These three players had standout performances for the Philadelphia Flyers in their win over the San Jose Sharks.
Looking to extend their winning streak to four after a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in their previous contest, the Philadelphia Flyers continued their three-game homestand by playing host to the San Jose Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers were also hoping to avoid a season series sweep at the hands of a lowly Sharks squad and split everything down the middle for the second time in three years. Carter Hart got the start and opposed Aaron Dell on the other end of the rink.
The Flyers had themselves another good start, scoring the game’s first goal less than two minutes following puck drop thanks to the efforts of Nicolas Aube-Kubel on the power play. The soon-to-be 24-year-old winger capitalized on an excellent setup pass from James van Riemsdyk in the slot, hitting a relatively open-hit on an out-of-position Dell for the first man-advantage tally of his NHL career. San Jose would dominate from there on, eventually finding the equalizer in the form of Joel Kellman‘s second goal of the year to tie everything at one through 20 minutes of action. The young Sharks forward pounced on a rebound attempt that Hart surrendered, beating everyone to the puck for the game-tying tally.
Philadelphia regained their lead in the opening minutes of the second, as Kevin Hayes was the recipient of a pin-point pass from Scott Laughton to become the Flyers’ second 20 goal scorer of the year. Hayes went on to finish off a spectacular middle stanza, assisting on Travis Konecny‘s 22nd goal of the season to give the Orange and Black a 3-1 advantage going into the third. The two forwards broke out for a 2-on-1 rush, executing the odd-man chance to perfection.
Hayes didn’t stop there, netting his second goal of the night in the early-goings of the third to put the Fly Guys ahead by three. Laughton made a great keep to stop the puck from crossing the blue-line, earning an apple along with TK for his efforts on the play. The Sharks got one back minutes later off of the stick of Noah Gregor, but that was all they could muster up as Philly closed everything out and walked away with a 4-2 victory over San Jose.
Kicking off my group of standouts is rookie forward Aube-Kubel, who not only played well tonight but has been very productive in the offensive end for the Flyers recently. The former second-round selection scored his third point in his last five games with the aforementioned power-play goal, moving up to 11 points in 30 games this year. NAK was also solid in his own zone against the Sharks, putting himself in the correct areas when San Jose went on the attack. Aube-Kubel’s been a great addition to the Flyers forward group since getting recalled back in December, providing the team with a bit of everything on the ice, and it was on full display this evening.
Lastly, I’m going with a defensive pair as my second and third standouts for Philly in this one, as Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers were once again excellent vs. San Jose. Though neither blueliner had their name on the scoresheet, the duo led all Flyers defensemen in Corsi, Fenwick, Expected Goals, High Danger, and total Scoring Chances For percentages at 5v5 with Score and Venue adjusted, per Natural Stat Trick. Being able to out-shoot and chance the opposition is an important trait to have on a night-in and night-out basis, especially in a game where the team lost the possession battle overall. Sanheim and Myers did just that here tonight and, hopefully, will continue to do so for Philadelphia down this critical stretch.
The Flyers are now 36-20-7 on the year! Next game is Friday against the New York Rangers.