It may have come against a team without three of its key offensive weapons, but the Philadelphia Flyers will take it.
The orange and black defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-0 on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Scott Hartnell scored two goals and notched an assist. Claude Giroux looked like a man possessed and treated himself to a three-point (1G,2A) night as well. Steve Mason regained his early-season form, making several key saves, 33 in all, to earn his second shutout of the season and his 20th victory of the year.
The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg, their captain and on leading scorer, alternate captain Pavel Datsyuk, who is third on the team in points, and Johan Franzen, who utilizes his size to create chances.
The Flyers started off with a shaky first period, but came away with a 1-0 lead going into the intermission.
During a late power play in the first, Kimmo Timonen fired a shot from the blue line that was redirected by Scott Hartnell. It was Hartnell’s 13th of the season. Giroux earned the secondary assist.
The Flyers found their skating legs in the second period and deposited four more goals before the game was over.
For the first half of the second period, the Flyers were hounding Red Wings’ goaltender Jonas Gustavsson with pucks. After 8:08 of constant pressure, Hartnell scored again. Giroux took advantage of a Detroit turnover and darted up ice. He crossed into the offensive zone and found Hartnell wide open at the top of the left faceoff circle. Hartnell fired a quick shot for his 14th goal of the year to put the Flyers up by two goals.
Just under three minutes later, Adam Hall scored his third of the year and the Flyers were up 3-0.
The Flyers kept buzzing in the third period. Midway through the period, the Red Wings turned the puck over at their blue line. Jakub Voracek swept a pass to Hartnell, who backhanded the puck to Giroux. The captain took a few steps in and fired a shot from the left faceoff dot. Gustavsson got a piece of the puck, but it still found its way across the goal line. The goal was Giroux’s 16th of the season.
Sean Couturier showed some offensive flare during his final goal. The 21-year-old showed the poise of a veteran and walked around the net and scored on a wrap around shot. The final goal of the night was Couturier’s ninth of the season.
-Hartnell is on fire right now. He has 21 points in his last 21 games. He has 11 in his last 10 games.
-Giroux has 29 points in his last 22 games.
-Mason needed this game tonight. Yes, Detroit did not have Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen, but Mason faced quality shots tonight.
-The first period left more to be desired, but the orange and black came out firing during the second and third periods.
-I’m loving Gustafsson on the blue line. It is so refreshing watching a defenseman jump into the play.