Well, it was a normal game for two periods.
Fortunately for the fans of the Orange and Black, the Philadelphia Flyers saw skill meet some luck in the final stanza to help them pull away in an eventual 5-3 win in Ottawa over the Senators. The victory gives the Flyers points in 11 straight, and six straight road wins for the first time since 2008.
Brandon Manning (yeah, that Brandon Manning) led the team in scoring today with three points. One of those points was the Flyers’ luckiest goal of the season. Another one was an assist on a beautiful stretch pass to Claude Giroux, who essentially illustrated the Senators’ season with a goal that will be the closest a breakaway goal will ever come to being an aphrodisiac for one of his two points in this weird game.
OH MY. CLAUDE GIROUX.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 24, 2018
3-1 FLYERS pic.twitter.com/Do6y4D8465
Before the insanity that was the third period happened, the biggest takeaway from this game may have been the newly formed second line of Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick, and Jakub Voracek. Patrick’s goal (on one of his NINE shots today) illustrated just why this line was successful, as Lindblom was able to kick the puck to his skates in the defensive zone and hit Voracek in the neutral zone with a great stretch pass, who set up Manning for an easy shot from the point that was redirected in by Patrick.
Even if they had not produced a goal today, the chances (as well as their ability to control the play) were there today. Not only did the three forwards each post a 54.17 Corsi For percentage or better at 5-on-5, each one also finished with an Expected Goals For percentage of 73.05 or better. Part of their success came from the trio’s ability to spread the ice, as Voracek sprung Lindblom for a scoring chance in the second period and nearly did the same for Patrick on a play that was just offside with a pair of cross-ice passes that saw Ottawa lose one of the forwards in coverage. Transition play and the ability to get some chances off of rebounds in close helped the three combined for ten shot attempts and nine shots on goal at 5-on-5.
After a close 40 minutes and the impending Senators’ surge to even the game about to start, one of the stranger periods of the season took place. Following Giroux’s public shaming of Anderson, Patrick put home his tally to extend his goal streak to four games.
Nolan Patrick!— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 24, 2018
He's got a goal in 4 straight games now.
4-1 Fly Guys pic.twitter.com/VopELZ2yow
Less than two minutes after Patrick’s goal, Manning cleared the puck into Ottawa’s zone and was the benefactor of a goofy bounce off the glass that led to a goal while Anderson was behind the net.
Brandon Manning just scored on Craig Anderson from center ice. pic.twitter.com/cADcspnGDS— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 24, 2018
To the Sens’ credit, they didn’t give up and made things interesting in the game’s final minutes. Ryan Dzingel scored with 3:13 left in regulation before Matt Duchene made it a two-goal game again with just 57 seconds left.
It was all Flyers to start the game, as a Provorov give-and-go with Giroux off a zone entry led to a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds in. A little less than seven minutes later, Hagg grabbed an errant Ottawa clear and danced his way through a few Senators (most notably angry traffic cone Mark Borowiecki at Ottawa’s blue line) before he beat Anderson to make it a two-goal lead 7:14 into the game.
A Dzingel drive to the net a little over a minute after Hagg’s goal changed the momentum in the first period, as he was able to draw a hooking minor out of Shayne Gostisbehere. While on the man advantage, Mike Hoffman was set up for a one-timer by Thomas Chabot and put a blast just wide of a Provorov block attempt to cut the lead in half. Ottawa seemed to push play for the remainder of the opening frame.
The second period featured some chances for both teams, but neither team scored thanks to a correct decision by Dave Hakstol to challenge a Senators “goal”. It looked as though Zack Smith at evened the game at two after he slammed home a puck that had leaked through Petr Mrazek after a Hoffman wrister, but the play was deemed offside after a quick review.
I have only recapped one other game this year at Broad Street Hockey. Maybe if these dorks cared about the Flyers winning as much as I do the team would go out there and produce blowout wins when they do recaps. Interesting how that works.