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Voracek, Couturier lead Flyers rally in 2-1 win over Canucks

The Flyers’ big guns led the way in this one, scoring just enough to get two points against a good Canucks team.

Heather Barry
Heather Barry

The Flyers had the better part of the early action, hemming the Elias Pettersson line deep in their own zone to set the tone right from puck drop.

Both Carter Hart and Thatcher Demko were busy early in a matchup of two good young netminders sure to see plenty of ice in the coming years.

Vancouver would strike first, capitalizing on a Flyers turnover and beating Hart soon after. Michael Raffl provided the turnover in his own zone and J.T. Miller deposited it behind Hart for a 1-0 lead with 9:26 left in the first.

Miller would later find the penalty box, giving the Flyers a chance to equalize with a little over six minutes left in the first. The Flyers did not tie things up, however, which is less than ideal.

No response from the Flyers to Miller’s 10th of the season as they trailed 1-0 after 20.

The Flyers responded with a fast start from puck drop in the second as Morgan Frost’s line hemmed the Canucks in deep but couldn’t solve Demko. Making matters worse was Oskar Lindblom picking up a cross checking penalty right in front of the Vancouver crease.

Guess the Canucks really aren’t over that whole diving thing after all, eh?

The flurry to start the period and the subsequent penalty kill would provide the Flyers an extra gear, and they’d find an equalizer before long.

Sean Couturier rammed home a loose puck in front of the Canucks net to tie things up six minutes into the second. It wasn’t pretty, but it still counts all the same. Jakub Voracek picked up the lone assist on Couturier’s seventh of the season.

Despite mounting pressure on the Canucks, Demko was able to hold down the fort as the Flyers really controlled play in the second. The Claude Giroux line with Frost and Travis Konecny was particularly dangerous each time they hopped over the boards.

Demko was phenomenal in the second, though, turning aside 16 of 17 shots to keep the Canucks tied through 40 minutes.

More of the same to start the third as the Flyers pressured, but were unable to pierce Demko’s armor early on. Couturier had a golden chance but ran out of room after the deke and a follow chance from Lindblom wouldn’t go five minutes in.

With Justin Braun in the box for interference, it would be Hart’s turn to make a big stop, this time on Brock Boeser off a quick developing rush. Hart wasn’t tested as much as Demko, but he was there when needed on that key chance.

Not to be outdone, Demko sprawled across to rob Philippe Myers of a sure goal with 12:31 left in regulation.

Finally the Flyers would breakthrough the Demko wall, and it would be Voracek doing the honors. Justin Braun circled the Canucks net and found Voracek to rifle one off the post and past Demko to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 8:33 left.

That’s got to feel good for Jake as he responds after the public mention from Alain Vigneault last week.

With 17 seconds left the Canucks nearly got a tying goal, but Josh Leivo was denied as Hart got just enough of it to keep the Flyers ahead with another key save. He didn’t need to make many, but Hart came up with some important ones for sure.

That would prove to be Vancouver’s final thrust as the Flyers would secure the 2-1 win in the end.

Three stars

1. Jakub Voracek

Goals in two-straight for Jake the Snake, and a game winner to boot in this one. His coach has called him out and he’s responding, which is just about all you could ask in that scenario.

2. Sean Couturier

Coots with another workman night out there, registering a goal and an assist to match Voracek’s output. But aside from the box score, Coots had a strong night in all three zones and could very well have added to his point total if it weren’t for the heroics of Demko in net.

3. Thatcher Demko

Look the Canucks got run out of the building like three times, but Demko just wouldn’t let them leave town. In the end 32 saves on 34 shots wasn’t enough, but the youngster deserved a far better fate.

GIF of the night

Got a little hairy late, thank God for Carter Hart.