It was another goaltenders’ duel at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
After sitting on the bench for six straight games, Ray Emery was given the start and turned in a spectacular performance. He made 32 saves, lifting the Flyers to a 2-1 win and their fourth consecutive win.
Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored the Flyers’ two goals. Schenn’s goal was his first point in six games.
The teams played to an even first period where both exchanged chances, but neither could gain the upper hand. Both Emery and Flames goaltender Reto Berra made several big saves to keep the game at a scoreless tie.
At the 8:04 mark of the second period, Schenn fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that found the back of the net. Andrej Meszaros and Wayne Simmonds were awarded the assists.
Meszaros was inserted into the lineup in favor of Erik Gustafsson. This move led to some speculation that Meszaros was being showcased for a possible trade when the Olympic roster freeze is lifted. Head coach Craig Berube said he wanted to “make everyone feel like part of the team.” Aside from notching his 12th point in 15 games, Meszaros had two hits and blocked three shots.
After Schenn put the Flyers up, the Flames took control of the period and allowed only one shot until the horn sounded for the second intermission. The period ended with the Flames outshooting the Flyers 11-4. Overall, the Flyers were outshot 33-23, but Emery played solid in net. He lost the shutout with a little over two minutes left in the third period.
Five minutes into the third period, the Flyers began to build some offensive pressure. Giroux and Jakub Voracek were given the assists, but the whole play started with Andrej Meszaros who wrapped the puck around to the opposite boards on a pinch. Voracek chased the puck, and it slid to the top of the right faceoff circle where Giroux scooped it up and shot it. Giroux’s shot redirected off of the skate of Hartnell and into the net. The goal was Hartnell’s 15th of the season.
Hartnell has 15 points in 13 games.
Giroux has 13 points in his last 10 games.
Emery and Mason have saved the Flyers with outstanding performances in net.
During the last few games, the Flyers may not have played well but wins are wins and the division has tightened up.