The Flyers’ ongoing win streak has been the product of a lot of strong individual efforts from many different guys on this team. Today, the wheel landed on Brayden Schenn, and though he waited just a bit longer than the Flyers faithful maybe would have liked him to, Schenn came through at just the right time to extend that win streak for another day.
Schenn would lead the way for the Flyers today with a hat trick, with all three goals coming on the power play. And with the Flyers trailing 2-1 with five minutes left, Schenn was the one who tied and then scored the game-winning goal on the man-advantage, giving the Flyers a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars for their eighth straight victory.
Given the styles of both of these teams so far this year — a lot of scoring, for both teams — it would be fair to say this one didn’t play out quite the way you would think a game between the two of them would. There was no game full of offensive firepower and defensive/goaltending blunders. Rather, offense was surprisingly hard to come by, with the teams combining for a Flyers-season-low 45 shots on goal (Dallas would collect 23, while the Flyers had 22). And even when teams were generating chances, Kari Lehtonen and Steve Mason were for the most part up to the task, with each having at least one save you may well see on a highlight reel and multiple others that were impressive.
The Flyers weathered a first period that was not their finest, as Dallas controlled much of the frame beyond the first few minutes and would also score first after a sequence of chaos in front of the net ended with Devin Shore putting a shot past Mason. But the Flyers got their chance with back-to-back power plays late in the first, and they’d finally cash in on the second one as Brayden Schenn would make a very nice play to deflect in a long shot by Jakub Voracek to even things up.
Things would continue to be pretty slow through the second and third periods, with each team struggling to do much in terms of sustained offensive zone pressure and with Mason and Lehtonen both making some excellent saves when called upon. For the Flyers, most of the offense generated came from the top-6, as Dave Hakstol continued to roll his “third line” against Dallas’ power unit of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Then, with about twelve minutes left in the game, things took a turn for the dramatic. A holding penalty on Radko Gudas gave Dallas a power play, and seconds after that power play expired, an incredible initial Mason save on Shore would be for naught as the Dallas forward would tap the loose puck past the sprawling Mason to give Dallas the 2-1 lead. And two minutes later, Schenn would take a high-sticking penalty on Jordie Benn, putting the Flyers’ win streak in serious peril.
Turns out he was just setting us all up for a wild finish.
A minute after that penalty expired, Jamie Oleksiak would get a penalty for cross-checking Voracek into the boards. The Flyers would come back from the commercial break and score a minute into the man-advantage once again, on a similar play to their first goal — this time, a Schenn deflection of a Voracek pass into the slot.
But with overtime looking likely, the Flyers caught one more break that they were able to make the best of. Seguin would get his stick up high on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Schenn would finish out his second hat trick of 2016 as he knocked home a rebound goal while falling to the ice. After taking a few minutes to let the ice team pick up some hats, Voracek would ice things with an empty net and the Flyers would have their eighth straight win for the first time since 2002. 2002! That’s a long time!
This was, again, a fairly sloppy game, and not really one the Flyers should try and replicate moving forward. But with the injuries the team has right now in its forward group, not all of these are going to be pretty, and at least for today, goaltending and the power play were there to not only pick up the slack but single-handedly give the Flyers two crucial points. Take ‘em how you get ‘em and move on.
Right back at it tomorrow in Detroit. Nine straight? Let’s hope. Go Flyers. Let’s re-live this one.
Fantastic shot by Jake; deflection by Schenn; screen by Simmonds. pic.twitter.com/icFLLd3mA9— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
We should all team up and buy Steve Mason an Edible Arrangement pic.twitter.com/RF1RmVREO4— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
Fight Alert Schenn Vs. Johns (More like wrestling match) pic.twitter.com/CoEaABOHbU— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
Ivan Provorov thought he had a sure goal, Kari Lehtonen had other ideas pic.twitter.com/Q4mUFLfNDQ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
You're not watching Flyers hockey if theyre not finding new ways to break your heart. pic.twitter.com/61JsPueWvo— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
BRAYDEN SCHENN BABY! TIE. HOCKEY. GAME. pic.twitter.com/7kZXZZaf2y— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
THE HAT TRICK GOAL FOR BRAYDEN SCHENN pic.twitter.com/qPByVJoygp— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
Seguin skating through the hats after just costing his team the game is amazing. pic.twitter.com/jCOvxAQLDk— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
JAKE WITH THE ICING ON THE CAKE pic.twitter.com/ywzNuPkgPA— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016
And, finally, I ask that you don’t watch this last one with any kids around: