Image Courtesy of Philly.com
This team just won’t fold.
The Flyers rallied for three third period goals to upend the St. Louis Blues 3-1 and keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race Thursday night. Michael Del Zotto, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl all potted tallies for the home team and Steve Mason made 28 saves to keep a strong Blues team in check for most of the game.
As winter storm Thor threw the hammer down on the Delaware Valley with heavy snow throughout the day, the crowd who ventured through the elements to attend were rewarded with free food, sodas and tickets. But through two periods of play, it looked rather bleak that the Flyers would come out of the contest with a point.
The first period was uneventful for the most part as the team’s traded shots throughout. The Blues got on the board first when Mark Streit had a 10 second sequence of awful when he turned the puck over and was out of position on a Vladimir Tarasenko cross ice pass to Jaden Schwartz, who beat Mason for his 21st goal of the season.
As the second period started and closed with the same score, the outlooked appeared dire for the Flyers to gain two points. St. Louis had only lost once in regulation all season when leading after two periods while the Flyers had only won twice while trailing.
It took roughly 10 minutes of the third period to pass before the Flyers finally were able to break through on Brian Elliott. Del Zotto was able to fire a slapper from the point and equalize the game at 1-1 as the Flyers did a great job screening the Blues goaltender.
Less than two minutes later, Matt Read started a nice sequence carrying the puck into the St. Louis zone and fed the puck to Mark Streit. The Swiss faked a shot and fired a pass toward Simmonds blade, who deflected it home to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Raffl sealed the victory with an empty-netter to finish off the comeback.
Ryan White led all Flyers possession wise with a 63 shot-attempt percentage as the third and fourth lines were very strong tonight. Despite some gaffes early, the defense overall was on its game as they were able to block shots and improve as the game went on.
The Flyers travel to Boston Saturday for what will be their biggest game of the season as they have a chance to directly make up two points in the playoff race.