The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the St. Louis Blues at home tonight, 5-1, giving goaltender Felix Sandström his first career win on Election Day 2022.
Speaking of, happy Election Day! We can all finally take a break from non-stop political attack ads. Or so you thought.
Because I’m here to tell you that the Flyers are running for the NHL playoffs because the NHL playoffs have been missing something the last few years. We’ve talked to HUNDREDS of REGULAR people all across the country, and they all agree that the FLYERS being in the PLAYOFFS can fix the problems in the playoffs and in AMERICA! (This ad paid for by the Commission to Fire Chuck Fletcher)
Anyway, the Flyers were last-minute without Carter Hart, who’s been their best player in this young season so far. Almost all of their six wins to this point have come thanks to Hart and his .946 save percentage, the second-highest mark in the league. Instead, it was career-winless Felix Sandström taking the net against St. Louis with a significant rest advantage over the struggling Blues.
The Flyers played what ultimately felt like their best all-around game of the season tonight, sending the Blues to their 8th consecutive loss. They started out strong with their best first period of the season, shots-wise, and followed that up with a three-goal second period. All five of their goals featured some pretty nifty passing, even when the goal itself wasn’t the cleanest; they played pretty disciplined outside of a pair of fights; and the goaltending held up despite Hart’s absence.
The big excitement in the early parts of the game came in the form of a pair of scraps—Nick Seeler seemingly getting the better of Brayden Schenn followed shortly by a kind of nothing-burger of a bout between Robert Bortuzzo and Zack MacEwen. By the time the halfway point rolled around, the Flyers had a significant shot advantage at 8-2, although they best scoring chance belonged to Rob Thomas, who made a push on a busted play but things went unwell for him when the fluttering puck bounced off the crossbar and everything went back 2 good for the Flyers (the man is so much more than just that Santana duet, people!).
The Flyers started looking dangerous with the line of Scott Laughton—Joel Farabee—Wade Allison on the ice. Farabee had a dangerous-looking wraparound attempt and there were some nice deflections all in a row.
That same line, along with Rasmus Ristolainen and Nick Seeler would then get pinned into their own zone, with the Blues moving the puck around the Flyers’ zone like they were on a power-play, a trend that continued onto the next shift despite a line change.
The Flyers finished the period winning the shot battle 18-9, the shot attempt battle 29-19, and the scoring chance battle 13-8 according to Natural Stat Trick.
The first power play opportunity of the game came with the game still scoreless in the first half of the second period when MacEwen was dinged for high-sticking Ivan Barbashev while swinging for a high-bouncing puck against the boards. The Flyers would successfully keep the Blues off the board, though, thanks to a handful of nice saves from Sandström.
The Flyers only added a single shot to their total in the first 10 minutes of the second period while the Blues tacked on 5, including 3 at even strength.
Philadelphia’s 20th shot on goal would be their first passed Greiss. A nice inside-out passing play from Joel Farabee to Ivan Provorov brought the defender down below the hash marks with the puck on his stick and he was able to force a pass through the center of the ice that ricocheted off a crashing Wade Allison and into the net.
Come for the goal. Stay for the @wadeallison11 Celly. @budlight | #BudLightCelly pic.twitter.com/6dSzIYpYgz— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 9, 2022
The Flyers would strike again with just under 5 minutes in the period on an end-to-end play, with Ristolainen making an outlet pass to Hayes, who lofted the puck across two lines to Owen Tippett, who entered the zone passing with Konecny who cut across to his forehand and beat Greiss high above the blocker.
Great rush, better finish. #STLvsPHI | #FueledByPhilly pic.twitter.com/hbgoSR3Bcf— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 9, 2022
They would finish the period strong, with yet another goal, this one courtesy of Noah Cates. The play started with Scott Laughton picked off a puck at the blue line, a pass to Travis Sanheim who one-touched the puck back across the ice to Cates at Greiss’ back-door. Cates put it home with 3 second left on the clock, sending the Flyers to the locker room with a three-goal lead.
The Cates of He .#STLvsPHI | @cates_noah pic.twitter.com/btL04GLjBf— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 9, 2022
At 9-7, the Flyers’ shot advantage in the second period wasn’t as pronounced as it was in the first, but they made the best of those 9 shots. And Craig Berube used to support the PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, even PLAYING in 323 games for them and COACHING in 161!! And now he supports the ST. LOUIS BLUES?? That’s right, Pennsylvania, Craig Berube CAN’T make up his MIND! (I’m a Philadelphia Flyers fan and I support this message)
St. Louis would finally solve Sandström in the third period, with Ryan O’Reilly beating him glove-side, but the Flyers answered right back when Lukáš Sedlák found a Nick Seeler point shot and backhanded it into the net.
LUUUUUUUKAS SEDLAK. #STLvsPHI | #FueledByPhilly pic.twitter.com/gVR9H4CKwW— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 9, 2022
The Flyers’ fifth and final goal came with under a minute left in the game, as Owen Tippett entered the zone and fired a puck off Greiss’ pads that fluttered into the net, giving him his third goal of the season and putting the final nail in the coffin for their seventh win of the season. Meaning that the St. Louis Blues have now lost EIGHT STRAIGHT HOCKEY GAMES, perhaps because of their SO-CALLED CAPTAIN Ryan O’Reilly’s SHADY PAST, including a DUI!!! (Paid for by the Wade Allison Big Red Super PAC)
- The Flyers move to 92-45-17-3 (W-L-OTL-T) all-time against their expansion-mates.
- The Flyers put the second-most shots on net in the first period tonight—18—of any other period so far this season. One shot less than the 19 they took in the third period against the Panthers and one more than the 17 they took in the middle stanza in Saturday’s win over the Senators.
- The assist that Farabee recorded on the Flyers’ first goal tonight was his 100th career point, making him the 97th player to score 100 points with the Flyers and, at 22 years and 256 days old, he becomes the 22nd to do so before his 23rd birthday. The only other current Flyers to hit that mark before age 23 are Konecny and Sean Couturier. TK was 21 years and 314 days when he scored his 100th point, a second-period goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the first half of the 2018-2019 season; Couturier meanwhile, was 22 years and 115 days when he assisted on a Brayden Schenn goal in a win against the Penguins for his 100th point.
- Lukáš Sedlák’s goal tonight was his first as a Flyer and first since February 18, 2019.
- Despite Sandström’s .905 save percentage in 8 starts, including a 43-save debut, the Flyers had not won a game that he started before tonight. Sandström’s first career win comes with 28 saves on 29 shots and the most goals in his support of his young career.
- I like the reverse retro. I know when it comes to uniforms, every hockey fan on Twitter is suddenly a fashion expert, but that ain’t me, man. I have no idea what I’m talking about; I just thought they looked pretty good and can cite no reason or evidence for this thought.
- It seems no matter how many games I watch him play in, my first thought is always that Lukáš Sedlák is a defenseman. I think it’s his name—he’s got a d-man’s name.
- Noah Cates is doing really great work on the forecheck. Both his goal and Sedlák’s were the result of turnovers created by Cates in the offensive zone. It’s really good to see the young winger finding ways to create offense despite spending most of his ice-time with Sedlák and Zack MacEwen.
* Statistics via Natural Stat Trick, Hockey-Reference, and NHL.com.