1. James van Riemsdyk
JVR scored the lone goal tonight for the Flyers, and overall looked like one of their better forwards. He seemed to have a bit more energy in him tonight, and it translated to the score sheet. He’s struggled all season to bury his great scoring chances, but hopefully his goal tonight can start him on a hot streak. With all the injuries to the forward core, they’re going to need him to catch fire along with the rest of the stars.
2. Sean Couturier
Couturier was a force in this game, despite not getting any points to show for it. He provided a much more physical presence than we’re used to seeing from him, but his playmaking ability didn’t suffer in the process. He’s one of the guys who are going to need to step up over the next week or so, and although he didn’t score tonight, if he has more games with this kind of effort he absolutely will.
3. The penalty kill
It’s cheating, but honestly I don’t know who the hell else could have qualified for this. The PK was great tonight keeping the Flyers within striking distance all night. They were perfect killing off all four Wild power plays. Given everything that has gone on with this team over the past few days, it would have been easy to fall apart on the PK, and let this game get out of hand. But they battled hard, and kept the team in it.
Two game notes
1. Laughton and Pitlick
Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick were lost in this game to injury, adding onto the nightmare this team has been through lately. We’re not sure as of yet if they’ll be available tomorrow vs. Winnipeg, but even if they are, I’d imagine they’re both pretty banged up.
2. The power play was awful
I mean ... where to even begin with the man advantage? Shayne Gostisbehere found himself back on the top unit but no results came from it. It doesn’t help that Claude Giroux was still on the right side which is, quite clearly, the least ideal scenario.
Play of the night
By default, it’s the JVR goal.