By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers head to St. Louis to face old teammate Brayden Schenn, unfortunately, it’s not on the best of terms. Philly is dealing with multiple injuries that have left their blueline shallow. Radko Gudas is out and Will O’Neill will make his NHL debut. The Flyers are also desperately searching for a win after losing four of their last five and only managing nine goals in those four games.
First period: The Flyers got the jump, peaking with Travis Sanheim wide open, but failed to wrangle the puck for a shot. Weise took a slashing call just over two minutes in and St. Louis went to work. The Blues had multiple solid chances including a Tarasenko shot from the bottom of the circle that went off the outside of the net. Philly somehow killed the penalty but St. Louis had all the momentum after.
Stastny took a penalty for hooking, but failed to assert themselves on the powerplay. The Blues continued to run the play. Couturier had a great chance after Allen gave the puck up behind the net, but Couturier waited for a pass while his line was changing, giving Allen time to get back into his crease. St. Louis dominated about 90% of the period and held a 14-8 shot advantage.
Second period: Flyers again got the early jump and Brandon Manning fires a shot from the point that makes it past Allen. The goal is quickly waived off and ruled goalie interference, but the Flyers challenged and as a result the call was overturned and ruled a goal, Manning scored 38 seconds in. Hagg then takes a high-sticking call and the Blues go back on attack on the powerpaly. Somehow the Flyers survive, thanks to Provorov who played all two minutes and blocked three shots.
St. Louis regained the momentum after the powerplay and continues to pin the Flyers in their zone. Couturier brings the puck into the zone then gets blindsided by former teammate Brayden Schenn. Couturier was down on the ice for a few minutes, before being helped back to the locker room and didn’t return in the second period. Schenn only got a two-minute minor for interference, and the Flyers respond with another powerplay with no life. the Flyers did manage to gain some momentum late in the period. St. Louis still had the shot lead 22-18
Third period: Both teams started a man down as Provorov went to the box for cross-checking and Joel Edmundson for roughing. It was a slow start as neither team wanted to give up any chances on the four-on-four. Once the penalty ended it became a much more open game than the first two periods.
As the period went on the Blues started to look more desperate with big missed opportunities from Tarasenko, Steen, Pietrangelo and Upshall. The Flyers held off the onslaught and the Blues pulled Jake Allen with 1:47 left in the period. Giroux scored with six seconds left in the third to seal the huge win for the Flyers.
Takeaways: There isn’t enough praise for Ivan Provorov, he had 10 blocks and 27:08 minutes of icetime. Nuevirth as well looked strong under fire from elite scorer Tarasenko. Overall a great effort from the whole team, especially given all the injuries.
Three Stars of the Game:
3) Brandon Manning
2) Ivan Provorov
1) Michal Neuvirth
photo credit: Bill Pollock via missourinet.com