The Philadelphia Flyers took down the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night, 5-3. The Flyers are now 4-1, and guaranteed an above .500 finish, on their road trip. They once again showed the ability to overcome adversity, erasing leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Here is period by period recap:
The first period was not particularly eventful. Both teams had one or two decent chances, but both goalies were up to the test. The Coyotes had three power plays while the Flyers had one. At the end of the period, with 4:10 and then 1:44 remaining, Zac Rinaldo was called for minor penalties. The first was an elbowing call. Rinaldo missed a check and his arm came up and grazed the opponents face. It was a weak call at best. The second call was a slash. It was only called because the opponents stick snapped. Many Flyers fans will get on Rinaldo’s case for undisciplined play, but I would not fault him for either penalty. The first call was weak and the second call was the result of a flimsy stick. The period ended with the score 0-0 and shots 9-6 in favor of the Coyotes.
While the first period was relatively uneventful, the second period saw five goals scored. The Coyotes jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the period. Shortly after their second goal, Craig Berube took a timeout. It was reminiscent of the Peter Laviolette era, as Berube let the players have it (being more animated than I have ever seen him), and the players immediately scored a goal. Streit and Hartnell did a nifty give and go that ended up with Hartnell putting the Flyers on the scoreboard. The Flyers gave up another goal off of a breakaway to make the game 3-1. Brayden Schenn scored with less than three minutes remaining in the period to put the Flyers within one. The period ended with the shots 19-14 in favor of the Coyotes and the score 3-2 in their favor.
The Flyers came out and took control of the game in the third period. The Flyers were given a power play about four minutes into the period. Jake Voracek took a shot from his usual power play position. Simmonds redirected the shot, but his redirection was stopped, however, he shot the rebound in to tie the game at three. The Flyers continued to control the period. With eight minutes left in regulation, Keith Yandle was carrying the puck out of the defensive zone when Claude Giroux poked the puck away. The puck was scooped up by Voracek who scored his tenth goal of the season. The last eight minutes of the period were back and forth, but the Flyers prevailed. Giroux put the nail in the coffin with an unassisted empty net goal.
-The Philadelphia Flyers have become a very resilient team. They have once again become a team against whom no lead is safe.
-Chris Vandevelde should never again be passed up for Jay Rosehill. Vandevelde is a decent role player who can fill in a bottom six role. Rosehill did have a pretty nice fight tonight, though.
-Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers with 14 goals. He has 8 goals in his last 7 games. Both Voracek and B. Schenn hit double digit goals tonight.
-Mason was not spectacular, but he made many momentum saves. He did not let in any goals in the first or third period.