The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit and handing the Detroit Red Wings seven power-play opportunities, as the Orange and Black produced a memorable 6-3 win on the road tonight. Sean Couturier had a four-point game with two goals and two assists, while Scott Hartnell and Matt Read each had three-point games. Steve Mason stopped 32 of 35, as Tomas Tatar had a pair of goals and Johan Franzen registered his eighth of the year. Jimmy Howard allowed five goals on 33 shots against in the loss.
Down by one entering the third period, the NBCSN broadcast showed Craig Berube talking to the refs at the bench. Whether or not that impacted their hooking call on Stephen Weiss we’ll never know, but it didn’t seem to hurt. Less than a minute into the power play, Giroux tied the game at three with a blast through traffic that beat Howard’s glove.
Just over three minutes later, the Flyers’ third line showed why they’re still the team’s best line at the moment, as Couturier produced a painful shot for the Red Wings to watch beat Howard for a 4-3 score in the Flyers’ favor.
Add in a Hartnell power-play goal just 1:30 later and a Couturier empty-net goal later in the frame, and the Flyers provided an impressive 5-3 road victory for the Orange and Black.
This game had all the factors to be another frustrating, painful loss for the Flyers. After they saw the Detroit score the game’s first goal, the Flyers spent a good chunk of the middle frame in the penalty box and saw their deficit grow to two goals, which is a lot to overcome for a team that doesn’t often score more than two goals in a game. However, to the credit of Berube and his squad, the Flyers fought back and earned maybe the most encouraging victory of the season.
Nothing needs to be said about Couturier or Read’s game more than they dominated, but the way Hartnell responded to his penalty in the second period has to be noticed. His minor on Gustav Nyquist was a bad penalty and nearly put the Flyers in a bigger hole, but once the team killed off his penalty, Hartnell responded by starting the play that led to Read’s goal and potted a power-play goal of his own. Hartnell was one of the main reasons this team displayed a great comeback tonight.
This game could lead to a string of positive performances for certain individuals on this team and the team overall. Philly broke the mold of many of their contests this year by winning an offensive duel while overcoming two deficits.
As for the scoring in the first two periods, the Flyers saw the Red Wings strike first with Tatar’s first tally of the evening.
As Detroit worked with the puck below the goal line, Drew Miller possessed the puck before passing it a matter of feet to Tatar, who beat Mason high and just inside the far post for his fourth of the season and a 1-0 Wings’ lead 10:17 into the tilt.
The Orange and Black didn’t take too long to respond, as Steve Downie converted on a power-play chance to even the score.
While Kyle Quincey sat in the box for his hook on Couturier, the man who drew the penalty set up Downie in the slot for a wrist shot that beat Howard’s blocker, as he was screened by Brayden Schenn. Downie’s first as a Flyer tied the contest at one with 6:12 left in the opening stanza.
The second period saw the Red Wings start to control the game, as both Franzen and Tatar beat Mason to make it 3-1.
Shortly after Franzen absolutely blasted one by Mason’s blocker, Downie and Zac Rinaldo were called for penalties only eight seconds apart to hand Detroit a 5-on-3 for 1:52, which saw Tatar pot his second of the game.
As the puck laid in the crease after Mason made a save with several skaters in front of him, Tatar was able to control the puck and beat a sprawled out Mason to give the hosts a two-goal lead near the halfway point of the contest.
Read gave the Flyers hope though, as he potted his ninth of the season minutes later to cut the lead to one.
After Philly killed off Hartnell’s undisciplined penalty, the forward fought in the corner to Howard’s right before he found Couturier behind the net. Couturier then fed Read in the slot, who showed patience moving across the slot to make Howard drop down to the ice. Read saw Jonathan Ericsson nearly stop his bid, but the puck eventually crossed the goal line to make it 3-2 with 3:22 left in the middle period.
The Orange and Black look to make it two straight wins on Saturday, when they visit the Dallas Stars.
Notes: Tonight was Couturier’s first four-point game and Tatar’s first multi-goal game…The Flyers improved to 2-10-1 when they allow the game’s first goal and 1-9-0 when they are trailing after two periods…Philly’s power play produced a season-high three goals tonight and were a perfect 3-for-3. First time they had three power-play goals since 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on February 23rd…Downie scored his first goal as a Flyer tonight and his second goal of the season. His last goal came in his first game of the season with the Colorado Avalanche…Philly had a season-high six goals tonight. Their last goal with six goals or more was on April 15th, when they beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-3…The Flyers improved to 5-5-0 against the Atlantic Division and to 10-9-1 against the Eastern Conference…The Orange and Black are now 13-13-2 and currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division. They were 12-15-1 last season after 28 games.