The Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators played the expected low-scoring game, where a leaky goal at the worst possible time cost the Flyers a point.
Given the Philadelphia Flyers‘ defensive woes this season, there were plenty of reasons for pessimism heading into a matchup with the Ottawa Senators. While the Senators can barely score, they concede even fewer and sit third in the Atlantic division. This is pretty much the polar opposite of the Flyers this season, and usually defensive tightness outlasts offensive bursts.
The game was every bit as tight as expected, but the Flyers got a major early boost when Nick Cousins scored on a breakaway. Given that Ottawa has scored 2 or fewer goals in 9 straight games, that put the Flyers in the driver’s seat.
Night at the Circus. To quote a friend, the Couturier line was a circus in this one. They generated some chances (particularly Travis Konency), but they were very sloppy with the puck. That’s a big reason why Couturier finished -2.
Schenn Pushing. Brayden Schenn is still looking for his first even-strength goal of the season, but it’s not for lack of effort. He was pushing hard and came very close on two occasions last night.
4th Line Success. I suppose you could call Cousins-Weise-VandeVelde the 4th line last night, but they came through. Cousins scored one, while Weise led the team in Corsi, had 4 shots on goal, and picked up an assist on the Raffl goal.
Crazy Ivan. Ivan Provorov was all over the ice in this game. He led the Flyers with 22:43 total ice time, and was very active in the offensive zone with 11 shot attempts. He finished -1 through no fault of his own.
Del Zotto Easing In. Last year’s minutes leader, Michael Del Zotto is still seeing low ice times as he catches up to players in midseason form. He got one assist last night when Michael Raffl tapped in the rebound of his shot.
Manning and Gudas Struggle to Keep Up. Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning got plenty of work against the most dangerous Senators’ line with Kyle Turris, but struggled in the matchup, including the all-important late goal against.
Goaltending and Special Teams
This was hardly Steve Mason’s worst game of this season, but it was probably the case that Craig Anderson outplayed him. The Flyers looked primed to take a 2-1 victory (that would have been a season low in goals allowed), but the aforementioned goal by Kyle Turris was a stunner. On that, Mason got caught and Gudas didn’t do enough to help him.
The special teams also could’ve been better. Neither team scored any special teams goals in this one, but the Flyers had the momentum and a 2-1 lead but failed on to score on 3 straight power plays. Nothing terrible there, but it was an opportunity for the Flyers red-hot powerplay to clinch the game.
The Philadelphia Flyers play the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. It could be a wild one, as both the Flyers and Jets are near the leaders in goals scored, and at the bottom in goals against. Winnipeg’s 18-year old forward Patrik Laine currently leads the league with 12 goals.