The Philadelphia Flyers finished their three game homestand with a win against the New York Islanders on Saturday night. The Flyers went 3-0 this week and are now 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Here is a recap of the game:
The first period was not an especially exciting 20 minutes of play. The best line for the Flyers was the Read–Couturier–Downie line. The Flyers had one power play that looked relatively ugly and had a few good chances. Both Steve Mason and Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin looked sharp the few times they were challenged. Mason had to stop Josh Bailey on a mini-breakaway and Poulin stopped a nifty redirection by Couturier. The period ended with the sots tied at 10 and the score tied at 0.
The second period started with a bang. Only 46 seconds into the period Matt Read scored his seventh goal of the season off of the rebound of a Couturier shot. Downie got the secondary assist. Then, 59 seconds later, Wayne Simmonds made a beautiful drag and shoot move to make the score 2-0. Assists on that goal went to Lecavalier and Gustafsson. A few minutes later, the Flyers went on a power play. On the power play, Claude Giroux scored his 3rd of the season off of assists by Simmonds and Voracek. Following Giroux’s goal the Islanders pulled Kevin Poulin and replaced him with Anders Nilsson. The Flyers dominated the first half of the period and it looked like they were going to completely run away with the game. However, the tables began to turn. With about six minutes left in the period John Tavares scored from a beautiful feed by Thomas Vanek to make the score 3-1. The Islanders controlled play for the later stages of the period and the Flyers relied on the strong play of Mason to hold the Islanders to only one goal. The period ended with the Flyers up 3-1 and the Islanders leading in shots 23-22.
The third period started out where the second period left off. About two and a half minutes into the period Adam Hall lost a face-off (a rare occurrence these days) which led to an Islander goal by Eric Boulton. The Islanders continued to control the flow of play for the next few minutes until Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek made a great forechecking play. Voracek got the puck to an open Brayden Schenn in the slot who put it in the back of the net. The Flyers then took a few penalties but their penalty killing units stepped up and killed off each penalty. In the final minute of regulation, Matt Read buried an empty net goal for his second straight two goal game. The Flyers won 5-2 despite being outshot 38-30.
-Matt Read now has back to back multi-goal games. Despite being on the “third-line” Read has been producing at a very impressive clip recently. Read is now tied with Lecavalier as the team leader in goals with eight.
-As usual, Steve Mason was solid in net. Mason stopped 36 of 38 shots, made all of the necessary momentum saves, and bailed the Flyers out on multiple occasions. Mason improved his record to 7-7-2, which is still not indicative as how well he has played.
-One month ago, on October 23rd, the Flyers were 1-7. Tonight they improved to 10-10-2, finally reaching the .500 mark. The offense has come alive as the Flyers have now scored over four goals in five out of their last seven games.
-The power play is heating up and has now scored a goal in six straight games. The penalty kill was solid tonight and went 3-3.