flyers got off to a great start tonight picking up 20 shots in the opening period. And for just the second time this season, the Flyers got on the board first. 

The red hot Michael Raffl found the loose puck, 5 minutes into the period, after Giroux's shot attempt and swatted it past Quick for his fifth goal of the season. 

While on the PowerPlay, the Flyers tried to extend their lead, however, things went horribly wrong. Matt Read's pass bounced over Michael Del Zotto's twig and Tyler Toffoli went down the ice unimpeded on a shorthanded breakaway and he beat Emery to the high glove side.

The Flyers responded late in the period to regain the lead with just 44 seconds on the clock when Jake Voracek found Chris VandeVelde in the slot. VandeVelde netted his first goal as a Flyer and first since March of 2012. 

After a scoreless 2nd period, ex-Flyer Mike Richards knotted the game at 2 apiece early in the 3rd. Richards was the fourth man in after the Kings' 3 on 2 led to a couple chances in front. Richards found the puck and scored his first goal of the season. 

The goaltending duel then pursued. Back and forth the teams went, trading chances to the very end but to no avail. Both goalies made 14 saves in the period forcing overtime. 

"It's always nice scoring against the team that drafted you," Brayden Schenn said after scoring the game winner in overtime. "But it's a good team win." 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers have won three straight for the first time this season. 
  • The Kings were without their star Anze Kopitar, who sat out with an upper body injury. The news was so sudden that LA did not have time to call up any players, therefore, they played with only 19 players on their roster. 
  • Not once last season did Ray Emery start consecutive games. Tonight was his third start in a row. 
  • Jake Voracek, who was all over the ice tonight and was awarded the star of the game for his excellent play, picked up his 200th career assist tonight. After the game, Voracek said, "I think [the first period] was the best of our season." Voracek took 5 shots. 
  • Philadelphia outshot LA 43-40. The 83 combined shots were the most in any Flyers game this season. The 43 shots by Philadelphia was also their season high.
  • Both teams went 0-2 on the PowerPlay. 
  • Shayne Gostisbehere played his second NHL game tonight. He logged 12:40 minutes of ice time while taking 1 shot and blocking a shot. He was a -1. 
  • The Flyers are above a .500 record for the first time this season, 4-3-2. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to extend their winning streak when they go on the road to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Flyers Continue Dominance at Home over Detroit, Notch First Home Win

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 tonight for their first home victory of the season. 

Voracek and Simmonds celebrating first home win
The Flyers survived a lopsided game which was evident early when the Red Wings held a 22-5 shot advantage after the first 30 minutes. Philadelphia was able to pull out a victory due to a strong final period, taking 9 shots and netting 3 goals, essentially stealing the game.

It took the Flyers over 10 minutes to get their first shot of the game and then another 13 minutes to get their first shot of the 2nd period. In the meantime, the Orange and Black's defense was very busy doing their best to fill the gap that Braydon Coburn and Andy MacDonald left; both are out for about a month with lower body injuries. Considering, the defense was very solid while Ray Emery was exceptional again. Emery made 35 saves on 37 attempts. 

Despite outplaying the Flyers in the first two periods, the Red Wings were only able to muster one goal. 15:33 into the opening period, Riley Sheahan was left alone on the rush when both Mark Streit and Claude Giroux covered the same man. 

Nicklas Grossmann turned the tide for the Flyers late in the 2nd stanza. Chris Vandevelde, from the corner, found a pinching Grossmann, and his first goal of the season evened out this hockey game. At 18:21, the tally was only the Flyers third shot of the period. 

Gostisbehere's first NHL game
The goal energized Philadelphia to start the 3rd period and they were able to take advantage. First, the Flyers were forced to kill a penalty, which they did with the help of Pierre Edouard Bellemare ragging the puck for close to 20 seconds. About 40 second after the kill, at 6:01 with the home crowd at their loudest, Michael Del Zotto, who has been improving his play every game, started a rush up the ice that resulted in Jake Voracek setting up Michael Raffl for the go-ahead goal. Raffl got behind the defense and went in all alone on Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson, beating him low glove side. 

Yesterday, the Flyers called up defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere due to all the injuries on the back end. The highly anticipated prospect made his NHL debut tonight. In 12:27 minutes, Gostisbehere took 1 shot and was a -1. His -1 came on the tying goal in the 3rd. Just 42 seconds following Raffl's 3rd goal of the season, Gostisbehere was caught in the neutral zone and lost his stick. Both Matt Read and Blair Jones failed to clear the puck and as a result, Pavel Datsyuk was behind the defense and beat Emery one on one. Despite the goal against, Gostisbehere played a decent first game. He made some smart plays, good outlet passes and was always looking to shoot. 

"He's a gifted player," Ray Emery told CSNPhilly after the game referring to Gostisbehere. "I think guys around the room were excited when he got called up because we know what he's capable of."

After going 0-8 in their last 8 PowerPlay opportunities over the last 8 periods, which was the Flyers longest PowerPlay drought streak of the season, Philadelphia finally cashed in. On their 5th PowerPlay of the game, Brayden Schenn redirected Voracek's pass for the eventual game winner. 

Detroit peppered Emery with 9 shots in the last 8 minutes after Schenn's goal; however, Ray Emery stood tall preserving the Flyers 3-2 lead. 

Raffl put the lid on this game burying an empty netter with 31 seconds remaining for his second goal of the night, fourth of the season. 

The victory gives Philadelphia their first home win of the season and first back to back wins. The Flyers have now won 2 in a row, 3 of their last 4 and have gained points in 5 of their last 6 games. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers have won 9 straight at home against the Red Wings, which spans 17 years. 
  • Jan 25 1997 was the last time Detroit won a regular season game in Philadelphia.
  • Detroit heavily outshot Philadelphia 37-17. 
  • It was the largest shot deficit (20) of the season for the Flyers. 
  • 17 was also the lowest shot total for Philadelphia this season.
  • Tonight was Raffl's first career multi goal game and second career 3 point game.
  • Grossmann scored his first goal in 21 games, since March 2014, also blocked 6 shots and had 5 hits. 
  • Michael Del Zotto registered 2 assists, was a +2 and led the Flyers with 22:37 minutes. 
  • Shayne Gostisbehere in his first NHL game took 1 shot, was -1 and played 18 shifts amassing 12:27 minutes. "It's a lot faster than I was thinking," Gostisbehere said after the game. "It's awesome when your teams wins. And being in my first game, it couldn't end any better!"
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look for their first 3 game winning streak of the season when they host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Gostisbehere To Make NHL Debut

Highly touted and much anticipated defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night versus the Detroit Red Wings.

Gostisbehere hoisting the 2014 NCAA Championship trophy
News broke early on Friday that the Flyers will be without defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andy MacDonald both for about 4 weeks from lower body injuries, so it was apparent that Philadelphia would make a call up soon. 

Early word was that Mark Alt would be recalled due to the fact that his name plate mysteriously found its way into the Flyers practice locker room in Voorhees. Despite this fact, it wasn't Alt who ultimately got the call, instead it was the man they call Ghost, Shayne Gostisbehere. 

Gostisbehere, Flyers 2012 3rd round draft pick, played his last 3 years with the Union College Dutchmen amassing 82 points in 119 games. This included 3 points in the National Title Game helping lead Union to their first Frozen Four Championship, which took place in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. 

Gostisbehere, 5'11" 170lbs, has played 3 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms picking up 2 points. 

GM Ron Hextall clearly stated that he wanted to wait before calling up the speedy defenseman, however, circumstances change everything. "You come up with a plan that in a perfect world you can stick to, but you have to make adjustments based on circumstances," Hextall told David Strehle of the TheFourthPeriod. 

Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut Saturday at 7PM when the Flyers host the Detroit Red Wings. (His number is yet to be determined.)