The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues had the jump from puck drop, testing longtime Blue Brian Elliott with rubber early and often.
Michael Raffl had the Flyers’ best chance in the first seven minutes, but Jordan Binnington steered aside the redirect bid. Sean Couturier joined in on the shift as the Flyers generated their first extended pressure of the period.
Thought the Flyers enjoyed the better of the zone time as the first progressed, they weren’t able to get much out of their pressure as they just missed connecting on a few passing plays in front of Binnington. Lots of bodies heading to the net, but the passes just off the mark enough.
The Blues would put their terrific power play on the ice first with Matt Niskanen off for holding with 6:51 left. Even without star winger Vladimir Tarasenko for more than two months, the Blues’ power play has remained one of the NHL’s elite units.
They’d prove just how good they are as Justin Fault would strike off a perfect feed from Alexander Steen from below the goal line to make it 1-0 Blues with 5:34 remaining in the period.
ICEBREAKER. ⚡️— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 16, 2020
A pass so nice, you'll probably watch it twice! #WNH
Presented by: @NewAmsterdam pic.twitter.com/9twUEtLnhg
Philippe Myers, what is it you say you do here? Well, mostly on that play at least.
Raffl would put the potent St. Louis power play right back on the ice by tripping Jaden Schwartz with a little over three minutes left in the frame. Mercifully the Flyers would survive the Blues’ second man-advantage of the night to keep it a one-goal game after 20 minutes.
Early on in the second it would be Elliott providing a huge save to keep it 1-0, flat-out robbing Zach Sanford’s backhand bid less than a minute in.
That was a key save as the Flyers weren’t exactly putting much rubber —or any for that matter— on Binnington at the other end. It was more than 13 minutes of game time at the end of the first and into the second between shots for the Flyers that Travis Koencny finally ended about seven minutes into period two. Not great!
Then Couturier fired one past Binnington, but off the iron behind the goaltender to hold the Flyers scoreless yet still. A 2-on-1 then developed, but Raffl’s pass across was flagged down before it could find its recipient.
close from a tied game. #PHIvsSTL | #NowOrNever pic.twitter.com/SUpuK25Ur3— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 16, 2020
Tough luck sequence for the Flyers in need of an equalizer midway through the period.
Armed with a power play thanks to old friend Brayden Schenn, the Flyers would draw iron yet again behind Binnington with Matt Niskanen doing the honors with about eight minutes left in the period. Niskanen walked in on Binnington but just missed his target.
Nevertheless, the Flyers persisted and would soon find an equalizer. Tyler Pitlick centered a pass that bounced off a couple bodies in front to tie things up at 1-1 with 7:17 left in the second.
Ty-ed up. #PHIvsSTL | #NowOrNever pic.twitter.com/CJsBomnCQk— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 16, 2020
Feeling the momentum of the Pitlick goal, the Flyers would take a 2-1 lead on a rebound goal from Raffl off a Robert Hagg point shot. Binnington left a juicy rebound in front and Raffl didn’t miss the open cage.
.#PHIvsSTL | #NowOrNever pic.twitter.com/mj35pczOwy— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 16, 2020
That would be all the scoring in the second as the Flyers stormed back to take the lead.
Thanks to a David Perron penalty at the very end of the second, the Flyers would grab a power play to start the third and it would be a big one.
Just 26 seconds into the third period the Flyers would take advantage as Konecny finished off a pretty passing sequence to make it 3-1. The second of which was a redirect from James van Riemsdyk that was just beautiful.
Karma. #PHIvsSTL | #NowOrNever pic.twitter.com/HrzXqRSqnn— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 16, 2020
But just after grabbing a two-goal lead, the Flyers would go down two men as they tried desperately to give back their precious lead. St. Louis would pressure, but the Flyers were up to the task, killing off the two-man advantage with relative ease.
They’d need another kill right after with Nicolas Aube-Kubel off for what was deemed a slashing call, though replay showed that it was quite the weak call. Thanks to the post behind Elliott for that kill, though, as Faulk’s point blast rang off the iron and out.
With 9:25 left the Blues would draw closer, with Ryan O’Reilly picking up the garbage in front of the Flyers crease to make it 3-2. Elliott was down and out and O’Reilly was there to take advantage.
Less than three minutes later they’d find an equalizer in the form of a pressure packed shift leading to a Steen backhander past Elliott to make it 3-3 with 6:21 left in regulation. Robert Thomas made the feed and Steen took care of the rest.
Not many worse times for a too many men penalty than a tie game with 4:24 left, and that’s exactly what the Flyers picked up. Scott Laughton provided a nice shorthanded chance, but Binnington denied the attempt from distance as the defense closed.
Both teams would get solid looks at the net in the final minute but the goalies were up to the task, sending things to overtime locked up at 3-3.
Best chance in the early part of overtime was a Kevin Hayes and Laughton 2-on-1 that ended with a Laughton chance off the post.
But while Laughton’s bid wouldn’t go, Jakub Voracek would follow on the next shift with a beautiful game-winner to give the Flyers a 4-3 win in St. Louis. Great move by Voracek to avoid the defender and beat Binnington to secure the extra point for the Orange and Black.
️ VORACEK CALLED GAME! pic.twitter.com/oT6lGiPIdl— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 16, 2020