I keep starting all my posts this way recently but I have good reason to. Last night’s game had everything! Giroux has led by example since the turnaround and he proved that once again last night. Not just on that goal but on Hartsy’s second as well. Giroux out-muscled the Blackhawk defenders to feed Hartnell’s missile. The Captain always emphasizes on how the Flyers need to come out strong. Well they didn’t start strong, but they responded extremely well. Usually a 2-0 Blackhawk lead spells disaster for the other, but not last night.
The Flyers outshot the Blackhawks 37-25 and outhit Chicago 34-21 in the 3-2 victory. Once again, the Flyers’ penalty kill came up big shutting down the DEADLY Blackhawk power play on all five of their chances. The PECO Power Play went 0 for 3, however.
Both goalies played outstanding as Ray Emery played his first game in nearly a month, saving 23 of 25 and Antti Raanta saved 34 of 37 Philadelphia shots. Raanta outplayed Emery as the Flyers kept firing away. The Flyers had many close chances, especially down the stretch. Vinny Lecavalier had a breakaway and then “tipped” in a Brayden Schenn shot that was ruled a high-stick and thus, no-goal. The jury’s still out on the tip-in. Steve Downie later missed a near open-net pinging one off the post as the Flyers had three men down low and brought Raanta completely out of position. The Flyers hit the post six times last night. Honestly, it seemed like the game had slipped through their fingers because of all the missed chances. But as they say: “winning cures everything,” and Giroux’s goal was one of the most clutch plays in the month of March. That may change soon – March Madness – but even SportsCenter got excited:
During the post-game show, the comment was made that the Flyers are a team you won’t want to face in the playoffs. With 14 games left and three points ahead of the fourth-place Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s a little too soon to start talking playoffs. Granted sportsclubstats.com gives the Flyers a 89.4% chance of making the post-season, but still, I hate talking about something before it’s official.
The Flyers continue to their four-game home-stand hosting Western Conference teams on Thursday when the Dallas Stars (32-25-11, 75 Pts, 9th WC) come to town. The Stars, mainly Tyler Seguin, demolished the Flyers 5-1 on December 7th in Dallas; Seguin scored 3 goals and had an assist. The puck drops at 7pm from the Wells Fargo Center.