Hey, hey guys! Look here! There’s more than one sports team in Philly doing things! The Eagles are off for a bit, but the Flyers are active still! And they did a thing tonight!
After a thrilling overtime win over the Capitals on Sunday, the Flyers were back in action tonight against the Red Wings, and looking to continue to capitalize on the momentum that they carried with them into the game. And they...uh...they didn’t quite do that.
They kicked things off strong, winning the opening faceoff, and then immediately iced the puck. And back to the faceoff they went. And from there the Flyers got to work, with the first line immediately generating a bit of pressure in the offensive zone before passing it off and heading off for a line change. They worked well to move the puck around but couldn’t seem to get a whole lot going.
And suddenly it’s 16:10 to go and we haven’t had an official shot on goal. But, oh no, oh dear, the Red Wings are storming into the zone with speed, and we may have--oh, no, okay. The Flyers broke up the play. No shot. Good work. Cool.
And back into the offensive zone the Flyers went, getting some speed going and shuffling the puck around. We’re five minutes in and Gostisbehere shoots the puck in on net, for our first official shot of the game. No goal on it, but hey, it’s a start.
But things swung back in Detroit’s favor for a moment there, as they took the puck away and stormed back into the Flyers’ zone to set up their best scoring chance of the game. Deep in the zone, Elliott drifted out of his net as the puck found its way to Larkin, who had a whole lot of open net to work with, but just shot it straight across the crease. And we remained scoreless.
From here we hit a period of a lot of activity without any big happenings. Both teams struggled to establish sustained pressure while the other worked to break up their rushes.
Ericsson's shot deflects off of Manning and into the net. Unfortunate break, but it was only inevitable with how the Flyers have been playing. pic.twitter.com/OoAndP0dPo— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 24, 2018
Just as we were wondering how long we would we have to go without some kind of high activity, the Red Wings picked up their first goal of the game, with an Ericsson shot deflecting off Manning’s skate and past Elliott. Red Wings led. Sadness was palpable.
And that thing we talked about before the goal happened, well, we went right back to it. It took until just inside the final five minutes of the period that the Flyers were able to get anything resembling a nice bit of sustained offensive pressure, and just about as soon as they got it, things flew back in the opposite direction. The Red Wings nearly picked up their second goal as Elliott again lost sight of the puck in close to the net, but Patrick was there to bail him out, neutralizing what would have otherwise been an easy tap-in for Zetterberg.
Great job by Nolan Patrick for essentially saving a goal. pic.twitter.com/4QCkOwjf58— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 24, 2018
But from here it looked like the Flyers had gotten a bit of an extra jolt, bringing some extra speed and working better to set up and bring more pressure in the offensive zone. And one last dump of the puck into the neutral zone, a Raffl breakaway for an almost scoring chance, and the final seconds of the period ticked away.
AFTER 1: Red Wings 1, Flyers 0
The Flyers were, fortunately, able to carry that momentum they were starting to put together at the end of the first period into the second. The first shift saw them sustaining pressure in the zone, and after a turnover on the line change nearly sent things moving into the Flyers’ zone, but they were able to collect and bring the puck back into the offensive zone.
Andrew MacDonald scores his 2nd of the season, we're tied at one! pic.twitter.com/IUchJxufWM— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 24, 2018
And, just like that, Voracek shuffled the puck up to MacDonald on the right point, who lasered it in past a screened Mrazek, and the game was tied at one.
The very next shift saw the Red Wings nearly taking the lead back, and they stormed back into the Flyers’ zone with speed to put the puck in on Elliott, who, making a sprawling save, was able to keep the puck out of the net and the score still tied.
Huh, it’s interesting that, despite this tight play, that we haven’t had a penalty called yet. It wouldn’t be until about nine minutes into the period that we would get this, as Witkowski went to the box for charging. And they Flyers got their first power play chance of the night.
The first unit came out with excellent energy from the start, getting a good amount of movement going and generating a handful of chances, but nothing that they could capitalize on. The puck was cleared and the second unit was sent out. After a shot from Konecny from the left faceoff circle, this shift from the second unit was largely unproductive, and even a little dangerous, as they allowed the Red Wings to collect the cleared puck and put a shot in on Elliott. And, with a few more seconds coming off the clock, the power play expired.
But despite the lack of results on the power play, the first unit was able to generate their best bit of sustained pressure of the game on their next shift. A shot by Manning that rang off the crossbar was the flashiest piece, but the Flyers did well to generate solid chances, though none would go.
But they would soon have more work to do, as Raffl took a holding penalty, sending the Flyers to the penalty kill for the first time. It would be a solid effort from this unit, as they did well to keep the puck cleared out of their zone, and were also able to generate a scoring chance, as Couturier broke out of the zone and was able to put a shot on goal, though it was stopped by Mrazek. But the work remained solid, and the penalty was killed.
And special teams would remain the story of the end of the period, as Konecny drew a tripping penalty on Dylan Larkin, and the Flyers went to the power play again. It looked like they might be doing that thing again where they split the power play between periods and get to keep the first unit out for basically the whole time, but there was no need!
FLYERS GOAL SCORED BY #93 JAKE VORACEK— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 24, 2018
2-1 FLYERS pic.twitter.com/PsJTAjurYk
Scooping up the puck, turned over after Couturier’s shot, Voracek was able to send it in past Mrazek for a Good Hockey Goal. Detroit challenged it for goaltender interference, and we got real nervous for a second there, but the officials ruled that there was no goaltender interference, so it remained a Good Hockey Goal.
AFTER TWO: Flyers 2, Red Wings 1
It would be the Red Wings who would start the period with the stronger first shift, immediately trying to get to work in the Flyers’ defensive zone. Through the first few minutes of the period, the Red Wings established themselves in the zone and were able to generate a handful of good chances. Elliott was able to manage them, but Detroit’s pressure was clearly felt.
This first part of the period was also, if we’re being completely honest, kind of a snoozefest. Neither side was allowing the other a ton of space to work with, and as such we saw more than a fair number of broken up rushes and play, with only three total shots coming through the first eight minutes. Yawn.
Oh, but that bit of high activity we were looking for, we wouldn’t have to wait long (but it was the wrong kind of activity). Breaking past Provorov and Gostisbehere, Larkin nearly had himself a breakaway goal, but with a neat little poke, Elliott neutralized the rush and stopped the puck, and the Flyers were saved again.
But that good fortune? That’s over, that’s cancelled. With the Red Wings given just too much space in the middle, and Elliott down, Nielsen was able to notch his first of the game, tying things up again.
And the Red Wings would have a chance to pull into the lead, as, after a bit of back and forth and work to establish some pressure in the Flyers’ zone, Hagg took a boarding penalty and gave Detroit another chance on the power play.
This penalty kill wasn’t nearly as pretty as the last, as the Red Wings were still allowed to get set up in the zone to start shooting, but the Flyers were ultimately able to keep the danger diffused, and another penalty was killed.
But the Red Wings wouldn’t be quieted. With space allowed and the Flyers unable to get the puck deep in the zone, Detroit was able to swing play back into the Flyers’ zone to try to regain the lead. Bertuzzi’s chance looked particularly dangerous, but the puck missing and the net knocked off its moorings stopped play. And after a bit more pressure from the Red Wings and some close calls, regulation came to and end, and off to overtime we went.
AFTER THREE: Flyers 2, Red Wings 2
The Flyers stuck with their starting trio of Couturier, Konecny, and Provorov to start the period, and they were able to control off the opening faceoff.
YOU CANNOT STOP TRAVIS KONECNY! pic.twitter.com/s8LXsYOjgs— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 24, 2018
An intercepted pass led to Larkin picking up the puck, but Konecny was able to catch him and, managing to stay onside, he flew back in on goal and notched his second consecutive overtime winner. Holy smokes.