Two goals from our star player, P.K. Subban being booed everytime he touched the puck, and the ole chant being echoed through the Wells Fargo Center as time expired in the third period, what more could one ask for out of a 3-1 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens on this Black Friday?
Well, it could have been 7-1 if they had the services of Jaromir Jagr and Chris Pronger, but is anyone going to complain?
Claude Giroux netted a pair of goals during the second period as Sergei Bobrovsky had 23 saves on 24 shots as the Flyers won on Black Friday for the first time since 2006.
Ironically, the day after Thanksgiving did make a bleak turn, as the club announced following the game that defenseman Andreas Lilja is expected to be out 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.
The first period didn’t produce many scoring chances as it appeared there might be some holiday hangover, but somehow at the end of the first period the Canadiens created a goal to grab the 1-0 lead with an 8-4 shot advantage.
Hal Gill stood at the point and eventually decided to throw the puck towards the Flyers’ net. The shot was muffled well in front of Bobrovsky, but it created a scoring chance for Montreal. Andrej Meszaros was able to stop the puck from reaching the net, but in doing so he lost control of an attempted clear.
Shooting the puck instantly once he gained control of it, Nokelainen was able to spin around and hit the net and just past the extended left leg of Bobrovsky for his first goal of the season with only 1:46 left in the first period
To start the second period, it looked as though the Flyers wouldn’t be able to find a way to score on Price. Denying several open chances while looking calm and collected, Price seemed to have weathered the storm as the Canadiens enjoyed three power plays in the latter part of the middle period.
However, despite their hard luck in finding the back of the net, and the fact they needed to kill off multiple penalties, the Flyers not only tied the game but took the lead.
Just after the 13-minute mark, Matt Carle blasted a shot that hit the end boards and bounced back towards the right faceoff circle. Being at the right place at the right time, Giroux banked the shot in off of Price and over the goal line to tie the score at 1-1.
As they continued to pour on the offensive pressure, Jakub Voracek found a way to grab the Flyers a 2-1 lead late in the second period. After a Kimmo Timonen shot produced a rebound in front, Voracek pounced on the puck and put it home for his fourth goal of the season with just 2:15 left in the second period.
Entering the third with a 2-1 lead would have been fine, but Giroux decided a two-goal lead was needed going into the final twenty minutes of play.
As time wound down, Braydon Coburn ripped a shot from the point, which Price blocked into the faceoff circle to his left. Serving as the benefactor to yet another fortuitous bounce, Giroux was alone inside of the faceoff circle and wasted no time putting home the rebound for his second goal of the period as only 5.9 seconds remained.
The highlight of the third period came when Bobrovsky stoned Erik Cole just before the midway point.
With his team down by two goals, Cole walked into the slot with a great opportunity to cut Philly’s lead to one goal. Bobrovsky stoned Cole not once, but twice on consecutive shots in close to keep the Flyers lead at a pair of goals, which is where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
Much to the liking of the 19,991, the third period produced no goals as the Flyers held on for the 3-1 win.
The Flyers came out flat, yet again, but much like Wednesday they were able to overcome their sluggish start with a strong final 40 minutes.
Giroux had a pair of goals tonight that didn’t quite show his skill as much as they showed his offensive awareness. Both goals seemed to have just come to Giroux, but there is an art to being in the right place at the right time. Even if the bounces may have been ‘lucky’, Giroux still needed to come through on the shots, which he did to give his team the win tonight.
Both Sean Couturier and Max Talbot provided strong games, despite not finding the scoresheet.
Couturier produced some scoring chances of his own in the first period and did great on the penalty kill all game long. He also out worked Subban late in the game, which didn’t have much influence on the game, but it gave Philly fans something to cheer for while at the expense of the much disliked Subban.
Talbot played great in both the offensive and defensive zones, while providing some fancy and effective penalty killing in the second period.
Hopefully the Flyers make it easier on themselves tomorrow afternoon and come out swinging as they travel to New York to take on the Rangers at 2 PM.
Notes: This is the Flyers’ first win on Black Friday since their 3-2 win against the Blue Jackets in Ken Hitchcock’s Columbus debut…The Flyers have won five straight games at home against the Canadiens dating back to their win in Game 1 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals…Their last loss was a 1-0 game on April 2, 2010 where Price notched the shutout…Today was Giroux’s second two-goal game of the season with his first coming on November 14 in Carolina…This is the fourth straight game the Flyers have trailed at some point…Today was the first time the Flyers scored three goals in a period since the second period of their 9-2 win against the Blue Jackets on November 5…The Flyers have been outscored 9-2 in their last four first periods and have allowed at least one first period goal in 5 of their last 6 games…Philly improved to 4-3-0 against Canadian teams on the season…In his 400th NHL game, Coburn had two assists, and has now racked up 27 goals and 92 assists in 362 games here…Nokelainen’s goal late in the first period is his first goal of the season and his first goal as a Canadien…The Flyers are now 1-1-0 against the Canadiens this season; they’re 5-1-0 against the Northeast division this season (BOS 1-0-0, TOR 1-0-0, BUF 1-0-0, MTL 1-1-0, OTT 1-0-0).