Saturday, January 19, 2013

Flyers Fall in Opener

Claude Giroux introduced as new Flyers Captain
The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the much anticipated NHL season opener. The Penguins scored 2 goals in the first 8 minutes of the game and despite Claude Giroux's first goal as the Flyers captain, that lead would prove to be enough.

The start to this afternoon's home opener was very sluggish and eerily similar to the way the Flyers played in much of last season and the post season: from behind.

The Pittsburgh Penguins came out storming wanting revenge for the loss the Flyers handed them in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Penguins outshot the Flyers 11-3 in the first 15 minutes of the game, scoring twice.

Tyler Kennedy gave the Penguins an early 1-0 lead on the PowerPlay at 4:04 when he tipped Paul Martin's shot from the point past Ilya Bryzgalov.

Less than 3 minutes later, James Neal added to their lead. Evgeni Malkin won his offensive zone draw cleanly back to Neal, who buried his shot through a screen of players, beating Bryzgalov.

Giroux scores Flyers first goal of season
Despite allowing 2 goals in the first 8 minutes, Bryzgalov played very well stopping 24 of 26 shots against including, every shot faced following Neal's tally.

After the first 15 minutes the Flyers came to play. Over the next 9 minutes (carrying over into the 2nd period) the Flyers didn't allow any shots against and they opened the 2nd period with a bang.

Claude Giroux scored the first goal of the the Flyers season and his first goal as a captain. Assistant captain Scott Hartnell, who had 5 shots and 5 hits in 17:17 minutes, took a play from Giroux's playbook and setup Claude with a beautiful pass in front of the net which Giroux deposited into the back of the cage behind Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury.

However, after Giroux's goal, Fleury had all the answers making 26 saves on 27 shots against, preserving the Penguins 1 goal lead and ultimately turning it into a victory.

The Flyers outplayed the Penguins in the final 45 minutes of the game, and outshot them 21-16, unfortunately, the first 15 minutes were all the Penguins needed.

Special teams also played a big role in the Penguins victory this afternoon. They dominated on both sides going 2 for 3 on their PowerPlay and 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.

Chris Kunitz added the nail in the coffin with his empty net PowerPlay goal with 11 seconds remaining, finalizing their 3-1 victory.

Game Notes:
  • Flyers 2012 first round draft pick, Scott Laughton, 18, played his first NHL game today. Laughton had 4 hits and 1 shot in 12:14 minutes.
  • Newly acquired defensemen Luke Schenn and Kurtis Foster suited up as Flyers for the first time. Both were used for special teams: Foster played over 3 minutes of PowerPlay time, while Schenn played over 2 minutes on the penalty kill.
  • Claude Giroux, in his first game as captain of the Flyers had 1 goal, 3 shots and won 52% of his faceoffs in 19:41 minutes.
  • Wayne Simmonds lead all Flyers forwards in ice time with 22:07 minutes while Kimmo Timonen led all Flyers with 23:52.

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers get back into action immediately when they go to Buffalo to face the Sabres for their home opener at 12:30 PM.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the sports channel spend a lot in promoting the game of Buffaloes vs Sabres. If you asked me which team I am rooting, I would say I prefer the Buffaloes cause they just got a good gameplan whenever they are in the arena. Yeah, I'll admit that I'm kinda fan of them cause I got some posters and folders with their face printed on it but I think it's just right to have that cause they are quite unbeatable.