Before the game could even begin, the Flyers were short handed as Shayne Gostisbehere was lost to a lower-body injury suffered pregame. Christian Folin would enter the lineup for Gostisbehere and give the Flyers an even tougher task vs. the highly skilled Winnipeg offense. The chances in the early going for both teams were limited, with blocked shots coming at a premium. All in all, the beginning of this game was pretty boring, folks. The most interesting hockey related event that happened in the first 10 minutes was Jake Muzzin getting traded to the Leafs.
Pace finally began to pick up a bit with around five minutes to go in the opening period, as Oskar Lindblom created a strong scoring chance with a power move to the net. The Jets were still primarily controlling in regards to the puck possession and shot attempts battle, but the Flyers would get the game’s first power play late in the first. Claude Giroux would get held by Jack Roslovic sending Philadelphia to the first man advantage of the game.
The power play would do nothing with the opportunity however, with the best chance coming from James van Riemsdyk who had two chances on a jam play at the side of the net. The Jets applied pressure to the puck carrier well on the penalty kill, and didn’t allow the Flyers to truly get set up in the offensive zone. Sean Couturier would then send the Jets to a power play of their own with a high stick.
Carter Hart would come up huge in keeping the Jets off the board in the first period, and the Jets would have just a little under a minute remaining of power play time.
One of Hart's many saves to close out the first period. pic.twitter.com/lC35h1uXKm— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2019
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The Flyers would kill off the remaining 56 seconds with relative ease and the score would remain knotted at zero. Right from the jump, the second period had much more pace than the first did. More back and forth action was to be had, and more risk were beginning to be taken.
As play began to open up, the Flyers started to take control of play in the offensive zone. Although many of their shot attempts would go wide, or get blocked, they were getting shot attempts and doing a lot of good in the offensive zone. Much of it stemmed from the passes to a skater behind the net, who would roll out with the puck and attempt to center the puck, get the puck to another player down low, or get it back to the point.
Finally, after almost half a game of hockey, the Flyers would get on the scoreboard. Misha Vorobyev recently recalled and back in the lineup, made a great play from the corner to get the puck to Christian Folin at the point who blasted away and Phil Varone pounced on the rebound, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Although Vorobyev would lose his assist as the puck deflected off of the stick of Michael Raffl before getting to Varone, that goal does not happen without his work in the corner. Welcome back to the lineup, indeed.
Varone's second goal as a Flyer. pic.twitter.com/Pn9KvLk8YB— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2019
Shortly after though, Nolan Patrick would head to the penalty box on a slash, giving the Jets their second power play of the night. The Jets would take advantage as a shot from the point by Jacob Trouba was deflected on the way home by Roslovic, tying the game for Winnipeg and once again ending our hopes of Carter Hart’s first NHL shutout. Boo hiss.
Oskar Lindblom would get his sticked knocked out of his hands moments later, and then proceeded to grab the stick of Jets’ center Mark Scheifele, sending Winnipeg back on the power play. This time however, the Flyers would kill it off and keep the score tied at one.
The score wouldn’t remain tied for long though, as an Andrew MacDonald point shot was redirected by Travis Konecny top shelf giving the Flyers the one goal lead. They would almost make it a two goal advantage shortly thereafter with a great offensive instinct from Travis Sanheim to join the rush, but he was denied. Trouba would be called for a high stick with just four seconds remaining in the period, giving the Flyers almost a full power play to start the third period.
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Despite some solid chances on the remaining 1:56 of the power play, the Jets were able to kill off the penalty and stay down only a goal. The Flyers would keep on the gas after the power play ended and almost got a goal from Sean Couturier, after JVR made a fantastic pass to a streaking Couturier who dangled himself out of the scoring chance.
Play would slow down as the period progressed, especially along the halfway mark, but the Flyers consistency on defense remained. They did a fantastic job of shutting the Jets down in regards to the quality of their shots through the first two periods, and this continued in the third.
Although the line didn’t generate all that many scoring chances, Nolan Patrick along with Wayne Simmonds and Scott Laughton spent a lot of time in the offensive zone with time ticking away. Patrick and Laughton were especially impressive, putting in great work along the boards, and Laughton even putting a nice move on and almost forcing the Jets into an own goal.
In the theme of staying on the attack, James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny would combine for a beautiful goal as JVR rushed up the middle, dished off to TK who found the man they call Jim Jam going backdoor for the 3-1 Flyers lead. This was some beautiful hockey by two players who seem to be finding their rhythm more and more with each game.
JVR to TK back to JVR! pic.twitter.com/AmbO7yDi0l— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2019
The Flyers would hang on and extend their winning streak (which to be honest I completely forgot about during the bye week) to four games. This sean may be a lost cause, but the way this team has played of late has certainly been fun to watch, and a welcomed sight.