PHILADELPHIA -- "They're winning the game and they're winning the fights too."
That's one of the famous lines from Jim Jackson back in 2004, when the Flyers beat the Senators up on the ice and with their fists. Tonight, the Flyers basically did the same thing, although not to the same 419 penalty minute extreme as that infamous March night seven years ago.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead tonight, then allowing the Senators quickly back in the game with two late second period goals, the momentum had clearly shifted in Ottawa's favor. But 7:50 into the third, Scott Hartnell put the Flyers up two, and from there, things would get fun.
Claude Giroux laid down the best hit of his hockey career (I haven't watched all of G's career, but I'm perfectly fine making the assumption) on Jesse Winchester Sens didn't really like it all that much. They basically jumped No. 28, and as the pile turned into five mini scrums, Jeff Carter (!) somehow wound up fighting Winchester. Everybody else picked up a dancing partner and it immediately started to feel like '04 all over again.
A shift later, with the Flyers on the power play thanks to the stupidity of the Sens, Andrej Meszaros would make the score 6-2. Ottawa anger level: rising.
On the next shift, Jody Shelley would (probably wisely) turn down a Matt Carkner challenge. About four minutes later, Nick Foligno would challenge Giroux for the initial (clean) hit that started everything, and G actually held his own in the fight. Ottawa anger level: critical mass.
One second later, all hell would break loose yet again. Sean O'Donnell and Carkner would battle off the faceoff, Shelley would destroy Chris Neil and Hartnell would drop Jarkko Ruutu. When all was said and done, 126 penalty minutes were handed out. The Flyers won the game, and they wound up winning the fights, too.
And all the while, there was poor Lou Nolan, just hoping to get through the game with his cold-riddled voice. He should have picked up the first star tonight.
After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the night.
Questions with Answers
- Ottawa is, quite frankly, a terrible hockey team. Can the Flyers make that obvious tonight? In the end, yes. In the second period, no.
- Pronger's back! How's he look? Usual old Pronger. 20 minutes, two assists, plus-one.
- After a tough game vs. Washington, what's the Briere line do tonight? Two goals.
- On the whole, how does the defense look now that they're back to full strength? Who cares? FIGHTS!
Comment of the Night
I'm pretty damn glad to find out that Giroux doesn't fight like Semin.