The Philadelphia Flyers traveled to Nashville on Saturday night and came away with a 3-2 shootout victory. It was a slow, ugly game, but a win is a win.
In the first period the Flyers looked slow. They gave up a plethora of opportunities and should have been down by a few goals early. For a majority of the period Nashville controlled the flow of play. Mason played well and kept the Flyers in the game. With just over three minutes left in the period the Flyers killed off a penalty. Immediately following the penalty kill Sean Couturier tried to set up Voracek for a goal. The puck hit off of a Nashville defenseman’s stick and went to Claude Giroux who buried the puck for a 1-0 lead. Exactly one minute later Mike Fisher scored for the Predators to even the score at one. The period ended with the teams tied and the Predators leading in shots 13-11.
The Flyers came out in the second period and continued to look slow. The Flyers took numerous penalties, Coburn with two and Streit with one, but the Flyers penalty kill was up to the task all period. Overall, the period was uneventful, the only action there was came in the Flyers zone. Steve Mason was sharp in the second period as he was in the third. There were no goals scored in the period so it stayed 1-1. The Flyers were outshot in the period 11-8.
The Flyers came out in the third period playing the same way they had all game. They were slow and lethargic and the Predators made them pay. Only five minutes into the period Colin Wilson tried to backhand a pass to his teammate on a two on one. His pass deflected off of Braydon Coburn and into the net. The Flyers finally began to press during the second half of the period. With seven minutes remaining in the game Andrej Meszaros made a fantastic play to set up Sean Couturier for the game tying goal. The play picked up in the final minutes for both teams, but regulation ended in a 2-2 tie.
The overtime session did not see a lot of chances either way. Before the shootout it was announced that the Flyers shooters would be Lecavalier, Giroux, and Couturier. The Predators shooters were Craig Smith, Matt Hendricks, and Matt Cullen. In short, Mason stopped all three of them (stoning Hendricks with an amazing save) and Lecavalier scored for the Flyers. Giroux was stopped and Couturier was not needed. The Flyers skated away with two undeserved points.
-The Flyers were thoroughly outplayed tonight and all the credit in the world goes to Steve Mason. Mason was phenomenal, stopping 34 of 36 shots in regulation and overtime and all three shootout attempts. How he is not even in the Vezina trophy conversation is beyond me.
-Sean Couturier brought his A game once again tonight. Couturier logged 20:02 of ice time and scored the game-tying goal. Couturier’s line was the best Flyers line on the ice. Couturier seems to be breaking out and it is such a great sight to see for Flyers fans. I must add that I was looking forward to seeing what moves he had in the shootout.
-The penalty kill was outstanding tonight. They went 5 for 5 and rarely let the Predators power play get set up. The two players above (Mason and Couturier) have been the best two on the penalty kill and are largely responsible for its great play tonight. Michael Raffl, Matt Read, and Adam Hall have all been excellent on the penalty kill as well.
-For many Flyers tonight’s game was one to forget. Jakub Voracek, Braydon Coburn, and Steve Downie all had a roughtime this evening. Guys like Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and Nicklas Grossmann just seemed to disappear for long segments of the game. The Flyers were lucky to get a win on a night in which so many players struggled.