The Flyers skated into their Christmas break with a 4-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. It was their 9th straight home win and put the team one game above .500 at 17-16-4.
The first period was a good one for the Flyers. Although they were outshot 11-5, the Flyers went into the intermission leading 2-1. On their first shot of the game, Luke Schenn pinched into the offensive zone and rifled a wrist shot past Nicklas Backstrom. Later in the period, the Flyers went on a power play and scored within 10 seconds. Giroux passed the puck across the ice to Voracek who fed Simmonds in front of the net. With only 4 shots fired, the Flyers had a 2-0 lead. However, the penalty bug struck again and the Flyers found themselves facing 1:40 of a two man disadvantage. They killed it off valiantly for over a minute, but eventually Mikael Granlund cut the Flyers lead in half. The period ended with a scrum, but the Flyers had the lead.
The second period was even better for Philadelphia. In the first, Minnesota controlled play, but the Flyers were able to keep their chances to a minimum. In the second, the Flyers controlled most of the play. They outshot the Wild 14-8, to even up the shots at 19. With about 12 minutes to go in the period the top line was fighting hard down low. Voracek got the puck to the blueline to Braydon Coburn. Coburn then shot a laser that was redirected by Giroux to give the Flyers a two goal lead. The Flyers went into the locker room up 3-1.
The Flyers shut down the Wild in the third. Both teams had their fair share of chances. Steve Mason was especially strong in net making a few very difficult saves. In the final minute Wayne Simmonds was able to add an empty net goal his second of the night. The Flyers won the game 4-1 and outshot their opponent 30-27.
-The offense is on fire. Wayne Simmonds has 7 points (5G, 2A) in his last four games, including two straight two goal games. Claude Giroux has a career-high seven game point streak and has 13 points (5G, 8A) in that span. Speaking of career-high’s, Jakub Voracek has a career-high eight game point streak in which he has 13 points (6G, 7A).
-The defense is not doing too bad, either. Mark Streit has 5 points (2G, 3A) in his last five games. Braydon Coburn has 4 points (1G, 3A) in his last five games. In the Flyers last three wins, a defenseman has scored at least once. Luke Schenn on 12/23, Erik Gustafsson and Braydon Coburn scored on 12/19, and Mark Streit scored on 12/17.
-Luke Schenn played a very good game tonight. He scored a goal, dished out a few monster hits, and even drew a penalty. Hopefully, this game gives him confidence going into the break.
-The Flyers now hold third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils, Hurricanes, Capitals, and Penguins all lost on Monday night. The Flyers now sit only four points out of second place. On the flip side, they are only two points ahead of the sixth place Hurricanes.
-Steve Mason turned in a quality performance. Stopping 26 of 27 shots, Mason played his best game in a while.
-Congratulations to Scott Hartnell! His assist on the first goal was his 500th career point.