By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
Connor McDavid comes to town, but his foe Brandon Manning ends up watching the game from the press box. The Flyers enter the game a banged up team as Jordan Weal and Taylor Leier both are scratched, so the rest of the team will have to pick up the slack as they face their newest rivals the Edmonton Oilers.
First period: The first period opened with the Flyers coming out of the gate swinging. Brad Malone took an early penalty for high sticking, and it didn’t take long for Giroux to capitalize on the opportunity, scoring just 3:36 into the first period. The rest of the first period was dominated by the Flyers, with Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg looking extra noticable. the Flyers controlled the Neutral zone as well as the offensive zone, ending the period with a 10-7 shots advantage, with only one of those coming from McDavid.
Second Period: The Oilers start the second period on the attack, a much faster team than the one in the first period, highlighted with an early chance on a Scott Laughton turnover. Matt Benning took the first penalty of the second period, though Edmonton killed it off rather easily, with the only quality chance coming from Voracek, who wasn’t able to get much power off of his one-timer. McDavid continues to play strong after the penalty kill ended, getting a 2 on 1 chance that was stopped by Brian Elliott.
As the game reached its mid-point, a parade to the penalty box started, led off by Laughton for holding, then McDavid for a high stick on MacDonald, leaving the game four-on-four until Hagg took a penlty for slashing, giving the Oilers 31 seconds of 4-on-3 time. All the penalties were killed off. Connor McDavid controlled the play after the penalites as the Flyers struggled to re-adjust their lineups. A bad Nolan Patrick turnover in the corner during a line change gave the Oilers their first goal of the game. Edmonton continued to dominate the play late in the second but failed to capitalize on it.
Third period: Gostisbehere started the period strong by leading the offensive charge. A much more even period overall, until Raffl takes a weak interference call. The Flyers managed to kill it off, but the Oilers grabbed momentum from the Flyers. A back and forth battle ensued until Voracek had a great chance that was smothered by Cam Talbot at the 15 minute mark. The clock started to wind down and overtime looked inevitable until some fancy passing from Lehtera and Filppula set up a Wayne Simmonds goal that broke the tie with 2:15 left int he game. The Flyers held off the late-game charge to win the game 2-1 over the Edmonton Oilers.
Takeaways: The Flyers limited the Oilers to 24 SOG (only 4 from McDavid). The team didn’t seem to struggle as much as anticipated in the absence of Weal and Leier. All member of the defense looked strong, especially Hagg and Gostisbehere. Overall the Flyers look like a team that can contend this season.
Three Stars of the Game:
3) Shayne Gostisbehere
2) Brian Elliott
1) Wayne Simmonds
photo credit- chatsports.com