* taps mic* is this thing on? It is? Alright friends welcome back to Flyers hockey, let’s see how long it takes to shake off the— oh hey a goal.
The Flyers got off to an amazing start despite not having played a game since February 7, and missing lineup regulars including their captain Claude Giroux. After a netmouth scramble where Michael Raffl had a few cracks at a loose puck, Nicolas Aube-Kubel finally buried the game’s opening goal giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds in.
NAK opens the scoring! pic.twitter.com/T2bjzDcFuu— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 19, 2021
They dominated most of the period, although the Rangers did start to even the territorial game at the end of the period. Overall though, considering everything, this is one of the more impressive first periods the Flyers have put together all season. They’re missing their captain and numerous others, haven’t played a game in almost two weeks, and still looked like the better team.
Well that was a stark contrast to the first period. The Rangers had the jump from the start and Colin Blackwell would wind up tying the game on a deflection from the slot area. The Flyers would get a few good chances on the power play but failed to convert. Carter Hart would be a huge reason for them staying in this game. He made quite a few huge saves giving the Flyers time to right the ship.
No Hart save was bigger than the one on Pavel Buchnevich who darted in on a breakaway, lifted a backhand shot that Hart somehow got a piece of with the glove to knock it away. He was interfered with en route, and was awarded a penalty shot despite ... clearly getting a good shot off. NHL officiating folks, where the rules are made up and the calls actually matter a lot!
Regardless, Hart would make the save on the penalty shot and we’d go to the final 20 minutes tied 1-1. To show how much the tied really turned from the end of the first period to the end of the second, here’s the Corsi percentage graph over that time period from Natural Stat Trick.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, their struggles from the second period carried over into the third. They were out-shot, out-possessed, out-worked for the entire first half of the final 20 minutes, and finally it lead to a Rangers goal. A weak shot was flung in on Hart by Ryan Strome, Hart blocked it away but right to Artemi Panarin, who somehow managed to make a quick one-touch backhand pass to Brendan Smith who had an empty net staring him in the face.
The rest of the period was the definition of a snoozer, all until the Flyers pulled Hart and got the extra skater on. They got set up in the offensive zone and after some more chaos in front of Georgiev, Joel Farabee, who has seemingly scored so many big goals this season, tied the game at two. The Rangers made a small push at the end of the period but Hart and the defense held, getting a huge point out of a game where they were so shorthanded.
Buzz buzz, we've got overtime. pic.twitter.com/7myui270KC— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 19, 2021
Alright so overtime was a big bag of nothing, so we got everyone’s favorite in the skills competition.
Couturier: HECK YES
Panarin: double heck
JVR: game over, abolish the shootout