Game 70: Philadelphia Flyers @ Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00 pm, CSN
Overall Record: 43-19-7
Away Record: 22-9-3
Record vs. Thrashers: 1-0-1
Away Record vs. Thrashers: 1-0-0
Overall Record: 29-29-12
Home Record: 15-14-7
Record vs. Flyers: 1-1-0
Home Record vs. Flyers: 1-0-0
Flyers' Winning % vs. Thrashers: .500, 1/2 games (19th)
Flyers' Point % vs. Thrashers: .750, 3/4 pts (16th)
Flyers' Losing % vs. Thrashers: .500, 1/2 games (10th)
Flyers' Goals/Game vs. Thrashers: 4.50, 9 goals/ 2 games (3rd)
Thrashers' Goals/Game vs. Flyers: 3.50, 7 goals/ 2 games (6th)
Flyers' Shots/Game vs. Thrashers: 30 shots, 60 shots/ 2 games (21st)
Thrashers' Shots/Game vs. Flyers: 35 shots, 70 shots/ 2 games (4th)
Flyers' Powerplay % vs. Thrashers: 40%, 2/5 in 2 games (2nd)
Thrashers' Powerplay % vs. Flyers: 33.3%, 2/6 in 2 games (2nd)
Flyers' Penalty Kill % vs. Thrashers: 66.7%, 4/6 in 2 games (25th)
Thrashers' Penalty Kill % vs. Flyers: 60%, 3/5 in 2 games (28th)
Flyers' Team LeadersPoints- Claude Giroux, 65
Goals- Jeff Carter, 32
Assists- Claude Giroux, 43
+/- - Andrej Meszaros, +23
PIM- Scott Hartnell, 130
Thrashers' Team LeadersPoints- Andrew Ladd, 53
Goals- Andrew Ladd, 26
Assists- Tobias Enstrom, 41
+/- - Blake Wheeler/Bryan Little, +11
PIM- Eric Boulton/ Chris Thorburn, 61
Former Flyers On Thrashers
#24 Freddy Meyer
Current Season With Atlanta: 15 games, 1 goal, and 1 assist.
Career With Philadelphia: 3 seasons (2003-2004, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007), 89 games, 8 goals, and 25 assists.
Former Thrashers On Flyers
#5 Braydon Coburn
Current Season With Philadelphia: 69 games, 2 goals, and 12 assists.
Career With Atlanta: 2 seasons (2005-2006 and 2006-2007), 38 games, 0 goals, and 5 assists.
This Year's Results
1/14/11- Philadelphia 5- Atlanta 2
3/12/11- Atlanta 5- Philadelphia 4 in Overtime
It's difficult to believe the Flyers had a rough week when they obtained five out of the possible six points this week, but an injury to Chris Pronger has caused some concern inside the Philly locker room. Tuesday Pronger had surgery to insert a small screw into his right hand to help repair a fracture. The surgery will sideline the big man for three to four weeks, which coincidentally will be around the beginning of the playoffs.
Needing to find ways to win without the veteran blue liner, Philly went 2-0-1 in their first three games without Pronger. If it had not been for a horrible third period on Saturday against Atlanta, the Flyers could easily be on a four-game winning streak right now.
After beating the Maple Leafs 3-2 in Toronto, the Flyers allowed Atlanta to comeback from a 3-0 third period deficit in their own building to win in overtime 5-4. A loss that usually kills a team's confidence for many games to come only seemed to affect the team Saturday night as Philly then moved on to beat the Panthers 3-2 in Florida on Tuesday night.
Ville Leino had the performance of the week with a hat-trick against the Thrashers on Saturday. He also added an assist on Scott Hartnell's goal against Florida.
Mike Richards had four assists on the week, three of which came in the game against Atlanta. His fourth assist of the week was also on Hartnell's goal in the first period against the Panthers.
Jeff Carter's two-goal night against the Panthers helped the Flyers to their 2-0-1 on the week as he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals.
Here's a look at what the others teams in the Atlantic did this week:
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2-1-0. As if winning two out of the possible three games this week wasn't good enough, the Penguins were also rewarded with Sidney Crosby skating for the first time since suffering a concussion back in January.
After Carey Price recorded a twenty-six save shutout against them on Saturday, the Penguins marched on to destroy their next two weak opponents. The Pens beat both the Oilers in Pittsburgh and the Sens in Ottawa by a score of 5-1. Despite their impressive outings, the Pens still lost ground in their chase for becoming division leader.
Both Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy had a big week for Pitt. Kunitz had two goals against Edmonton and three assists against Ottawa, while Kennedy had three assists against Edmonton and a goal and an assist against Ottawa.
The Pens will face tougher competition this week as they host the Rangers in a matinee game Sunday only to travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings the next day.
New York Rangers: 2-1-0. Dropping a road game in Anaheim seemed to be the Rangers' only flaw this week as they won two out of there three scheduled games.
One would think a 7-0 win over a division rival a few days earlier is a momentum starter. The Rangers apparently had other plans as they gave up three goals in the first ultimately falling to the Ducks 5-2 on Wednesday.
Looking to rebound from their loss three days earlier, the Rangers beat the Sharks in San Jose 3-2 in a shootout. Brandon Dubinsky gave New York the win beating Antti Niemi in the sixth round.
To finish off the week, the Rangers handled the Islanders 6-3 on Tuesday scoring two in the first period and three in the second.
Marian Gaborik had three goals this week for the Rangers. After scoring against the Ducks last Wednesday, Gaborik registered two against the Islanders on Tuesday.
The Rangers' strength in schedule fluctuates this week. After hosting the Canadiens tomorrow night, the Rangers visit Pittsburgh on Sunday culminating the week with a visit from the Panthers on Tuesday.
New Jersey Devils: 3-0-0. With only one game not needing extra time, the Devils came through with clutch goals this week to grab all nine points possible. Overtime wins against Atlanta and the Isles over the weekend combined with a win over Atlanta on Tuesday gave New Jersey three wins this week.
With the game tied at two late in overtime, Travis Zajac was able to find the back of the net to give the Devils a 3-2 victory. The very next day, an unlikely hero emerged to give the Devils overtime wins on back-to-back days. Anssi Salmela scored his first goal of the year just over three minutes into overtime to give New Jersey the extra point.
After two late first period goals by Atlanta, the Devils scored the next four to notch their second win of the week against the Thrashers.
Travis Zajac had three goals on the week and they all came against the Thrashers. Two of Zajac's goals came in Thursday's game while his third started Tuesday's comeback.
Patrik Elias registered four points on the week with a goal and three assists. His lone goal came in New Jersey's second game of the week against Atlanta. Elias also recorded a two-assist night on Thursday.
The Devils have a busy upcoming week as they have four games between now and Tuesday. After visiting Ottawa tonight, New Jersey hosts Washington tomorrow. Trips to Columbus on Sunday and Boston on Tuesday round out the week.
New York Islanders: 1-1-1. The Isles experienced every type of game this week as they beat Boston on Friday, lost in overtime to New Jersey on Saturday, and lost to the Rangers in regulation on Tuesday.
Down 2-0 late in the second period, a Matt Moulson goal with two seconds left in the period allowed the Isles to enter the final twenty minutes down by just one. Motivated by the late period goal, the Isles scored three in the third to beat Boston 4-2.
Unfortunately for them, the momentum of the comeback didn't carry over to the next day as they'd lose in overtime in New Jersey.
After erasing a 2-0 deficit in the second period of Tuesday's game against the Rangers, the Isles allowed three goals in an eight minute span during the later stages of the middle period. The Islanders ultimately lost the game 6-3.
John Tavares had five points on the week netting two goals and three assists. He registered a goal and two assists in the Isles' loss on Tuesday.
PA Parenteau also had five points this week highlighted with a goal and an assist in Tuesday's loss against the Rangers.
The Islanders will surely get their fill of Southeast teams this week as they visit the Hurricanes on Friday, the Panthers on Saturday, and the Lightning on Tuesday.
For the second time in eight days, a pair of goals from Jeff Carter gave the Flyers the boost they needed to win as a trip to Florida resulted in a 3-2 win over the Panthers. Carter's pair within an eleven minute span in the second period along with a first period goal from Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers a win after a terrible loss on Saturday. The Flyers' win improves their record to 43-19-7.
The Flyers didn't start the game as they planned as the Panthers had a very strong first shift. However, the Flyers did produce the game's first goal.
Keeping the puck in the zone after an offensive chance, Matt Carle cycled the puck down to Ville Leino in the corner. Backhanding it to the slot, Leino found Mike Richards just outside the crease to the right of Tomas Vokoun. Ill-advised, Vokoun dropped to his back and threw his arms out in an attempt to block a possible Richards' shot. Showing plenty of patience, Richards waited for Hartnell to show up in the slot for a wide open shot. Hartnell nailed the opportunity giving him his twentieth goal of the year and a 1-0 Flyers' lead.
Naturally, given the way the Flyers have been playing lately, the lead didn't last long. Within three minutes of Hartnell's goal, a clear from Keaton Ellerby behind his own net led to Stephen Weiss gloving the puck at the Flyers' blue line after Sergei Samsonov tipped the puck from the boards to open ice. After putting the puck on the ice, Weiss drove to the bottom of the circle to Brian Boucher's right and ripped one top corner glove side. A defeated Boucher posed while looking back at the net as Weiss had just deposited his nineteenth on the year making it a 1-1 game.
Killing off a James van Riemsdyk hooking call, the Flyers went on a powerplay of their own. In fact, the Flyers had a 5-on-3 advantage for fifty-six seconds as Mike Weaver went to the box for high-sticking after Ryan Carter had been sitting in the sin bin for elbowing. Unfortunately, similar to the Panthers, they were unable to produce a goal with the powerplay opportunity.
With the score remaining level after the exchanging of powerplay chances, the Panthers gained their first lead of the game. Finding its way through a maze of bodies, Dmitry Kulikov slapped home a rocket from the point to give Florida a 2-1 lead with one minute and forty-nine seconds left in the first.
As his team moved through the beginning of the second period with little to no life, Daniel Carcillo attempted to turn things around by engaging in a fight with Mike Duco. Carcillo's decision to fight proved to be a smart one.
Fifty-seven seconds after the fight, Jeff Carter saw one of his shots trickle past the goal-line to tie the game at two. Claude Giroux was able to force Ryan Carter to turn the puck over in the Panthers' defensive zone. Gaining control of the puck, Jeff Carter looped around from the slot to the circle to Vokoun's left and ripped a shot high glove side. Hitting Vokoun's glove, Carter watched his shot pop up in the air and roll over the goal-line. Carter's thiry-first tied the game as the Flyers were still surging.
Thirty-three seconds after the game-tying goal, Michal Repik went to the box for cross-checking. Unforunately, a JVR slash ended Philly's third powerplay opportunity fifty seconds later. The Panthers didn't capitalize on their shortened man advantage and the game remained tied at two.
Later in the period, Peter Laviolette called a timeout as his team had just iced the puck. Coming out of the timeout, Danny Briere jumped on a faceoff win that resulted on the Panthers' side of the dot. Bolting past the defenders, Briere started a 2-on-1 with Carter. Moving the puck to his backhand, Briere flipped the puck over to Carter who put it home for his second of the period and a 3-2 Flyers' lead.
As Saturday's result will indicate, the Flyers have been poor in the final twenty minutes of regulation in their past few games. The period was moving along smoothly until JVR went to the sin bin for a high-stick worthy of a double minor. A play that most likely results in a goal for the opposition lately, the Flyers held off the pressuring Panthers.
The Flyers caught a break as Kulikov went to the box for hooking fifty-two seconds after JVR was sent off. As Kulikov's penalty ended, Florida once again didn't register a power-play goal letting the Flyers hold onto their 3-2 lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation.
Despite being dominated by Florida's forecheck for the remaining time in regulation, Philly held on for a 3-2 victory.
It was important for the Flyers to come out and have a strong third period after Saturday's collapse. A loss similar to Saturday's can put a team, especially a team who just lost their emotional leader, in a funk resulting in a losing streak. However, Philly answered the call tonight and held onto their one-goal lead ultimately winning after enduring a scoreless third period.
Carcillo's fight in the second period allowed the Flyers to tie the game and essentially win it. The Flyers are now 32-8-4 with Carcillo in the lineup including their win in Florida tonight. He doesn't provide many goals or scoring chances, but Carcillo's ability to persistently forecheck and backcheck along with motivating his teammates when needed must have some kind of positive effect. Carcillo has four goals and two assists while posting a plus/minus rating of -10 this season.
Notes: Tonight was Jeff Carter's sixth two-goal game; his last one was last on 3/8 against Edmonton. Brian Boucher is now 6-0-2 in his last 8 decisions; Bobrovsky is 3-3-2 in his last 8 decisions. The Flyers are now 2-0-1 since Pronger's absence from the lineup started after the Oilers game last Tuesday. Tonight was the first time the Flyers didn't score a powerplay goal in a game since their 7-0 loss to the Rangers on 3/6. The Panthers one-goal loss is their 44th one-goal game of the year; the Panthers lead the league in that category. The Flyers went 3-1-0 against the Panthers during the 2010-2011 season and are now 10-5-2 against the Southeast division (WSH 2-0-1, TBL 1-3-0, CAR 3-1-0, ATL 1-0-1, FLA 3-1-0).
Four Atlanta goals, including two in the final three minutes, helped the Flyers choke away a huge lead in the third period and led them to eventually lose 5-4 in overtime.
Ron Hainsey's extra-session goal turned a happy night for the Flyers' faithful, who witnessed Ville Leino's first career hat trick, into an upsetting one as their home team blew a 3-0 lead entering the final twenty minutes. Sergei Bobrovsky was nineteen minutes away from his first shutout of the season before allowing five goals in just over a 20-minute span.
Despite being sorely outplayed in the beginning of the game, the Flyers took the first lead. After Danny Briere dumped the puck to Scott Hartnell at the top of the circle to Ondrej Pavelec's right, Hartnell sold a shot before passing it to Leino at the bottom of the opposing circle. Kicking it from his skate to his stick, Leino put the puck home in what was essentially an empty net. Leino's fifteenth on the season and first on the night gave Philly a 1-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the first.
About four minutes into the second period, the Thrashers had an opportunity to tie up the game by going on the man advantage. While Darroll Powe sat in the box for hooking, Mike Richards and Kimmo Timonen created a chance of their own. Leading a 2-on-1 with Timonen, Richards faked a slapshot before moving past Pavelec. With the goalie down in the crease, Richards went forehand to backhand lobbing a pass from behind the goal-line to Timonen for the easy score. Putting home his fifth of the season, Timonen's short-handed goal gave the Orange and Black a two-goal lead.
Ten minutes later, this time possessing the man advantage, the Flyers were able to extend their lead to 3-0 before the end of the second period.
As Tim Stapleton sat in the sin bin for holding, Kris Versteeg passed it from the point to Richards in the middle of the circle to Pavelec's right. With plenty of time to line up a shot, Richards let one rip resulting in the puck hitting Pavelec and rebounding in front. Hartnell nudged the puck behind Pavelec where a waiting Leino pounced on the puck in the crease and slammed home his second goal of the night.
Attempting to change his team's momentum, Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay switched Pavelec with Chris Mason to start the final period.
One minute into the final stanza, Evander Kane broke up the shutout giving Atlanta hope. Guarding the puck to his right side from the blue line in, Kane switched the puck to his forehand sneaking it past Bobrovsky's blocker side for his eighteenth on the season and a 3-1 Thrashers' deficit.
Just over eleven minutes later, Zach Bogosian found a way to put a booming slapshot through traffic and Bobrovsky to cut the Flyers' lead to one. It gave the visitors seven minutes and forty-five seconds to find the equalizer.
Responding quickly to the Thrashers' previous salvo, Leino put home his third and final goal of the night.
Timonen moved right to left along the point before sliding the puck over to a waiting Leino at the top of the circle to Mason's left. One-timing the puck, Leino slapped it past an angered Mason. His power-play goal capped the trifecta and provided Philadelphia with a seemingly iron-clad 4-2 edge.
With just six minutes and twenty-eight seconds left in regulation, Leino's 17th of the year looked like enough to secure two points. However, Atlanta wasn't giving up without a fight.
With Versteeg in the box for a questionable interference call, Tobias Enstrom took advantage of a misplaced Flyers' defense man to make the deficit one. As Timonen roamed into the corner to pick up Bobrovsky's dropped stick, Anthony Stewart realized Enstrom was open across the ice and passed him the puck. Enstrom nailed the opportunity giving Atlanta just under three minutes to find the game-tying goal.
Failing to effectively wrap the puck around the boards in the final minute of play, Versteeg instead passed the puck into the side of the net on Bobrovsky's blocker side. Bryan Little worked the puck free, where Andrew Ladd slid it past a falling Bobrovsky and tie the game with just forty-five seconds left.
Hainsey was then allowed to break free up the middle to tip a backhanded shot home off a Kane centering pass 1:17 into the extra period. Needing only to hold onto a 3-0 lead for twenty minutes, the Flyers found a way to bobble away a point and end up with a 5-4 overtime loss that would be more crushing if the club was struggling to find playoff seeding.
After being outplayed in the first period, it looked as though the Flyers had weathered the storm. However, several poor defensive plays led to the Flyers' downfall. A poor decision by Timonen on the penalty kill as well as a poor pass from Versteeg in the corner essentially handed Atlanta the two goals they needed to tie the game.
This collapse was definitely the Flyers' fault, but the officiating in the game was absolutely horrible. Atlanta's power-play goal in the third was due to an interference call on Versteeg where Little ran into him. The Thrashers' breakout in overtime to win the game was started when Claude Giroux was tripped in the offensive zone and no call was made. Throw in the fact Briere didn't dive on Enstrom's interference and multiple none calls in one's home arena and it's safe to say the referees had their presence felt tonight.
Notes: According to the Associated Press, this marked the first time since November 21, 1987 that the Flyers coughed up a three-goal lead heading into the final period...In that game, the New York Islanders erased a 4-1 deficit by scoring five times in the third to win 6-4...The Flyers were 2-for-2 on the power play tonight....This was the third time this season Bobrovsky has faced at least 40 shots in a game (40 against Buffalo on January 11 and 41 against Montreal on December 15)...Leino's trick was the Flyers' second on the season (Jeff Carter against Carolina on November 11)...The Flyers are now 1-0-1 against the Thrashers on the season and 9-5-2 against the Southeast division (WSH 2-0-1, TBL 1-3-0, CAR 3-1-0, ATL 1-0-1, FLA 2-1-0).
Visiting a desperate Toronto team, the Flyers were able to beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 tonight. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist helping the Flyers win their second straight game after dropping four straight. The win improves the Flyers' record to 42-19-6.
A flaw of the Flyers game as a whole is the powerplay. Last game against Edmonton, a Jeff Carter tally was the only goal registered on a five minute advantage during the opening period. Tonight, Mike Komisarek received a, what some might call a questionable, five minute major for boarding Daniel Carcillo just before the four minute mark in the first period.
Taking advantage of the Komisarek boarding major, Andrej Meszaros blasted home his sixth goal of the season. After Danny Briere dangled with the puck for a bit in the circle to James Reimer's right, he'd slide it over to Claude Giroux. Moving towards the blue line, Giroux passed it to Meszaros at the point. Not thinking twice, Meszaros wound up and ripped home the opening goal one minute and ten seconds into the man advantage as Reimer couldn't find the slapshot through traffic.
The Flyers nearly enjoyed a two goal lead, but a quick and unheralded whistle prevented the situation. As Carter stood in front and whacked away at the puck, a whistle was blown just before the puck crossed the goal-line. The referee incorrectly believed Reimer had the puck covered up.
Unfortunately for Philly, the remaining time on the powerplay went goalless and after a five minute man advantage the Flyers had only a 1-0 lead.
Brian Boucher made his presence felt throughout the remaining time in the first period. After putting seven shots on the elongated man advantage, the Flyers were out shot 8-4 in the second half of the first period. Despite getting outworked for the latter part of the period, the orange and black held onto a 1-0 lead.
Reimer cancelled out all the hard work he did for the first half of the second period by allowing a soft goal to give Philly the 2-0 lead. After the Leafs' had just killed off a Dion Phaneuf slashing call, trouble clearing the zone ultimately led to a Darroll Powe shot from the corner to Reimer's left. Grabbing the puck and spinning clockwise, Powe threw a puck on net from the goal-line that leaked its way through Reimer's 5-hole.
Powe's sixth goal didn't give the Flyers a two-goal lead for long. As Nick Boynton sat in the sin bin for hooking, a Phaneuf slapshot from the point banked off of Mikhail Grabovski's face, who was standing next to the right post, and into the net. Grabovski's head gave him his twenty-sixth goal of the season and cut the deficit to one a minute and forty-seven seconds after Powe's goal.
The Maple Leafs then surged briefly after Grabovski's goal before Giroux regained the two-goal lead. On a rebound resulting from a James van Riemsdyk shot, Giroux put the puck home blocker side on Reimer from the slot. Toronto's one-goal deficit lasted all of three minutes and seventeen seconds before Giroux's twenty-second goal of the season made it two again with five minutes and twenty seconds left in the middle period.
Keeping their hopes up for gaining two points, Mike Brown displayed a great individual effort that resulted in a Joffrey Lupul goal. Moving the puck from the neutral zone to the Leafs' offensive zone, Brown deked past Sean O'Donnell resulting in a 2-on-1 with Lupul. Brown then passed it to Lupul through the slot where Lupul kicked it to his stick and shot it in the net over a sprawling Boucher. Lupul's ninth made it a one-goal game with twelve minutes left in regulation.
Tensions ran high late in the game when Giroux was hit by Carl Gunnarsson into the boards. After a clean hit, Gunnarsson held Giroux to the ice before Giroux threw a punch in an attempt to get Gunnarsson off of him. Agitated by the punch, Gunnarsson pushed Giroux while he was on his knees. Naturally, since the game was in Toronto, both players received minors; Giroux for roughing, Gunnarsson for cross-checking.
Both players left the box with just two minutes and twenty-nine seconds left in regulation. The remaining time didn't warrant any goals resulting in a 3-2 Flyers win.
Filling in for an injured Chris Pronger, Nick Boynton didn't have the greatest first game as a Flyer. Not registering any points, Boynton's hooking penalty in the second led to Grabovski's goal. Boynton had an even rating on the night.
With games against Atlanta on Saturday and Florida on Tuesday, the Flyers can increase their winning streak to four games.
Notes: Tonight was the first game since 2/5/11 against the Stars that both Powe and Meszaros scored. Giroux scored his first goal since a third period mark against the Coyotes on 2/22/11. The Flyers went 3-1-0 against Toronto in the 2010-2011 season and are now 11-6-0 against the Northeast division this season (BOS 1-2-0, MTL 3-1-0, BUF 2-1-0, TOR 3-1-0, OTT 2-1-0).