Although it doesn't officially count as his first NHL goal, Mika Pyorala scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Flyers beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 tonight in South Philadelphia. Claude Giroux added another shootout goal on yet another unbelievable move, while Brad Boyes put one in for St. Louis. Chris Mason made 35 saves for the Blues, allowing a second period goal by Scott Hartnell. T.J. Oshie scored in regulation for the Blues.
Some assorted thoughts from the game...
- The third line of Ian Laperriere, Blair Betts, and Dan Carcillo continued to be the pacesetters for the Flyers. They were buzzing around each time they hit the ice and they are doing an excellent job as a checking unit. Carcillo drew several penalties and has certainly turned his play around so far this season.
- Hartnell and Giroux hooked up several times in the game, with Claude feeding his linemate with pretty passes in the slot. Hartnell deflected one of those into the net for the Flyers only regulation goal.
- James van Riemsdyk and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen left the ice in the third period with injuries. JVR returned briefly but was shown bleeding from his finger and he didn't play after that. Reports are saying that he broke that finger and he's day-to-day. Tollefsen did not come back to the bench. Stevens was forced to stretch his bench a bit, giving Mika Pyorala and Darroll Powe several extra shifts in the third.
- Tollefsen's injury came in the corner on an awkward collision with the boards. He fell to the ice and stayed down for almost 20 seconds while play continued. His defensive partner, Danny Syvret, couldn't weather the storm, and St. Louis scored while OKT stayed down in the corner. As mentioned, he didn't return, and there's no word as of this writing on his condition.
Ray Emery looked incredibly sharp throughout, and despite one weak goal in the third, he owned the Blues, making several key saves. 30 total.
- The officiating was atrocious as usual, most notably with a diving call on Carcillo midway through the second. Keith Tkachuk sent him awkwardly into the boards and as Carcillo fell to the ice, the zebras called him for embellishment. While Tkachuk did get a boarding call on the play, you can be sure that if he hit any other player besides Carcillo, no diving call would've been made. To his credit, though, Carcillo restrained himself following the questionable hit.
- Emery showed some of the rage he's known for during a second period scrum in his crease. His teammates came to his defense quickly after one of the Blues' players took a few liberties with him, but it's nice to see Emery still has that edge, especially when it doesn't go over the line.
- Arron Asham and Cam Janssen, former teammates in New Jersey, renewed relations in this one. Janssen took Asham early in the fight, but Asham rebounded nicely after almost falling to the ice and took it to Janssen.
- The Flyers controlled the offensive pace in overtime, even getting a breakaway on a Mike Richards feed to Scott Hartnell. Chris Mason made an excellent save on that breakaway, keeping the puck just on the line to keep the Blues alive in the hockey game.
- The Flyers win shootouts?
Overall, tonight was a solid win for the orange and black. If it were a divisional game, you might be mad about giving away the extra point to the opposition, but considering we won't see the Blues again until next season (or, potentially the Finals I guess), it's not a big deal. Four straight wins, but now the boys are off until Thursday, when they'll try to keep it rolling on dollar pretzel night at home against Ottawa.
After the jump, we'll answer a few questions and check out the comment of the night.
Questions With Answers
- How do the Flyers react to sickness after a busy 24 hours? Didn't seem like they were affected too much, surprisingly. With a shortened bench in the third, the Flyers were able to gut out a solid win.
- What does the Carcillo/Betts/Laperriere line do for an encore after playing a key role in three of the Flyers five Friday night goals? They didn't show up on the scoresheet, but they again set the tempo and made noise each time they hit the ice. The unit is becoming very important for this team.
- Can the young, speedy Blues dictate the tempo against the Flyers? It was pretty even throughout the game.
- Mason made 37 saves on the Flyers last time they met. Can he keep up that magic? Mason was solid -- very solid -- but the Flyers were able to solve him just enough to squeak out the win.
Comment Of The Night
That’s a Scott Hartnell goal right there.