Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flyers Gain First Victory of the Season!

Flyers celebrate a great win
The Philadelphia Flyers snapped their 3 game losing streak and gained their first victory of the season tonight when they defeated the New York Rangers 2-1.

The Flyers penalty kill, which has been dreadful all season long, saved and perhaps even won tonight's game. Up 2-1 in the 3rd period, the Flyers were given a 4 minute double minor (Tye McGinn) for high sticking. Then during the ensuing PowerPlay, Nicklas Grossmann was called for hooking, giving the Rangers a full 2 minute, 2 man-advantage. With the combination of great goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov, terrific shot blocking by the defense and a bit of puck ragging from Sean Couturier, the Flyers were able to not only kill the 2 man-advantage, but also the entire double minor.

Brimming with confidence after their strong kill, the Flyers didn't allow any shots by the Rangers in the final 7 minutes, solidifying their first win of the season.

Bryzgalov was stellar stopping 18 of 19 shots
Philadelphia played a very well rounded game tonight. Defensively they only allowed 19 shots on goal (5 of them coming on the PowerPlay), blocked 20 shots (5 from Grossmann) and despite allowing a PowerPlay goal, their penalty kill ultimately saved the game. While their offense won most of the battles creating numerous scoring chances, notched 33 shots, and even scored a PowerPlay goal.

After a sprited, yet scoreless 1st period, the Flyers came out flying in the 2nd. The middle period has been the Flyers best throughout the first 4 games of the season as they have scored all 5 of their goals during the 2nd period.

Wayne Simmonds got the Flyers on the board in the 2nd when Grossmann's shot from the point hit him in the foot and redirected behind Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Philadelphia scored the first goal of the game for the first time all season.

Voracek scores the eventual game-winner
Jake Voracek added to their lead 4 minutes later. While on the PowerPlay, Claude Giroux took a shot on goal, in which Couturier and Simmonds both fought for the rebound. Simmonds shot was stopped by Lundqvist, while Couturier's attempt hit the post. The puck clanked off the post and found its way right onto Voracek's stick and he buried it. The PowerPlay goal put the Flyers up by 2.

New York got an early PowerPlay to start the final stanza. And after Grossmann made a great effort to block Rangers forward Marion Gaborik's shot, the puck took a fortuitous bounce right back to Gaborik. With Grossmann on the ice, Gaborik found a wide open Taylor Pyatt who beat Bryzgalov cutting the lead to 1.

But the Flyers kept pressing. They would only allow 1 non PowerPlay shot on goal from the Rangers in the entire 3rd period. And once the penalties were all killed off in the 3rd, New York, which failed to score in the following 6 minutes, pulled their goalie with 1 minute remaining. The Rangers would end up having 4 offensive zone faceoffs with the extra man. However, captain Claude Giroux won all 4 faceoffs helping the Flyers kill the final minute, securing their 2-1 victory.

The win gives the Flyers their first points of the season avoiding going 0-4 for the first time in franchise history. The Flyers currently stand at 1-3.

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers snapped the Rangers 8 game winning streak against them. The last time Philadelphia beat the Rangers prior to tonight's game was February 20, 2011.
  • And the last time the Flyers defeated New York in Philadelphia was December 18th, 2010.
  • Simmonds scored a goal, an assist and took 6 shots in 20:55 minutes.
  • The Flyers have now allowed a PowerPlay goal against in all 4 games this season. They went 3 for 4 on the penalty kill and 1-3 on the PowerPlay. 
  • Tye McGinn had his first NHL fight today against Kris Newbury. McGinn clearly won the fight.


Injury News:
  • During the game, GM Paul Holmgren announced that injured forward Scott Hartnell has broken the first metatarsal in his left foot (the bone that extends to the big toe). Hartnell will be sidelined 4-8 weeks.
  • Holmgren also mentioned that Danny Briere is improving everyday but is 50/50 for this weekend's games. Briere is aiming more for a Tuesday return.
  • Andrej Meszaros left today's game in the 2nd period after being hit awkwardly. He left the ice holding his shoulder. After the game, Meszaros was seen wearing a shoulder harness. More will be known tomorrow. 

Blast from the Past:
Also during the game, the Flyers brought back a familiar face: Mike Knuble. Knuble, 40, played 4 seasons with the Flyers from 2005-2009 scoring 114 goals and 221 points. Knuble will bring some much needed veteran-ship to a very young team.

Drop the Puck:
The Flyers have off tomorrow but will play 2 games over the weekend: Saturday night versus the Florida Panthers and Sunday evening versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.

1 comment:

  1. That was a terrific game! I am so glad they finally won.