Claude Giroux finally busted out of his 15-game goal drought and the Flyers’ offense came to life against Edmonton, leading them to a 4-2 final against the Oilers on Saturday afternoon. Jay Rosehill, Scott Hartnell, and Vinny Lecavalier also scored for the orange & black, while David Perron and Taylor Hall got the tallies for Edmonton.
The afternoon’s matchup pitted the NHL’s worst offensive team against its worst defensive team, which… didn’t sound promising for either side. However, the Flyers, who were held scoreless in their last game (Thursday at New Jersey), opened up the scoring first, with a nice redirection from Rosehill at 11:56. Then, at 17:16, Hartnell’s second goal of the season gave the Flyers a two-goal lead, which they were able to hang on to throughout the entire first period. Mark Streit had a hand in both Flyers’ first-period goals thanks to some good passing, and Nicklas Grossman had a secondary assist on Rosehill’s goal. Braydon Coburn had the secondary on Hartnell’s. The first period ended with the Flyers up 2-0 and leading Edmonton in shots, 13-10.
The second period provided several good scoring chances for both teams, but both Steve Mason and Devan Dubnyk stayed strong. Well, mostly. Mason was unable to keep the Oilers at bay for the entire period, giving up a power-play goal to David Perron with 1:35 left in the second.
There was some excitement in the second frame, thanks to some tension between Rosehill and Edmonton’s Luke Gazdic. After both men went down in a little scrum against the boards and sat for two minutes, they dropped the gloves in a fight that Rosehill, by all accounts, won. Both went off the ice with a five-for-fighting penalty apiece afterwards.
Edmonton’s Anton Belov got slapped with a match penalty just about midway through the third period after it appeared he made contact with Giroux’s head on a hit. Opinions are varying over whether or not contact was made — this blogger believes it was after watching several replays. Either way, the Flyers were grateful for a 5-minute powerplay opportunity. Unfortunately, about halfway through the major, the Flyers took a penalty for cross-checking (Simmonds).
After struggling through his first fifteen games without a goal, Claude Giroux finally got that elusive first goal of the season at 11:26 in the third to help his team regain a two-goal lead. The Wells Fargo Center erupted with cheers for the Flyers captain, who must feel relieved to have finally broken that goal drought.
The Oilers came back in a matter of minutes, though, with a goal from Taylor Hall that brought the score to 3-2 at 13:25. Yet again, the Flyers were left playing the final few minutes of their game with a one-goal difference.
Vincent Lecavalier scored his sixth goal of the year at 16:33 to get the Flyers up by two goals again. Brayden Schenn and Matt Read were credited with the assists on the fourth Flyers goal of the afternoon.
With a final score of 4-2, the Flyers broke their two-game losing streak. This was a promising effort by the team, who generated some good chances and were much more aggressive with the puck than we’ve seen as of late. While they were playing a horrible team, they did show a lot of promise, which they can hopefully carry over and benefit from in future games.
Anton Belov, interference (7:20, 1st)
Zac Rinaldo, roughing (5:08, 2nd)
Jay Rosehill, roughing (11:45, 2nd)
Luke Gazdic, roughing (11:45, 2nd)
Jay Rosehill, fighting major (13:51, 2nd)
Luke Gazdic, fighting major (13:51, 2nd)
Adam Hall, hooking (16:52, 2nd)
Anton Belov, match penalty for head contact (7:59, 3rd)
Wayne Simmonds, cross-checking (10:13, 3rd)
Sam Gagner, boarding (5:36, 3rd)
Game notes: Giroux’s third-period goal was his first so far this season, breaking a 15-game drought… Rosehill’s first-period goal was his first as a Flyer… Perron’s second-period goal broke the Flyers’ streak of consecutive penalty kills at 14… Luke Gazdic did not return after the second period, dealing with an injured shoulder… Flyers face the Senators in Ottawa on Tuesday night, with a 7:30pm start time.