The Philadelphia Flyers returned to home ice on Tuesday night and five different players recorded a goal in their 5-1 rout of the visiting Minnesota Wild. Braydon Coburn netted the game-winning goal in the middle of the second period, while Matt Read and Jaromir Jagr were the only players who had multi-point performances with two-assist games.
Ilya Bryzgalov, newly christened as the Number One goaltender, came through and won his third straight home game with a 25-save effort, as the Flyers recorded their first multi-goal victory in 2012.
Shortly after the game’s opening faceoff, Philly drew the game’s first power play 1:14 in when Matt Cullen was called for holding. The Minnesota forward put his left hand on Claude Giroux’s left shoulder and pulled #28 down to the ice.
Less than two minutes later, and with 18 seconds left on the advantage, Timonen blasted a shot through heavy traffic and past a screened Josh Harding for his second goal of the season. After catching a pass from Giroux, Timonen let go of a shot from the left point that Harding could not have seen until too late. Wayne Simmonds provided camouflage in front and Nick Schultz knelt down to avoid being nailed with the biscuit on the game’s first goal.
Shortly after Timonen’s goal, Jody Shelley — after 10 games riding the pine — announced his return to the lineup by dumping Nick Johnson at the Wild’s blue line.
Minutes later, and following a little bit of offensive pressure from the Wild, the Flyers provided several strong scoring chances. A Read cross-ice pass to Andrej Meszaros just missed, while Sean Couturier provided a blast of his own minutes later that went high and wide over Harding.
Following the strong chances from the Flyers’ forwards, Warren Peters nearly tied the score halfway through the period. Receiving a pass in the slot, Peters was able to one-time a shot on Bryzgalov,but the chance was ultimately denied by Bryz, who slid across the crease to deny the five-hole attempt.
The remainder of the first period didn’t produce another goal, as the Flyers skated into the second period with a 1-0 advantage thanks to Timonen’s early tally, and also outshot Minnesota 11-8. Philly did a good job defending their own end of the ice, as they kept the Wild from producing a shot for a 6:24 span late in the period.
In the first minute of the second period, Giroux nearly had his second assist of the game as he set up Jagr at the bottom of the circles.
As Giroux swept in behind Harding, he spun around quickly and delivered a pass to Jagr, who was standing at the bottom of the circle closest to the benches. Jagr had his shot denied by Harding as the netminder covered for the whistle.
Moments later, Hartnell had a strong scoring chance of his own stopped by Harding, as the goalie made a kick-save with his left leg pad on a shot aimed towards the far post.
Minnesota had a slow offensive start to the second, as Justin Falk put their first shot of the middle period on net at the 3:30 mark.
Philly went on their second power play of the game 90 seconds later, as former Flyer Darroll Powe took down Meszaros with a cross check while the puck was loose in front of Bryzgalov.
After Minnesota killed of Powe’s minor, the Wild started to create a lot of offensive pressure which ultimately led to a Meszaros boarding minor behind Bryzgalov, as he nailed Cal Clutterbuck landed awkwardly into the end-boards. Although he led with his shoulder and hit Clutterbuck’s side, Meszaros was still hit with the boarding minor.
Fortunately for Philly, the call led to a Flyers’ short-handed goal.
Couturier and Read took part of a 2-on-1 rush, with Couturier carrying the puck into the offensive zone down the right wing. Dishing the puck cross ice to Read, Couturier went to the net and received a return feed. As the puck fluttered across the slot, Couturier managed to hit part of the puck causing it to dribble across the goal line for his 10th tally of the season.
Couturier’s goal, which extended his goal streak to five games, gave Philly a brief 2-0 lead that ended with Powe’s fourth goal of the season.
Skating into Philly’s zone along the boards closest to the penalty boxes, Powe let go of a shot that hit Bryzgalov in the shoulder and continued its path to the back of the net. The Princeton product’s tally came 1:11 after Couturier’s goal.
Powe’s goal didn’t seem to matter all that much, as Coburn and Hartnell both scored in a 3:17 span to give the Flyers a safe three-goal lead.
Jagr controlled the puck in the Flyers’ zone and passed it to Coburn along the blue line. Moving across the blue line on the right wing, Coburn let go of a wrister from below the circle which again managed to find the back of the net through traffic.
After nearly deflecting Coburn’s goal in minutes earlier, Hartnell was able to deflect in his 20th goal of the season for the Flyers’ second power-play goal of the game with less than four minutes left in the second period. While providing a screen on Harding, Hartnell was able to deflect a Matt Carle shot past Harding’s glove to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead with 3:56 remaining in the middle period.
After a few scares from the Wild’s offense in the opening seconds, the Flyers enjoyed another man advantage 2:22 into the third period.
Clutterbuck upended Meszaros with his skate just inside Minnesota’s blue line for a tripping minor, but the gritty Minnesota forward didn’t stop there. To add on to his original infraction, Clutterbuck complained about the call to the refs and mockingly clapped his hands to earn an unsportsmanlike conduct to give Philly a four-minute power play.
Giroux almost ended his six-game goal drought with a wide open chance in front of the net early in the man advantage. Later in the lengthy man advantage, Hartnell was cross-checked from behind by Clayton Stoner into Harding. As the forward fell on top of Harding, the goalie was pushed back into his net and needed time to recover from the incident.
Philly wasn’t able to convert on Clutterbuck’s double minor, but Jakub Voracek was able to extend the Flyers’ lead even further with his seventh goal of the season with a little over eight minutes left in the game.
After Harding made an amazing glove-save on Max Talbot to finish a tic-tac-toe passing play for Philly, Voracek deposited the Flyers’ fifth goal of the game from the slot. The Czech forward unleashed a laser that beat Harding’s blocker high on a feed from Talbot for a 5-1 Philly lead with 8:02 left.
Philly did a great job of getting pucks to the net through traffic tonight. Three of the Flyers’ five goals came due to traffic in front of net. Timonen’s and Coburn’s goals managed to elude everybody from while being released from the point, while Hartnell screened and scored at the same time to help the Flyers to their first dominant victory in a while.
The Flyers look for their second straight win on Thursday night, as they host the always competitive New York Islanders for the third meeting of the season.
Notes: The Flyers are 6-1-1 against the Wild in their last eight games against the club… Devin Setoguchi had three shots on net in 11:34 TOI in his 300th NHL game…Giroux’s assist on Timonen’s first period goal was his 200th NHL point. He has 68 goals and 132 assists over his career…Couturier is the second Flyers’ rookie this season with a five-game goal streak (Read from November 13-21, scoring six goals in five games)…With Hartnell’s goal in the second period, the Flyers enjoyed their first three-goal lead since the third period of their 4-1 win in Dallas against the Stars on December 21 (led 4-1). It’s the first time they led by three goals or more entering the third period since their 5-1 win in Washington against the Capitals on December 13 (led 4-0)…Clutterbuck had 8 PIMs tonight, the most he has had in a single game since he posted 10 PIMs against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 5..Tonight was the first time the Flyers scored two power-play goals in a game since they netted a pair against the Stars on December 21st. It’s the tenth time the Flyers scored two or more power-play goals in a game (two power-play goals eight times, three power-play goals twice)…Tonight was Bryzgalov’s fifth one-goal performance of the season and his first since his 31-save effort against the Caps on December 13…The Flyers improved to 1-0-0 against the Wild, 2-0-1 against the Northwest Division, and 8-2-2 against the Western Conference this season…The Flyers improved to 27-13-4. Their record after 44 games last season was 28-11-5.