Not so fast. The Flyers took over the hockey game after Anssi Salmela scored early in the second and never looked back. James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring on a great individual play and shot that beat Martin Brodeur late in the period. With time continuing to run down, Jeff Carter actually somehow didn't miss a shot and beat Brodeur to tie the game with 24 ticks remaining.
Somehow, it was a hockey game, and the Flyers had all the momentum. In the third period, Philadelphia would add a tie breaking goal from Mike Richards to give the home team the lead for good. They won this game by doing all the things we talked about; they were opportunistic offensively and solid defensively and in goal.
One place where they could've used serious improvement, though? Specialty teams. Ilya Kovalchuk had an absurd 11:02 of power play time, and being a man down for six whole minutes of the first period didn't help the Flyers gain any edge off the bat. That's not an excuse, though, because a solid penalty kill can lead to momentum. The Flyers didn't do that, and when they finally got a power play of their own, Salmela scored his goal shorthanded.
Sticking with Salmela: he was seriously injured tonight when, just after his goal, he took a shot from Carter. Much more on that here. He's walking around and talking and didn't go to the hospital, but he has some teeth and a broken nose. He should be fine, though.
Salmela's fine, Flyers win. See you on Wednesday, Devils. After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the night.
- 4th: Pittsburgh - 59 GP, 72 pts (didn't play)
- 5th: Ottawa - 59 GP, 70 pts (didn't play)
- 6th: Montreal - 60 GP, 62 pts (didn't play)
7th: Philadelphia - 57 GP, 61 pts (won tonight)
- 8th: Tampa Bay - 57 GP, 61 pts (didn't play)
- 9th: Boston - 57 GP, 59 pts (didn't play)
- 10th: NY Rangers - 59 GP, 59 pts (didn't play)
- 11th: Atlanta - 57 GP, 58 pts (didn't play)
- 12th: Florida - 58 GP, 57 pts (didn't play)
- 13th: NY Islanders - 58 GP, 54 pts (didn't play)
Questions With Answers
- Can the Flyers keep Kovalchuk off the board? Yep. Very impressive considering he had so much PP time.
- Do they focus too much on the Kovalchuk/Elias line, giving room to Parise? Generally speaking, no. Parise scored but special teams are a different animal.
- Can the Flyers offense finish their chances and be opportunistic? Yes. They still missed a lot of chances (looking at you, Jeff) but they were still good in this department. Improvement.
- Leighton hasn't been the reason for recent losses. Is he the main factor towards the decision tonight? Leighton came up big several times, including on a late PP where the Devils were trying their hardest to tie the game.
Comment of the Night
Why did that loud horn go off all of a sudden? Why are some of the fans standing and cheering? I don’t get it…
>> Ben Feldman