1. Sean Couturier
Couturier was a man possessed in this game. The Flyers’ number one center was a physical force in this game, and when he’s got the physical aspect going you know he’s cooking. His steal and pass to Travis Konecny for the game’s opening tally was a thing of beauty, and the epitome of what makes him such a great player. He was one of the top play-driving forwards as he typically is, only adding to his stellar effort.
2. Carter Hart
Despite a shaky start, Hart really settled down as the game went on, and kept the Flyers alive and ahead en route to the win. We all know how great Hart has been at home, and he continued that again tonight proving further that hockey is such a wild sport. The difference between how this team plays on the road and at home is truly insane, and the goalie is no exception.
3. Kevin Hayes
Although Hayes has gone through some rough patches this season, there has been one consistent element to his game: his performance on the penalty kill, which resulted in the go-ahead goal tonight, has been impressive all season long. He reminds me so much of another excellent penalty killer this team had, in Mike Richards. Richie was so good at stealing the puck on the D-to-D passes, and streaking in for a breakaway. Although it wasn’t that type of pass he intercepted, the pressure at the point is what resulted in it, and got him the goal.
Answering the bell
1. Can the Flyers score at even strength?
Well, this question was answered fairly quickly wasn’t it? Konecny started it and was followed by surprisingly Robert Hagg. The Flyers were just okay at 5-on-5 in this game, but were strong in shot attempt quality, and while it wasn’t a high scoring affair, they got results to show for it. Generating 5-on-5 scoring, or any scoring in general has been difficult for this team of late, so hopefully they can use these two goals to build on.
2. Will the penalty kill stop Ovechkin?
They would! The Flyers penalty kill was busy in this game having to deal with five Capitals power plays, to their one, but they stood tall. Ovechkin had one really good chance on Hart, but outside of that the Flyers handled him well, and the entire Caps unit.
Play of the game
Has to be the Hayes shorthanded goal. This was a thing of beauty, and gave the Flyers the goal that proved to be the difference.
Kevin Hayes, shorthanded! pic.twitter.com/F918Fad4Ki— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 9, 2020