I pretty much had tonight's recap written after the second period. I was going to make a joke about copying and pasting the recap from the last time the Flyers were in Detroit, when penalties cost them a game that they actually controlled at five-on-five.
It seemed like the same story through 40 minutes tonight. Seriously, just look at some of these penalties.
The third-line, who already teamed up to put the Flyers on the board in the first period, just wouldn't be denied, though. Matt Read cut Detroit's lead to 3-2 lateish in the second period, right in between all of those penalties, giving us a faint hope at the second intermission that they could maybe pull this one out of their butts. And that's precisely what they did.
Stephen Weiss took a penalty early in the third, and the Flyers were extremely patient on the ensuing power play, ultimately leading to a rocket of a shot from Claude Giroux that tied the game. Three minutes later, Sean Couturier, Read and Downie teamed up yet again to give the Flyers the lead. Scott Hartnell added a power play goal -- making up for this, eh Scott? -- and Couturier grabbed his fourth point of the night with an empty netter in the final minute.
A 6-3 win. The Flyers scored six goals in a game!
It's official: the "third line" is now the "first line" until further notice. They're playing unreal hockey, and they're pacing a team that really needs the help offensively. Even better, Craig Berube is giving them the opportunity -- something that his predecessor didn't exactly do, especially with No. 14. Couturier and Read led all Flyers forwards in ice time tonight, and they deserve every single bit of it.
It's the Flyers second win in Detroit since the 1980s, and
they're now tied in points with the Rangers for fourth in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils inched ahead of both the Flyers and Rangers with a shootout loss tonight, but the Flyers are right there in the playoff mix. NHL.com's standings were only half updated when I wrote this, so it was wrong. The Flyers are tied in points with NJD and NYR, and ahead of New Jersey but behind the Rangers in the tiebreaker. The road trip continues in Dallas on Saturday afternoon.
More of this, Flyers. It was fun.