Photo by Frank Fimmano/Fimmano Photograpy
The Flyers extended their season long winning streak tonight in New Jersey, taking the contest 4-3 in overtime. After letting go of yet another lead late in a game, the Flyers were able to salvage things again with a Matt Read goal in 3 on 3 overtime. After a game in which the Flyers played sound defense and won the special teams battle, it was fitting that they were able to walk away with the extra point. Michal Neuvirth made 15 saves in the overtime victory.
This was once again a fairly low event game against a New Jersey Devils team that tends to produce such contests. It did differ from recent Flyers-Devils games in that the Flyers got the better of the action this time around. The Flyers were able to limit the Devils to just 18 shots and 6 scoring chances at all strengths and get the win tonight. The pairing of Evgeny Medvedev and Nick Schultz (lol) was crucial to this strong defensive effort at even strength.
Meanwhile, the Flyers took care of business on special teams, scoring their first two goals tonight on the man advantage. The first power play unit has been the same well-oiled machine all season long, and Shayne Gostisbehere has only added to it’s effectiveness. It should be surprising to absolutely nobody that they are finally starting to produce. Two beautiful passes from Jakub Voracek resulted in both of the power play goals.
After a gritty Pierre-Edouard Bellemare goal gave the Flyers the lead about halfway through the third, the Flyers gave up the tying goal with Bellemare in the box as regulation was coming to an end. This is the second time in the last four games that the Flyers have conceded a one goal lead with the opposing goaltender pulled in the third.
Luckily, a beautiful 200 foot play from Matt Read was able to seal the victory for Philadelphia. After intercepting a pass in the defensive zone and controlling the puck, Read used Sean Couturier on a 2 on 1 to distract the remaining defender while slipping the puck over Cory Schneider’s shoulder. It was a extremely well-deserved result for a player who hasn’t gotten enough credit for his strong play so far this season. Let’s get to some observations.
- Can’t emphasize enough how ridiculous those defensive numbers are for the Flyers. 4 scoring chances at even strength for New Jersey tonight. To put that in perspective, the Flyers are averaging almost 27 scoring chances against per 60 minutes at even strength. Evgeny Medvedev and, yes, Nick Schultz led that effort tonight. Man, it’s good to have Medvedev back out there.
- The first power play unit is going to be remarkably difficult to stop as long as Shayne Gostisbehere is staying there. It’ll be interesting to see if he retains his position on that unit when Mark Streit comes back in the near future.
- The Vandevelde/Bellemare/Voracek line did play well tonight, certainly helping to make it more difficult for the Devils to match lines as the game went on. It still remains very clear that Jakub Voracek needs to be playing with more capable linemates.
- Claude Giroux was the best Flyer all night long tonight. So yeah, this isn’t really noteworthy. But on a night when the Sean Couturier line did not control the puck too well, it was good to see the top center on the team look pretty dominant as the night went on.
- I’ll just leave this here. Good night guys.