The Flyers snatched a win from the jaws of defeat tonight, ending their road trip with a much-appreciated and much-needed two points.
The Flyers started the first period terribly. They were losing nearly every battle and were getting completely rolled over by the Devils. How bad was it? I quickly glanced at my Twitter and saw these four gems lined up like the stars. Eek.
And it only got worse from there. The Devils absolutely creamed the Flyers in the possession game, the shots game, the chances game, and well, just the entire freaking game. Oh, and did I mention stupid penalties? Yeah, there were a couple of those.
Adam Henrique got the lone goal of the stanza less than a minute in after Jaromir Jagr turned on the magic to confuse every single Flyer in front of the net. That point tied Jagr with Mario Lemiuex on the all-time points leaders list at 7th. Dude is old, but damn, he's still good.
Honestly, the only thing good about the first period is that the Flyers were only down by one.
The second period, while not nearly as bad as the first, was similar -- the Flyers never had any sustained pressure, and looked pretty damn anemic. Yeah, they had a few chances (including a beauty for Steve Downie) and finally got a decent cycle going on the power play, but they just couldn't convert.
The third period definitely had a different feel. Within 5 minutes, the Flyers erased the shot attempt differential that was established way back in the first, and it finally looked like the boys weren't playing from behind.
At last, they converted for the first time of the evening after Giroux ripped a wrister on the power play. TAKE THAT, CANADA!
Shortly after Giroux made everyone in Canada cry, Scott Hartnell proved that the Flyers could somehow win this thing, tucking the puck through the legs of Brodeur. Hartnell's tally came by way of capitalizing on a sweet pass across the ice from Brayden Schenn, who put forth a solid effort all night.
Late in the third, the Flyers were awarded a power play due to a nasty high stick leveled on the should-be-Captain-Canada by Travis Zajac. With less than 2 minutes left in the game, it seemed the Flyers had it in the bag. But alas, a humongous breakdown gave the Devils the equalizer with just seconds left when a wide-open Michael Ryder potted the puck into the Flyers net.
No matter though, because Brayden Schenn scored halfway through the overtime period to give the Flyers an improbable win. Would have been really nice not to give the Devils that damn point, though.
*Not to play into the narrative of the night or anything, but Giroux was probably the best Flyers skater of the evening. He looked dangerous every time he touched the puck, and his clutch goal early in the third gave the Flyers their first chance to steal this game. I hate you so much, Team Canada.
*Every single player on the Flyers owes Ray Emery a beer. Razor stopped 31 of 33 shots, keeping them in the game despite facing a good number of quality chances. If Emery didn't have a good game tonight, this thing would have been over in the first.
*The third line looks a little lost without Matt Read. The stellar play of that unit we saw earlier in the season is largely gone, and Vinny Lecavalier doesn't seem to fit there. Yet again, the Flyers have a logjam at center and it's screwing up the lines. Ugh.
*I don't want to beat a dead horse, but Jagr looked amazing tonight. The guy is aging gracefully and deserves every bit of praise (no matter how over the top) he gets from broadcasters. I miss him. :-(
*Brayden Schenn suffered a nasty cut after an errant skate went across his tummy in the second period, but since he's a beast, he was back only a few minutes later. Seriously, though, that was a scary occurrence and we're all lucky he wasn't really hurt, otherwise (among other bad things) this game could have gone to the Devils. Phew.
Next game is tomorrow vs. Montreal. Go Flyers.