This one had an interesting start to say the least. Claude Giroux hit Jamie Benn before heading off for a line change and then Benn proceeded to crosscheck the Flyers captain resulting in ... offsetting roughing minors??? Yeah, I didn’t get that one either.
Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds created the best chance in the early going on a partial breakaway. Couturier received a pass at the face off circle then sprung a darting Simmonds. Wayne would get a backhand shot off with pressure from behind, but it would be stopped by Ben Bishop.
The Stars would strike first in this one, as they took advantage of a Flyers defense in transition and Gemel Smith buried the pass from Remi Elie wide open in front of Brian Elliott. 1-0 Dallas.
With the amount of hits and seemingly bad blood in the early going of this one, I thought I was watching an Eagles vs Cowboys game and not Flyers vs Stars. Everyone was finishing their checks and making life just a bit more miserable for the opposition. Simmonds was especially physical, looking for the hit almost every time a Dallas player touched the puck.
Overall, it was a fairly even first period. Dallas had the early edge in CF with a 14-10 mark that really picked up as the period wound down. While this wasn’t the worst scenario for the first, the Stars are in the second half of a back to back, and getting out to a hot start would have been nice to see from the home team.
1st Period Heatmap/Gameflow
After a lackluster start to the second period, the Flyers went on the power play with about 12 minutes to go. Early in the man advantage, Simmonds had easily the best chance of the game. Wide open point blank shot that Bishop made an absolutely incredible save on to keep the game 1-0 Dallas. Shortly after though, a point shot by Jakub Voracek that went wide, bounced right to Shayne Gostisbehere and this time there was no stopping the shot, as the Flyers would tie the game at one on the power play goal.
The next best chance in the period was a breakaway for Voracek, who escaped behind the Stars defense after a beautiful pass by Gostisbehere, but pushed the shot just wide. After the power play goal, the Flyers were taking it to the Stars in every facet of the game.
This showed up in the possession stats at the end of the period. The Flyers pulled even with Dallas during the second, and improved their shot quality. A lot more of Philadelphia’s chances were coming from high percentage areas, which lead to a much better period. Dallas on the other hand, saw an increase in point shots, a definite positive for the Flyers. Keeping a team featuring Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn to the outside with their shot attempts is key.
2nd Period Heatmap/Gameflow
Surprisingly enough, the third line of Dale Weise, Nolan Patrick, and Jordan Weal started the period, and they did not disappoint their head coach. The line had a few scoring chances and Weal especially was everywhere during the shift, creating offense.
Dallas would answer with some pressure shortly after, as a breakdown lead to a shot by Tyler Seguin in the slot. That usually spells bad news for the opposition, but this time Elliott was up to the task, keeping the game tied at one.
Five minutes into the final frame, Gemel Smith took a penalty that put the Flyers on a huge power play early in the third. However the Flyers were unable to put together any kind of sustained pressure, giving Dallas a huge break.
In typical Stars fashion in this game, they’d put the Flyers right back on the man advantage in the form of a Alex Radulov high stick on Ivan Provorov. But once again, the Dallas penalty kill held strong. The best chances on the power play coming from the second unit after good board work by Patrick.
The third would progress into even more of a tight checking affair and despite a few solid chances for each team, the game would head to overtime with the Flyers securing at least a point. This time the Flyers came out on top in the possession game, leading in CF 16-14 at the end of the period.
3rd Period (Final) Heatmap/Gameflow
LOT OF SCREAMING, LOUD NOISES, MAYHEM, THE USUAL THREE ON THREE OVERTIME ANTICS.
With time winding down in the OT it looked like Valtteri Filppula hooked Radulov and was going to the box. But, by some kind of miracle, the Flyers finally got some luck and Radulov went to the box instead, giving them a late power play.
Shayne Gostisbehere found himself alone in the high slot shortly after the power play began and sniped one by Bishop, to give the Flyers their sixth consecutive win. To cap it all off, the goal was reviewed for goalie interference. As it turns out, Bishop held Simmonds’ stick and interfered with himself. JOKE’S ON YOU BUDDY. Gostisbehere scores the only two goals in the game for the Flyers, putting an end to a wild one vs. the Stars.
They’ll look for lucky number seven vs the L.A. Kings on Monday.