The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the St. Louis Blues Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-1. The Flyers goals were scored by Scott Hartnell, Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds. Steve Mason made 32 saves.
The Flyers were outplayed in the first period. They may have drawn some penalties, but in this game it did not take a lot to be called for a penalty. The Flyers allowed the only goal of the period to Jaden Schwartz. The Flyers were on the power play when Kevin Shattenkirk and Schwartz broke for a 2 on 1. Shattenkirk sent a pass to Schwartz who made no mistake in getting the puck behind Steve Mason. The Flyers went into the first intermission down 1-0 and being out shot 13-8.
The second period was the strongest one of the game for the Flyers. They were only out shot 9-8 and they out scored the Blues 2-0 in the period. The first goal came only 57 seconds into the period. The Flyers power play was pressing when Jakub Voracek received a cross-ice pass from Giroux. Instead of shooting the puck, Voracek faked a shot that froze the St. Louis defense and passed the puck to an open Hartnell who tied up the game.
Later in the period, Wayne Simmonds made a great backchecking play as the Blues were leaving their own zone. Brayden Schenn picked up the puck and executed a beautiful rush with Simmonds that ended in the eventual game winning goal by Schenn.
With only 1:47 remaining in the period a scrum broke out in which Jakub Voracek dropped the gloves with Carlo Colaiacovo. Scott Hartnell and Roman Polak intervened before things got out of hand and all four players were given roughing minors. Voracek would come out and play angry in the third period.
The Blues controlled much of the play in the third period. They continually kept the Flyers pinned in their own zone and out shot the Flyers 11-3. Early in the period the Blues hit the post three times and Mason was called upon to make a plethora of spectacular saves. The Flyers did generate a few opportunities and with 4:19 remaining in regulation they capitalized on one of those chances.
Scott Hartnell stole the puck along the boards of the offensive zone and passed to Giroux who was cruising down the middle. Giroux then found Voracek who was parallel to him and going down the left wing. Voracek snapped the puck past Miller to open up a two goal lead. Shortly thereafter Blues coach Ken Hitchcock pulled Miller. Wayne Simmonds sealed the game with an empty net goal with 2:54 remaining.
– The Flyers have now won five straight games. Those five wins have come against the Penguins (x2), Blackhawks, Stars, and Blues in a span of just eight days. Impressive.
– Claude Giroux is now tied for 3rd in the NHL scoring race. That could change tonight, but it is encouraging nonetheless.
– The Flyers are now tied for 4th in the Eastern Conference. That could also change this evening, but they having solidified themselves as a playoff team.
– One would think that a five game winning streak would create breathing room in the standings, but the Metropolitan Division is still incredibly close. The Flyers cannot let up.
– Steve Mason had one of his best games in a long today. If the Flyers want to make a run, they will need this Mason to show up every night.
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