Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
It’s been 18 years since the Red Wings have won in Philadelphia, and the Flyers made sure to keep their win streak alive as they defeated Detroit in an impressive fashion in a 7-2 win on Saturday afternoon, with goals from Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Matt Read, and Zac Rinaldo. Justin Abdelkader and Erik Cole scored for the Red Wings.
Steve Mason was solid, as always, stopping 31 of 33 shots. On the other end of the ice, veteran Jimmy Howard allowed seven goals on 36 shots.
The Flyers put pressure on Howard early, with more speed and jump than we’re used to seeing from them in an afternoon game, and were rewarded for their efforts in just a few short minutes. When Abdelkader went off on a hooking penalty about five minutes in, it only took the Flyers twelve seconds to score on the man advantage, on a tip-in that was originally credited to Schenn but was later changed to Simmonds. They went right back on a powerplay after Niklas Kronwall got called for high-sticking, but were not able to capitalize despite having some solid opportunities.
Grossmann’s fifth goal of the season came with just under three minutes left to go in the first, giving the Flyers a two-goal lead – and 15-4 lead in shots – to take into the second period.
It seemed as though the two teams traded places once the second period began, as the Flyers appeared to have lost some of their intensity and Detroit picked theirs up. The home team paid for it when Abdelkader scored at 4:14 to cut the Flyers’ lead in half and end Mason’s shutout streak at 95:24. The Red Wings had another major opportunity to capitalize with their first powerplay opportunity of the afternoon when Wayne Simmonds went to the box on a hooking call, but Philadelphia’s strong penalty kill robbed Detroit of any chances.
Pavel Datsyuk got called for tripping Claude Giroux about thirteen minutes in, and this time, the powerplay goal that commenced was credited to Schenn – his fifth of the season – when a Simmonds’ shot bounced off of Howard and Schenn knocked the rebound in with a backhand.
The Flyers were lucky that they were able to regain the lead and only allow one goal from the opposition, as Detroit played with their foot on the gas throughout the entire period. They led in shots 17-6 in the second and took the lead in shots overall, 22-21, as the period concluded.
Just 11 seconds into the third, Schenn scored what everyone thought was his third goal of the game. It was only after hats rained down on the ice that Lou Nolan announced that the first goal originally credited to Schenn had been changed to Simmonds.
Bellemare’s goal made it 5-1, but Detroit scored shortly thereafter when Cole got one past Mason on a powerplay.
That was it for the Red Wings, though – despite another powerplay opportunity after a fracas along the boards led to Simmonds being hit with a ten-minute misconduct and two minutes for roughing, they were not able to score again. The Flyers padded their lead with Read’s powerplay goal and even an elusive Rinaldo goal, and breezed past Detroit, winning the game 7-2.
Notes: The Flyers have now won ten straight home games against the Red Wings. Their last loss to Detroit was on January 25, 1997… With the win over Detroit, the Flyers are now two points behind Florida, three points behind Ottawa, and ten points behind Boston for the final spot in the playoff race.. It was announced before the game that RJ Umberger will have surgery on his right hip and abdominal muscles on Wednesday and will be out for an estimated ten weeks. Ron Hextall told reporters that the team will up a forward from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tomorrow but did not disclose who… Michael Del Zotto skated this morning as he recovers from an undisclosed upper-body injury. He will not play tomorrow in Ottawa, but will take the road trip with the team and could play sometime this week… The Flyers begin a four-game road trip with their game against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night and will face the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers before returning home and facing the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday the 25th.