A 4-1 victory over the NHL-best St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon extended the Flyers' win streak to five games and continued to prove the team's flourishing dominance in the league. Scott Hartnell, Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds (EN) scored for the home team, while Jaden Schwartz tallied the lone goal for St. Louis. Steve Mason had a terrific game, making 31 saves on 32 shots, while Ryan Miller saved 15 of 18.
There was a scary moment that occurred just 45 seconds into the first period, as Steve Downie took an accidental shoulder to the face from Patrik Berglund and fell to the ice, remaining face-down for a short while. He eventually got to his feet with assistance from a trainer and made his way off the ice, and did not return. Flyers call it an “upper-body injury,” of course, but it could possibly be another concussion for Downie. It’d be his second of the season.
The Blues carried the majority of the momentum all throughout the opening period, and Schwartz’s shorthanded goal about six and a half minutes in put them on the board first. Philadelphia had some chances, but they were limited to just eight shots, while the Blues attempted thirteen of their own. Both goaltenders came up big for their respective teams, especially Mason; it could’ve been a lot worse than 1-0 for the Flyers based on the strong play of the Blues early on.
There were six penalties called in the first period, including two on Claude Giroux (the other four were on St. Louis players), and some were not the best calls, but I digress.
A 20-minute break between periods seemed to rejuvenate the Flyers, who started the second on a powerplay thanks to a hooking call on Vladimir Sobotka that came towards the end of the first. Hartnell scored just 57 seconds in to tie the game, with assists from Voracek and Giroux. The Flyers looked much stronger and more aggressive in the middle period, keeping up with the Blues’ quick and strong play.
Despite both teams having some great chances, it was the Flyers who took a 2-1 lead on Schenn’s 18th goal of the year at 13:24. They ended the period with that lead, while the Blues ended it simply leading 9-8 in goals.
There were another seven penalties called in the second frame. Those officials sure were busy (making questionable calls).
It was the Blues’ turn to start a period with a power play, entering the third with a man advantage for two minutes. However, they failed to capitalize, and practically as soon as that penalty ended, two more were called - one on the Flyers and one on St. Louis. Braydon Coburn and Backes sat, but neither team was able to score. Then the Flyers went back on the power play (can you tell that this game had some ridiculous officiating?), and again, were not able to make a dent in the score.
The Blues took back the momentum in the third period, but the Flyers somehow managed to not only keep up with them (despite there being a 9-1 shots lead from St. Louis with about four and a half minutes left), but managed to add onto their lead. Voracek's 19th of the year made it a 3-1 game, and Simmonds' empty-netter all but shut the door on St. Louis with 2:52 left in the third.
Jackman, STL - tripping (4:30, 1st)
Backes, STL - cross-checking (13:59, 1st)
Giroux, PHL - double minor for holding and hooking (15:02, 1st)
Oshie, STL - charging (15:22, 1st)
Sobotka, STL - hooking (19:54, 1st)
Giroux, PHL - cross-checking (3:47, 2nd)
Hartnell, PHL - tripping (8:05, 2nd)
Colaiacovo, STL - roughing (18:13, 2nd)
Polak, STL - roughing (18:13, 2nd)
Hartnell, PHL - roughing (18:13, 2nd)
Voracek, PHL - roughing (18:13, 2nd)
Giroux, PHL - hooking (20:00, 2nd)
Coburn, PHL - holding the stick (2:06, 3rd)
Backes, STL - tripping (2:06, 3rd)
Ott, STL - tripping (4:35, 3rd)
Voracek, STL - closing hand on puck (9:53, 3rd)
MacDonald, PHL - delay of game (19:13, 3rd)
Notes: Downie’s injury is something to keep an eye on. In his absence, the Flyers might bring up Tye McGinn to fill his spot…Claude Giroux extended his point streak to six games with his assist on Hartnell’s goal. This was his fourth multi-point game in five… The Flyers complete their homestand on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings at 7pm.