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Flyers 2, Golden Knights 1: Thievery

Thank goodness for Carter Hart.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

1st Period

A hooking penalty on Travis Sanheim just 46 seconds in gave the Golden Knights a great opportunity to take control of the game early. However, they failed to capitalize despite moving the puck very well and getting some good looks.

The Flyers got on the board with their very first shot of the game, thanks to a point shot from Justin Braun that Vegas goalie Robin Lehner appeared to have misplayed. The goal definitely came as a shock after Vegas had dominated the game and control of the puck up to that point.

Vegas got their second opportunity on the power play after a very soft Joel Farabee slashing call. Once again the Knights were not able to find the back of the net and frankly did not have any moments that made you hold your breath as a Flyer fan. The Flyers got their first chance on the power play with 6:31 remaining in the period, but, as in so many other times this season, were not able to get set up in the zone until about 30 seconds remained on the power play and failed to register a shot on goal.

Just a few minutes later the Flyers went right back on the power play but had the same result and failed to generate many chances. Just seconds later, however, Philly took a two-goal lead thanks to the speed of Oskar Lindblom, who was able to beat Lehner with a wraparound.

2nd Period

With 14:13 remaining in the second period a Philadelphia too many men penalty sent Vegas back to the power play. This time Vegas did not miss their chance, scoring less than a minute into the power play after a pretty passing play ended with Evgenii Dadanov putting the puck in the back in the top-right-hand corner.

An interference penalty sent the Flyers back to power play with 7:10 remaining in the period. The Flyers again failed to do anything with this opportunity and showed why they are 30th in the league on the PP, which seems to high.

A slashing penalty on Rasmus Ristolainen sent a dangerous-looking Vegas power play back to work. A few miraculous saves by Carter Hart kept the Knights from tying the game and the teams went into the locker room with the Flyers leading 2-1.

3rd Period

A Golden Knights cross checking penalty gave the Flyers their fourth power play of the game. Once again they failed to generate any real chances and it was another easy kill for the Vegas.

A delay of game penalty on Ivan Provorov with 1:45 remaining allowed the Golden Knights to pull Lehner and finish the game with a 6-on-4 man advantage. Good positioning by the penalty killers and more stellar goaltending allowed the Flyers to close out the game and walk away with a 2-1 win.

Final Thoughts

  • There were 79 reasons why the Flyers won this game and all of them were Carter Hart. Hart has been solid all season for the Flyers, but had not only his best game of the season but probably the best game of his NHL career so far. He made 47 saves on 48 shots, and it was not just the quantity of saves but also the quality. This game could have easily been a 4-2 loss or worse, but Hart made some huge saves, especially on the penalty kill and in that final 1:45.
  • The Flyers’ power play continues to be absolutely brutal to watch. Game after game their biggest issues continue to be zone entries and failure to win loose puck or board battles. They have tried just about everything, including two different power play coaches and constantly changing lines and positioning, but continue to struggle to find answers.
  • The Flyers were outshot 48-21 and got outplayed most of the game. It was a bit of a sloppy game with a lot of penalties and a bouncing puck, evident by the 11 giveaways by Vegas. It was a good win nonetheless for the Flyers, as this makes it two in a row with a tough game against Florida on Thursday.