The Philadelphia Flyers continued their recent scoring streak, using a scintillating second period to win 5-1 over the Florida Panthers.
The Philadelphia Flyers could have easily gotten complacent after humiliating the Cup-contending Washington Capitals in their home opener. Instead, the Orange and Black showed up at the Wells Fargo Center as hungry as ever for home game number two, taking down the Panthers by a score of 5-1.
It took some time for the Flyers to get settled in, bleeding turnover after turnover for the first 10 minutes of the game. Once they finally did, however, there was no looking back. Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Claude Giroux and Dale Weise all scored in the second period, giving them a 4-0 lead after two periods that they would not relinquish.
Some observations from another rousing victory:
- The revamped top line is really rounding into form. You can see Giroux, Couturier, and Jakub Voracek building their chemistry right in front of our eyes, especially on Couturier’s goal. Giroux and Voracek have never looked as comfortable and creative in the offensive zone than they have in the last few games, and it’s not unreasonable to think that the responsible, defensively-sound Couturier is the reason why.
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- It wasn’t the best night in terms of raw shot attempts for the Flyers, as the Panthers won the Corsi battle 76-63. But many of the Panthers’ attempts were not particularly dangerous, giving the Flyers the advantage in expected Goals For.
- Of course, when you’re facing a team that’s firing away with reckless abandon, you need a solid performance out of your goalie. Michal Neuvirth looked uneven at times with his rebound control in his second start of the year, but you can’t argue with the results. Any time your goalie stops 40 of 41 shots, you’ll take it.
- Valtteri Filppula got credited with one of the more hilarious goals in recent history. With the Flyers leading 4-1 late in the final frame, the Panthers decided to pull their goalie. Then, on an ordinary neutral zone faceoff, a Panther center cleanly won the puck and sent it on a beeline down the ice into his team’s empty net. Filppula, the opposing centerman, didn’t even touch the puck.
Claude Giroux (a goal and an assist), Travis Konecny, Wayne Simmonds, and Neuvirth are all worthy candidates here, but I’ll give this to Jordan Weal. His trademark toughness on the boards was on display all night, and he tied for the team Corsi lead.
Wayne Simmonds left the ice late with an upper body injury and was called day-to-day by Ron Hextall after the game. Simmonds tallied an assist and absolutely demolished a Panther in a fight. Feel better soon, Wayne Train.
Don’t look now, but the Flyers might actually be a fun team to follow this year.
(Stats via Natural Stat Trick and Corsica Hockey)