The Philadelphia Flyers took down the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night by a score of 3-1. The Flyers have one more game before taking a 19 day break for the Olympics.
The Flyers came out slow at the beginning of the first period. However, as the period progressed the Flyers improved their play. Steve Mason was especially sharp in the first period. Then in the second period the Flyers controlled most of the action. They had plenty of power play chances and finally capitalized on one about six and a half minutes into the period. Mark Streit took a slap shot from the point which found its way through a Steve Downie screen. Streit’s goal was assisted by Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier.
The rest of the period was strong for the Flyers. Mason played well when called upon, but Semyon Varlamov stole the show in the second. His amazing saves were the only reason that the Avalanche went into the third down by only one. In the third period, the Flyers were outshot as the Avalanche did everything they could to come back. However, about seven minutes into the period Sean Couturier made a great play after Steve Downie dumped the puck into the zone. Couturier knocked the Avalanche player off of the puck behind the net and sent a centering pass out to Michael Raffl who gave the Flyers a two goal lead.
In the final few minutes Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal while Colorado had an extra attacker, but Giroux came back to seal the win with an empty net goal.
-With two assists tonight Sean Couturier set a career high with 28 points. He is on pace for about 39-40 points this season. He logged 19:39 and played a solid all-around game.
-Steve Mason carried a shut out into the final three minutes of the game. He made 38 saves and earned first star of the game honors. In his last five games Mason has a 1.40 GAA (7 goals in 5 games) and a .955 SV% (saved 149 of 156 shots). He looked to be suffering from an injury in the middle of the third but it turned out to just be cramping.
-The Flyers have now played well in four straight games. All four of the games have been against quality Western Conference teams. I will be the first to admit that I expected much worse from this stretch.
-The Flyers moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division with this win. However, if the Blue Jackets beat the Kings tonight then the Flyers will be bumped back down.