Another day, another Flyers game. After their exciting win over the Sabres yesterday afternoon, the Flyers were back at it again today in Winnipeg, and hoping they could capture some momentum and keep rolling against a decidedly stacked Jets team.
And it started well enough, as the Flyers were able to generate some initial pressure, putting up the first shot of the game with their bit of zone time. And they just kept on pressuring and if we were figuring a good thing would come out of it, well, we were correct. With Shayne Gostisbehere drawing a tripping penalty, the Flyers would get their first chance on the power play of the afternoon. The first minute or so was a good one, as the first unit got rolling right away, and were able to generate four chances in close, that they just couldn’t get past Connor Hellebuyck. The second unit got a couple of looks of their own, but just couldn’t close.
The power play expired but the Flyers weren’t done pressuring yet. Taking advantage of a couple of Jets turnovers in their own end, the Flyers were able to generate a handful more chances, keeping them on their heels.
The Jets got their first really good chance on the other side of that tv timeout, as they won the faceoff and started a rush into the offensive zone. They got going with some speed and were looking to crash the net, but Michal Neuvirth made a big save on Mark Scheifele to keep things tied up.
The Flyers got the momentum back and were buzzing in the offensive zone, but as is the Flyers way, Murphy’s Law had to strike. With the Jets getting the puck back into the Flyers’ end, they took advantage of a turnover in front, and it was Kyle Connor who zipped it past Neuvirth.
And things kept on spiraling from there. The Flyers were able to put up a solid shift after giving up the goal, but when the Jets got the puck moving the other way, Radko Gudas put a late hit on Scheifele and was whistled for roughing. And to the penalty kill we went.
The Flyers got things started well, as Patrik Laine whiffing on a one-timer attempt got the puck loose and into the Flyers’ possession, and sent them dashing in on Hellebuyck for a couple of shorthanded chances. They couldn’t beat him, but they ate up a bit of time. But in the end, it didn’t matter. The Jets’ second unit got out on the ice and it didn’t take them long to convert—with Neuvirth screened by both Ivan Provorov and Jori Lehtera, Josh Morrissey’s shot from the outside just sailed right past him.
They looked a little rattled after that one, but they recovered well enough. After winning a battle for the puck along the boards in the offensive zone, Nolan Patrick got the puck over to Travis Sanheim at the point who lasered it in on goal, where Jake Voracek was in perfect position to make the redirect. And the Flyers were back within one.
Voracek deflects Sanheim's shot and it goes in off of Little! The deficit has been cut in half. pic.twitter.com/0cor8P41El— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 9, 2018
The last minute of play saw another chance for the Flyers, as Michael Raffl forced a turnover in the Jets’ zone and opened up space for Scott Laughton to take a shot, but Hellebuyck swallowed it up. And we hit the first intermission without any more goals. Alas.
AFTER ONE: Jets 2, Flyers 1
The Flyers came out for the second period with some jump, again getting right to work in the offensive zone and again putting up the first shot of the period. They came up with the initial pressure, but things would even out outside the first two minutes or so of the period. We hit some run and gun, with both sides putting up a couple of chances, but with neither registering much in the “particularly dangerous” category. So it goes.
The next bit of danger was brought by the Flyers, when Scott Laughton picked up a loose puck for a rush in on goal. He didn’t have the angle to make it a particularly dangerous shot, but it got the Flyers back deep in the offensive zone, and able to create some traffic in front. No goal to be had, but they were buzzing.
We’re talking about how the Flyers were doing well to create some pressure, so you probably have a pretty good idea of where we’re going with this. The Jets got back into the offensive zone, put a shot on goal, and Neuvirth kicked the rebound right out into the slot for Brandon Tanev who had the inside on Provorov, and just knocked it in before Neuvirth could get over. And so the Jets restored their two goal lead, and Neuvirth found himself benched in favor of Anthony Stolarz.
And he needed to come up big for them just about right away, as the Jets were picking up some steam after that last goal. The Flyers were struggling to break out of the zone and the Jets were getting to work. But luckily for them, Stolarz was able to do just that, swallowing up pucks and keeping them right in it.
The Flyers were able to pick up one more chance on the rush before things swung even further in the Jets’ favor, when Travis Konecny took a hooking penalty, and sent the Jets back to the man advantage. And it didn’t take them long to convert! Right off the faceoff win, they got the puck to Dustin Byfuglien at the point who sent it in. Dale Weise got a piece of the shot, but this ended up being a bad thing, as it sent it bouncing and past the partially screened Stolarz.
And it was more Byfuglien happenings on the next shift! But this time in a less ideal way for him. He tripped up Provorov and gave the Flyers a chance of their own on the power play. They started with a bit of pressure but it went downhill quickly—Blake Wheeler got control of the puck and broke out of the zone with speed. He got past Shayne Gostisbehere and ripped it past Stolarz. And that was two goals in under a minute and a half. We’re having so much fun.
More bad things were on the way too. The Flyers’ second power play unit couldn’t get it done and then the Jets took back control right as the penalty expired. Back in the offensive zone, Patrik Laine had a chance in close, which was broken up by Provorov, but broken up illegally. He took a hooking penalty, and it was another power play for Winnipeg. The Jets didn’t score on the initial going, but it was chippy, at least. Gudas was in a little mix up. And then on the next shift, Robert Hagg boarded Connor and sparked a large altercation and earned himself a five minute major and a game misconduct. After a break for discussion for the officials, the Jets got their final push of the period, but couldn’t close. Mercifully.
AFTER TWO: Jets 5, Flyers 1
And we’re back for the third period and we’re kind of wishing we weren’t? We’ve got a whole bunch of power play time left for the Jets and they’re already up by four. In case you forgot.
With just about two and a half minutes to go on the 5-on-4 power play, the Flyers’ penalty kill did its thing. And by that we mean the usual thing. They gave up a goal. A pass from Tyler Myers was perfectly placed for Bryan Little in front, and just like that it was 6-1 Jets.
Finally back at even strength, the Flyers were still working to generate something, anything, for themselves. They got a chance from new Flyer Phil Varone, fresh out of the penalty box, but, as has been the story of the game, they couldn’t close on it.
The Flyers got about a hot second’s worth of pressure, but the Jets snatched back any and all momentum in … well, not that much time at all. And to cap things off, they put up another goal on the rush, this time coming from Myers. And we want to resist the urge to make an “it’s still a one-possession game!” joke, but frankly, we don’t have it in us. If you’ve switched over to the Eagles long before we got to this point … well, we don’t really blame you.
whyisthisgamestillhappeningpleasestop.gif pic.twitter.com/3Odux7wU57— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 9, 2018
And because this game has been weird and somehow keeps getting weirder, Hellebuyck was down on the ice for a moment after blocking a Provorov shot. He got up and seemed to be okay. So that’s good.
Oh cool. And now it’s another penalty. Varone was whistled for high sticking and the Jets got another power play. The Jets actually didn’t have a whole lot going on in this one, as the Flyers quietly disrupted their attempts. And back to full strength we went without any more goals scored.
And really, this was just about the story of the rest of the game. We got a bit more back and forth, but not a whole lot in the way of chances. It seemed like both teams were just sort of skating, waiting for the clock to run out. Which is did eventually. And now we can go on with our evenings. Go Birds.
FINAL: Jets 7, Flyers 1