Outplayed and undermanned, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Blues 2-0 in their grittiest performance of the year.
The Philadelphia Flyers were hurting for a victory heading into last night’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues, but it appeared that the odds were stacked against them. Injuries to Radko Gudas, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Andrew MacDonald had transformed the Flyers’ defense into the Mighty Ducks of blue lines, and Dale Weise actually got to see the ice, which is enough of a handicap in its own right.
But against all odds, the Flyers took home the 2-0 win. Brandon Manning gave the Flyers the lead with a blast from the point, and Claude Giroux iced the game with an empty netter. Meanwhile, Michal Neuvirth stood on his head all night and was rewarded with the shutout, stopping all 33 Blues shots.
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It was a gritty, hard-earned victory, the kind that the Flyers typically fail to hold on to. But when you’re down so many key players, you’ll take the points any way you can get them.
- Even Manning’s goal appeared as though it might not hold up. Jakub Voracek was providing a screen on the play, and after Manning’s shot went in, the referees immediately waved the goal off due to goalie interference. But Dave Hakstol challenged the play, and the call was reversed.
- Of course, the game wouldn’t be complete without yet another injury scare. This time, the victim was one of the Flyers’ most important players- Sean Couturier. Old friend Brayden Schenn was the guilty party, and you can decide for yourself if it was a dirty play:
Fortunately, Couturier was able to return to the ice later in the game. Even though the rest of the Flyers forgave you, Brayden, doesn’t mean I will.
- With the dearth of talent surrounding him, Ivan Provorov likely knew going in that he’d need to play a lights-out game for the Flyers to win. That’s exactly what he did, fearlessly stepping into shooting lanes and providing an ever-steady presence in the defensive zone. The Flyers wouldn’t have pulled this one out without him.
- The Blues finished the game with an absurd 68-39 Corsi advantage, but many of those attempts were low-danger shots from distance. That’s not to say that they didn’t have their fair share of quality attempts (they did), but the advanced stats paint a slightly different picture than what actually happened.
After struggling his last time out, Michal Neuvirth rebounded in a huge way. With one performance, he’s inserted himself right back into the starting goaltender conversation.
Besides Schenn’s hit on Couturier, this was pretty scary too. Not cool, Mark Alt.
Wins like this one are nice, but it’s probably best if the injured players return sooner rather than later.
(Stats via Natural Stat Trick)