Let's face it -- we all thought tonight's win was a gimme, but after Buffalo scored some key goals, we were shaking in our boots. Fortunately, Buffalo decided to be Buffalo and blew the game at the very last moment to give the Flyers a much needed win.
Cody Hodgson got the scoring going fairly early in the first, presumably because of what I said about him in the preview. That goal was a serious defensive breakdown for the Flyers -- Hodgson skated into zone unimpeded, picked up a clean pass in the slot, and took it right to the net. Anthony SanFilippo claims the breakdown was on Claude Giroux, so there's that.
A few minutes later, Giroux got completely robbed by Jhonas Enroth on the backhand. Enroth left the net wide open, but got there in time to swat it away with his stick-less blocker hand. Highlight reel stuff there, made even more frustrating because it was only the second shot on goal for the Flyers. By the end of the period, the Flyers started to get things going, but alas, were unable to snag the equalizer.
No worries, though, because they tied things up early in the second when Voracek scored on the power play. That goal was the result of a nifty pass by Wayne Simmonds across the slot to a mysteriously uncovered Jake.
Overall the Flyers just looked better in the second period -- they began controlling possession and killed off a few penalties. Still, at the end, all they had to show for it was a tie on the scoreboard.
The third period started off pretty good for the Flyers, as they seemed to carry over some of the momentum established in the second. But after controlling play for the majority of first few minutes, they let up a nasty goal by Matt D'Agostini, who accepted an incredible stretch pass from noted butthead Steve Ott.
Late in the third, everything went nuts.
The Flyers' solid play finally paid off, with Brayden Schenn scoring the game-tying goal. Shortly thereafter, Scott Hartnell notched a beauty on the power play to give the Flyers their first lead of the game. That lead proved to be short lived, as Tyler Ennis tied the game just moments later. Seriously, the back-and-forth was as exciting as it was terrifying.
Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, Vinny Lecavalier rocketed a laser into the net with just 14 seconds left in the game. That goal ended up being the game winner, and it was awesome.
*Multiple times tonight, the Flyers had some beautiful chances that just didn't go in. In addition to Enroth robbing Giroux in the first, Ville Leino (yes, that guy) bailed out his netminder by stopping a Matt Read bid into a wide open net. Had they not gotten fleeced on those chances, the Flyers would have had this game in the bag early on.
*Late in the second, Raffl saw some time on the third line with Matt Read and Sean Couturier, and man did they look good. They worked hard on the forecheck and kept the puck in the offensive zone for what seemed like minutes. Maybe we'll see more of that combo in the future?
*Scott Hartnell was awesome tonight, picking up three points. People who think he is dead weight are super wrong.
*Steve Ott is the worst, and I hate him. Watching him get two points tonight was probably the low point of my week.
*Just to torture us, the Sabres wore their third jerseys tonight. Who the hell approved that design?