The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens tonight by a 5-2 count to earn their 1,000th home victory in franchise history.
Chris Pronger tied a career-high with 4 assists, Mike Richards had 2 assists, and Danny Briere had a goal and an assist as the Flyers dominated the visitors for the majority of the game. Sergei Bobrovsky would make 29 saves for his 21st win on the year.
The first period was filled with opportunities for both Montreal and Philly, but the end of the period would witness the powerhouse that is the Flyers' offense open up shop. Bobrovsky kept some close scoring chances from Montreal out of the net early and made 9 saves in the first.
Dan Carcillo made his mark on the game four minutes in. In front of Philly's bench, a Scott Gomez cross check to Carcillo's back allowed Carcillo to over exaggerate the hit to draw a penalty. Frustrated by the call, Gomez backhanded the puck towards Carcillo, who was still laying on the ice. Gomez then tried charging at Carcillo, but was held up by a ref and pushed around by Pronger. The Flyers didn't see a power play, however, as Carcillo went to the box for roughing for tackling Habs captain Brian Gionta along the boards in the Flyers' defensive zone during a post whistle scrum.
The Canadiens saw the first power play of the game briefly after 4-on-4 had ended as Nikolay Zherdev attempted to avenge a hit placed on him by PK Subban from earlier in the game by slashing the young defenseman. After the Flyers killed off the penalty that only saw one shot against, Zherdev left the box and laid a healthy hit on Yannick Weber that nearly landed him in the Canadiens' bench.
With about five minutes left in the period, the Flyers started to dictate play. After Claude Giroux released a shot from the middle of the circles that hit the outside of the right post, the Flyers went on a power play thanks to an Andrei Kostitsyn slash. Then, Jaroslav Spacek was sent away for holding Richards in the corner and Subban went to the sin bin for slashing Briere along the boards.
The trio of penalties took place 91 seconds apart and cost the Canadiens dearly, as the Flyers ripped home a pair of goals.
Eight seconds into the 5-on-3 Philly advantage, Jeff Carter backhanded in a rebound produced by a Richards' shot. While standing at the top of the crease and right in front of Carey Price, Carter backhanded home his 23rd goal of the year between Price's right arm and right leg pad. Hal Gill displayed his frustration by pushing Carter after he and his Montreal teammates failed on the penalty kill.
Handling the puck affectively and showcasing their offensive dominance, the Flyers took a two goal lead with just over a minute left in the first period, cashing in their second consecutive two-man advantage.
Standing just above the circles, Kimmo Timonen accepted a Pronger dish and would rip a shot past a helpless Price for his third goal of the year. Richards was also rewarded with an assist on the play as Philly still had a man advantage for fifty-one seconds. The power-play hat trick was not to be, but the damage was done as the first period concluded.
With no intention of letting up, Carcillo increased Philly's lead to 3-0 twenty-three seconds into the middle period. Gaining control of the puck in between the middle of the circles, Carcillo found open space through Price's 5-hole with a backhander. After getting knocked to the ice, Carcillo would get up to celebrate his 3rd goal of the year and second in his last 21 games.
Relentless offensive pressure from the Flyers ensued for the next few minutes until Sean O'Donnell went to the box for a questionable interference call on Travis Moen. As Moen was entering the Canadiens' offensive zone O'Donnell slightly pushed him resulting in Moen flopping to the ice. Rather than flagging Moen down for diving, O'Donnell went to the box alone. Montreal didn't utilize the advantage as they only registered one shot on net for the two minutes.
The Flyers saw their fifth power play of the game after David Desharnais went to the sin bin for slashing Blair Betts. Despite keeping up their offensive onslaught, Philly was unable to convert with the man advantage keeping the score 3-0.
The Canadiens didn't give up despite receiving thirty-three minutes of abuse from the orange and black. Several chances and scrums near Bobrovsky's crease led to a Desharnais blast from the point through traffic finding the back of the net as Bob never saw the puck. Desharnais' 3rd goal of the season kept Montreal within modest reach seeing the score become 3-1.
Lightning in a bottle could have seen Montreal take away all of Philly's momentum and put them right back in a position to win the game.
It almost happened as Spacek released a shot from the top of the left circle that hit Bobrovsky's sleeve then hit the inside of the right post. Bob would reach back and cover the back on the goal line and a brief review showed Montreal had not scored as the puck dangled on the line but not over it.
As the period was winding down, what looked like the Flyers worst power play on the night (off a too many men on the ice call) turned out to be the team's third successful attempt in the game.
After spending time in their defensive zone and creating the least chances yet with the man advantage, Briere stood just inside the blue line between the circles and saucered a pass to Hartnell who settled down the puck as he was skating past the left face off dot, then sent the puck to Giroux's stick as he was skating past the right side of the net.
A dejected Price, who had dropped to his knees awaiting a Hartnell shot, turned to witness Giroux placing his 19th goal of the year in the back of the net and saw his team regain their three-goal deficit as the score became 4-1.
The third period began with Philly killing off the remaining 1:43 in a Andrej Meszaros slashing penalty. Physical play found its place early in the period as Lars Eller put a strong hit on Hartnell in the Flyers' offensive zone. A minute later, Carcillo and Ryan White exchanged words and shoves off of a face off. One way to get back into a game is through physical play and the Canadiens used it effectively.
Minutes after the violent interactions between both teams, Andreas Nodl went to the box for tripping about six minutes into the period. After successfully killing off that penalty without any real chance coming from Montreal, Pronger was sent away for a weak roughing call on Scott Gomez in the corner.
This penalty-kill went worry free as well as there were no solid Montreal scoring chances. However, the fear of another late game collapse loomed as the Canadiens started to control the play to a certain extent.
After much Flyers' pugilism, the Canadiens cut the home team's lead in half with just under five minutes left in the game. Mathieu Darche threw a pass to the slot while skating along the boards to Bobrovsky's left. The puck bounced off Braydon Coburn's upper leg/mid section redirecting the pass in between Bob's legs and into the net for Darche's 9th goal of the season.
As if the outcome was in any doubt, Briere made sure it was with his 26th goal of the season. With Price on the bench, Briere let a shot go from just past the red line next to the Canadiens bench and watched the shot slide in.
The goal, by the rightful owner of an All-Star berth, made the lead 5-2 with 25 seconds remaining.
Both of Philly's special teams units, power play and penalty kill, played extremely well tonight. The powerplay converted on 3-of-5 chances while the penalty kill successfully turned aside all seven of Montreal's power-play opportunities. Carter, Timonen, and Giroux all clicked on the advantage tonight for Philly.
Consistent play 5-on-5 has allowed the Flyers to stand at the top of the standings despite having mediocre special teams. It's nice to see a win come in overwhelming fashion due to the special teams play, as the Flyers were just 13-for-108 coming in.
Always looking for a psychological edge, Richards gets the last laugh in the battle between he and young blueliner Subban. On a night where Richards' had a pair of assists, Subban showed his rookie flaws. With his team in a big enough hole, Subban slashed Briere up high to put the Flyers on an extended 5-0n-3. The slash was easily avoidable and the penalty pretty much handed the Flyers a two goal lead just before the end of the period.
On a less important play, Subban was also incapable of keeping the puck in the zone due to a stickless Jody Shelley pressuring him out of the zone. A simple dump or cross ice pass would have allowed the Canadiens to take advantage of a Flyer without a stick, but since Subban focuses on himself and looks for highlight reel plays Montreal had to evacuate the zone.
Notes: The Flyers improved to 18-1-0 when leading after the 1st period (were leading 2-0 tonight), and are the first team to reach 70 points league-wide (currently have 71)...Philly went 3-1-0 against Montreal for the 2010-2011 season and are currently 10-3-0 against the Northeast division (BOS 1-2-0, MTL 3-1-0, BUF 2-0-0, TOR 2-0-0, OTT 2-0-0).
Well, coming up on the All-Star break the Philadelphia Flyers are looking pretty good.
With fifty games played so far, the Flyers are 33-12-5 sitting atop the whole NHL with 71 points. In their final game before the break, Philly put a show on against the Canadiens winning 5-2. Despite there being no overwhelming statistics to drive home the point, the Flyers truly dominated each and every part of their last meeting with Montreal. The win was their 2nd in a row and combined with their 6-2 win over Ottawa on Thursday it was their 3rd positive decision in the week.
In a week they could have won all four games, the Flyers went 3-1-0 dropping their Saturday matinee to the Devils 3-1. At this point in time their lackadaisical effort on Saturday doesn't seem as though it will hurt them much down the road.
Let's take a look at what's going on with the other four teams in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2-1-0. After getting shutout by the Devils 2-0 on Thursday, the Penguins won back-to-back games against Carolina on Saturday and the Islanders on Tuesday. With injuries keeping Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out, secondary players need to step up for the Penguins to keep winning. Dustin Jeffrey answered the call this week scoring the first goal in the game against Carolina and assisting on the lone goal against the Islanders. The gap between them and the division leading Flyers widened from three to five points this week. The next game is a visit to Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers Tuesday night.
New York Rangers: 3-1-1. In what was an up and down week for the Rangers, they find themselves still trailing the Penguins for 2nd in the division. The week started off with a thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0 where Marian Gaborik scored four goals. However, the next night the Rangers had the beatdown handed to them as they lost to the Hurricanes 4-1. Bouncing back from their game against Carolina, the Rangers posted back-to-back wins in consecutive shootouts. After a late game goal by Brian Boyle to tie the score at two, Mats Zuccarello was the only player to score in the shootout awarding the Rangers a 3-2 win over Atlanta. Two nights later in Washington, the Rangers needed the shootout once again to find a winner. Three Rangers (Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, and Artem Anisimov) scored on Braden Holtby in the shootout to hand them their third and final win of the week. Tuesday night, the Rangers fell to the Southeast's worst team in the Panthers 4-3. On the Panthers' lone shot in the third period, an awkward bounce resulted in Florida's fourth and final goal. Their next game is Tuesday night as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
New York Islanders: 1-3-0. The Islanders split their two meetings with the Buffalo Sabres this week as they won Friday night 5-2 in Buffalo and then lost 5-3 at home Sunday. Combined with one-goal losses to both the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Islanders ended up winning a fourth of their scheduled games this week. Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson both netted three goals in the four games this week while Kevin Poulin grabbed the lone win of the week saving 26 of 28 against Buffalo on Friday. If the Islanders beat the Hurricanes tonight and the Flames lose to the Blues, the Isles will move from 29th in the league to 28th.
New Jersey Devils: 3-0-0. In what has to be the surprise of the week, the Devils registered the best record in the Atlantic division this week. After shutting out the Penguins on Thursday, the Devils ruined the Flyers chance to gain 1,000 home wins by winning 3-1 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. Throw in a 5-2 home win against the Florida Panthers and you have a strong week of hockey from the weakest team in the division. Patrik Elias had 3 goals and an assist on the week. Following in the footsteps of Elias, who potted two against Philly, Jason Arnott netted two of his own in the win against Florida on Sunday. Martin Brodeur had the wins against Pittsburgh and Florida while Johan Hedberg beat the Flyers. The Devils have the hard task of visiting the Red Wings tonight.
In a game that reminded you of the inconsistencies of last year's Philly team, The Flyers dropped a 3-1 loss to the Devils at home on Saturday.
A two-goal effort by Patrik Elias and another strong performance from Johan Hedberg allowed New Jersey to beat the team at the top of their division. Bad decisions, getting outworked, and possibly looking forward to tomorrow's rematch against Chicago could be some excuses as to why the Flyers played so poorly today. The loss drops the Flyers to 31-12-5 on the year and 3-1-1 against New Jersey this season.
After killing off a holding call a little over a minute into the game, the Devils found the scoresheet first on a Henrik Tallinder shot from the point. An Adam Mair shot that was blocked by Brian Boucher and company in front bounced to Tallinder who blasted a shot that Boucher never saw. Tallinder's second goal on the year gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
The Devils weren't done for the period as they enlarged their lead to two seven minutes later. Elias stopped a Mark Fayne wrap around the boards and took the puck to the front of the net. The puck found a way to squeak by a leaky Boucher who was attempting to hug the left post. The soft goal gave the Devils a 2-0 lead with just under eight minutes to play in the first period.
The remaining time left in the 1st period saw several scoring chances by the Devils that the Flyers would not answer. Boucher kept the Flyers in the game early as he saved eight of the ten shots he saw in the 1st period.
The second period saw a better effort from Philadelphia, but it still wasn't the Flyers team that currently sits first in the Eastern Conference. Multiple minor penalties held the Flyers up in their attempt to tie the game. A high-sticking call on Claude Giroux three minutes into the period, a Chris Pronger slash nine minutes into the period, and a Scott Hartnell roughing with six minutes left in the period kept Philly from putting a constant string of pressure on Hedberg.
Despite their horrible play in the 1st and a penalty stricken second, the Flyers still found themselves in a position to save the game.
With just 20 seconds left in the period, James van Riemsdyk would nudge the puck past Hedberg to cut the lead to one entering the final period. A beautiful backhanded pass from Richards at the Flyers' blueline led to Giroux possessing the puck just inside the offensive zone. From there, Giroux switched the puck from his backhand to his forehand back to his backhand before lofting a pass to JVR in the slot who would tip the puck past Hedberg. The goal was van Riemsdyk's 12th on the year.
The Flyers were still under performing as the third period rolled around, but several minutes of offensive pressure and the ability to stay out of the penalty box led to a Flyers' threat to tie up the game.
Outshooting the Devils 12-6 in the third period, the Flyers were on the verge of tying up the game until a late penalty by Giroux. With just over two minutes left, Giroux would go to the box for cross checking and leave his team in a tough position.
In a final push to tie the game, Laviolette would pull Boucher. Unfortunately, Rolston would hand an outlet pass from the defensive zone right to Elias who skated into the Flyers' zone and slammed the puck home on the open net making it 3-1. The remaining forty-two seconds bled away and the Flyers would see their four game winning streak snapped.
The Flyers made too many poor decisions today to expect a win. Several turnovers in the defensive zone led to numerous New Jersey chances. If it wasn't for Boucher's ability to bail out his teammates, the lead could have easily been three or four nothing entering the second period.
On the offensive side of things, nobody on the Flyers wanted to shoot today. Too many times were there one too many passes made on a rush or odd man opportunity where a good scoring chance resulted in a broken up pass.
Hartnell and Giroux both took stupid penalties today. Hartnell's roughing on Sestito came after the play and was completely unnecessary. Giroux's cross checking on Elias came with just over two minutes left in the game and pretty much sealed the deal for the Devils. It could have very easily not been called, but Giroux should know better than to cross check a player into the boards with the ref right there. The game was on the line and the Flyers had been putting pressure on Hedberg for ten minutes. The penalty essentially killed the momentum and any chance the Flyers had of tying the game.
Notes: This was the Devils first win in Philadelphia since their 3-2 overtime win on December 4, 2008...Johan Hedberg has racked up 7 games allowing one goal or less this season and 2 have come against Philly...Giroux was the only Flyers layer who was a plus today...Nobody on New Jersey was a negative...The Flyers fell to 12-2-1 against the Atlantic division this season (PIT 3-1-0, NYR 3-0-0, NYI 3-0-0, NJD 3-1-1).
In the only match up between the two teams which met in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, the Philadelphia Flyers visited the Windy City and handed the home team a 4-1 loss.
Jeff Carter tallied two goals and one assist on the evening while Claude Giroux assisted on all four goals. Nikolay Zherdev scored Philly's game-winning goal and assisted on their first goal of the contest.
Chicago's only goal came courtesy of a Marian Hossa penalty shot in the third period. The Flyers' penalty kill kept the Blackhawks' top-ranked powerplay unit off the score sheet as they wouldn't convert on either opportunity.
The game started off with chances for both teams. Chicago had more chances early, but the Flyers had the best chance. Scott Hartnell threw the puck on net from the blue line resulting in a rebound for Ville Leino. Showing his patience, Leino drew Crawford out of the crease and tried sneaking the puck just inside the post. His attempt was denied by Duncan Keith who then cleared the puck to the boards.
After a very uneventful fight between Hartnell and Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson tripped Giroux in the corner behind Crawford leading to the first power play of the game. Philly would generate three shots, but wouldn't register a goal.
The Blackhawks, using the momentum from a successful penalty kill to their advantage, started putting a lot of pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky resulting in an eventual holding call on Braydon Coburn. That advantage wouldn't produce a goal for Chicago due to Bobrovsky's strong goaltending and the game opened up shortly after.
The opening period wasn't as exciting as anticipated. A few penalties and a fight that nobody was able to witness on television were the major events. The Flyers didn't seem to forecheck as much as usual and spent a lot of time in their zone narrowly avoiding a Chicago goal. The lack of pressure may have been a result of playing a game and traveling the day before, but the Blackhawks did the same.
The beginning of the second period started off with a bizarre goal, but one beneficial to the visitors.
As the puck bounced around the crease and Hawks goalie Corey Crawford for a matter of seconds, the Flyers kept whacking away at the puck until Jeff Carter was credited with his 21st of the year. The play seemed as though it was going to be blown dead multiple times as the puck kept moving underneath Brian Campbell and Crawford, but since the refs were able to see it, the whistle was never blown.
The Flyers came out of their defensive shell in the second period and started dictating play. The majority (if not the whole period) was spent in the Blackhawks' defensive zone and saw several scoring chances from the Flyers. Good chances came from Jeff Carter, Kimmo Timonen, and Zherdev in the period.
The game's second fight happened late in the second. In response to a questionably high hit he received from Dan Carcillo, Jake Dowell decided to drop the gloves with the veteran pugilist in the corner to Bob's left. Despite leaving the fight with a bloody face, Carcillo definitely had the upper hand through the whole fight landing more punches and stronger punches. Dowell landed one solid punch, which resulted in Carcillo bleeding.
The final six minutes or so of the period saw each team apply a fair amount of offensive pressure. The Flyers' closest scoring chance came with about twenty seconds left in the period, when Giroux deflected a Carter shot. Crawford saved a Flyers goal moving right to left gloving a puck that seemed destined for the top left corner. The Flyers would lead 1-0 entering the final stanza.
A one goal lead entering the final twenty minutes is still anybody's game. With this in mind, the Flyers put away the next goal in the stanza's first three minutes to extend their lead to two.
After winning the puck in the corner, Zherdev would then cause a turnover on the right side of the Hawks' net. While Zherdev was taking the puck behind the net and attempting a wraparound, Campbell and Crawford got their sticks entangled resulting in Zherdev sliding the puck just inside the right goal post. It was the 15th goal on the year for the Ukrainian enigma which made it a 2-0 Flyers edge.
Carter increased the lead to three less than three minutes later when he batted in a thigh-high cross ice pass from Giroux at the right post. Brent Seabrook turned the puck over to Giroux while he was coming onto the ice and Giroux glided into the Blackhawks' zone. From the top of the left circle, Giroux paused and saucered the puck to Carter who bunted it by Crawford's right pad for his 22nd on the season.
The Blackhawks showed urgency immediately after the three goal deficit took place. After a play that resembled the Flyers' first goal of the game, suffocating pressure from the Hawks in Bobrovsky's crease (allegedly) led to Coburn gloving the puck and throwing it into the corner. Somehow, an official spotted the infraction and Hossa was chosen to take the shot.
He wasted no time, scoring straight down the middle five-hole on Bob and cutting the Philadelphia lead to two with thirteen minutes left in the game.
The remaining time was a showcase for the Flyers' ability to create and dictate play. At a point in the game when the Blackhawks should have been showing desperation and effort, the Flyers were walking into the zone and to the net almost scoring numerous times.
The best chance came on a 2-on-1 where Briere dropped it back to Leino who then handed it right back to Briere who got stuffed by Crawford on a shot that came within feet from the net.
With fifty-two seconds left in the game, an empty-netter sealed the deal.
Carter's dump into Chicago's zone allowed the unsteady winger to beat out several pursuing Blackhawks to the puck along the boards. While protecting the puck between the boards and right circle, Hartnell released a shot on the backhand with his body positioned parallel to the faceoff dot ending the Hawks' chances of coming back.
For all the hype of two Stanley Cup combatants meeting for the first time since June, the game played out as expected; strong Flyers' forecheck, good goaltending from the rookie goalies, and a Flyers win.
It clearly wasn't the same Blackhawks team the Flyers played in the Finals last year because of roster changes and Chicago encountered a much steadier and consistent Philadelphia team. Chicago did manage to capitalize on Philly's weak third defensive pairing of Oskars Bartulis and Lukas Krajicek last year in the playoffs, but Sunday was a different story as Andrej Meszaros and Sean O'Donnell both played sound defense and allowed the offense to forecheck affectively.
Bobrovsky, perhaps the newest and most unknown quantity, played a great game keeping the Flyers in the game after several close scoring chances from the 'Hawks. An eleven save first period paired with crucial saves in the third period produced the seventh time "Bob" has limited the opposition to exactly one goal on the season. It also marked the ninth time Bobrovsky made 30 or more saves in a game.
Notes: Carter and Giroux were both a team-high plus-4 on the day... Coburn led all Flyers with 5 hits; Troy Brouwer had a game high 6 for Chicago...The Flyers improved to 14-2-0 in the last 16 regular season games against the Blackhawks...This marked the second game this year Bobrovsky allowed one goal on which the score resulted from a penalty shot; the other game was Philly's 6-1 win on October 30th against the New York Islanders...The Flyers are 2-1-1 against the Central division this year (DET 1-0-0, NSH 0-0-0, CHI 1-0-0, STL 0-0-1, CBJ 0-1-0).
The Flyers extended their winning streak to 4 games tonight as they dominated the Ottawa Senators 6-2.
The scoring started early with a pair of goals from Danny Briere and Mike Richards in the first 4 1/2 minutes. Richards' second goal on the night extended the Flyers lead to three, but another collapse from the Flyers allowed Ottawa right back into the game. A Milan Michalek short-handed breakaway goal and a Nick Foligno strike late in the second cut the lead to one entering the third period. Three goals in the third put the game away for Philly as the game ended with numerous fights.
The home team started the scoring early again tonight, scoring the first goal just seconds after the 2 minute mark. Briere skated along the boards after receiving a pass from Andrej Meszaros and planted a shot past Brian Elliott with a slapshot as he was gliding into the top-right part of the right circle. The goal was Briere's 25th on the season.
A little over two minutes later the Flyers would see their lead double as Richards stashed his 16th of the season with a nice tip-in of a Braydon Coburn shot. The other interesting note from the period was the only penalty, which was awarded to Chris Pronger -- back after a 13-game absence from a busted right foot -- for tripping up Zack Smith. The rest of the first period uneventfully passed as the Flyers entered the middle stanza with a two goal advantage.
The second period started with some pressure from Ottawa followed up by an extended 5-0n-3 for the Senators. After James van Riemsdyk tried to scoot around Sergei Gonchar, he was assessed a tripping penalty as Gonchar embellished a nudge to the back. Nineteen seconds later, Darroll Powe joined van Riemsdyk in the box with a high-sticking call against Erik Karlsson.
Philly ended up killing off the penalites and provided an offensive chance of their own when Richards took the puck down the ice along the boards and in on net.
The end of the 2nd period saw a flurry of goals. Claude Giroux drew two penalties 53 seconds apart to give Philly a 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity of their own.
Seven seconds later, Richards handled the puck backing into the corner and, while faking a pass into the slot, turned slightly and released a quick shot on an unsuspecting Elliott who let the puck in through his legs. The goal was Richards' second of the night and extended the lead to 3-0.
Once again, though, the Orange and Black showed their brief defensive hiccups. The comfortable lead lasted all of a little more than 1 1/2 minutes as Michalek skated in on Sergei Bobrovsky, putting the breakaway opportunity home and making the score 3-1 with two minutes left in the period.
With 45 seconds left in the period, Foligno stood at the top of the crease and slammed home a rebound with no obstruction from Philly's defense for his 8th goal of the year. The period ended with Jeff Carter being dumped into Bobrovsky with a check from Chris Kelly.
Unable to build off the momentum from the period before, Ottawa saw the game slip away from them midway through the third period. Thanks to a Filip Kuba turnover behind the net, Briere picked up the puck and worked left to right behind the net eventually throwing a pass cross crease setting up Hartnell who pounded away at a couple rebounds eventually netting his 16th of the season.
Then, it was 5-2 as a Richards shot from the right wing created an easy rebound for van Riemsdyk who hit a wide open net.
Due to their newly-acquired deficit, Ottawa entered freak-out mode starting a line brawl after Claude Giroux showed some rare fire and laid out a Senator. Chris Neil and Darroll Powe received double-minors for roughing while Carter and Jesse Winchester would receive five-minute majors for fighting.
The physical play didn't help Ottawa as Meszaros scored 22 seconds after the penalties were assessed. Meszaros caught Elliott out of position and slapped home his 3rd goal of the year, second in as many games.
With the game clearly in Philadelphia's favor, the fighting was just getting started. After getting dumped into the corner, Briere skated into the slot and ended up getting his jersey grabbed by Shannon in an attempt to start a fight. Briere declined because he's Danny Briere and doesn't fight. Just 90 seconds later, Giroux handled himself fine in a fight against Foligno as both would exchange punches and Giroux would end it with a takedown.
The last hoorah involved a line brawl with fights between Shelley and Neil, Hartnell and Jarkko Ruutu, and Matt Carkner with Sean O'Donnell. Shelley and Neil fought to a draw despite Shelley's size advantage. Hartnell would kill Ruutu with several punches early while Carkner landed a few on O'Donnell who fell to the ice and covered up. As the penalty box filled and the time ran out, Philly enjoyed a 6-2 win.
Something that's turning into a habit for the Flyers is allowing teams right back into games they're dominating. On Sunday, Philly gave up two goals to the Rangers to make it a one goal game, on Tuesday Washington scored two goals in under a minute to tie up the game, and tonight the Senators got right back into the game with two goals late in the 2nd.
It seemed like a problem that was occurring due to Pronger's absence, but since this was Pronger's first game back tonight there must be something else wrong with the team. Whatever it is, the club's depth and resilience is making up for any mistakes.
Notes: The Flyers have outscored Ottawa 11-3 this season in 2 games. This was Carter's and Giroux's first fights of the year...Ruutu was the only Senator who was a plus on the night with a +1...Carter was the only Flyer in the negative at -1. Blair Betts was 7/7 on faceoffs tonight...Neil had a game high 19 penalty minutes for Ottawa, which racked up 69 of the game's 126 PIMs.