On March 11th, our Philadelphia Flyers faced off against what is left of the Ottawa Senators in a crucial must-win matchup. Unfortunately, they were without the services of Jake Voracek. Were the boys able to chalk up another win at home and continue this late-season playoff push?
The Flyers dominated puck possession in the first period. Everything seemed to be going their way, but they just couldn’t hit the net. Sadly, the Senators made them pay, scoring off a deflection to make it 1-0. It looked like it was going to be a long night. Buckle up, folks…
In the second period, the Flyers were able to start taking advantage of their opportunities. Just over two minutes in, a Shayne Gostisbehere slap shot double-doinked off Sean Couturier then Oskar Lindblom, who got credit for the goal that made it 1-1.
Four minutes later, the Flyers took advantage of a tired Senators team. Nolan Patrick forced a turnover and delivered a perfect backhand pass to Michael Raffl, who put the Flyers up 2-1. In the final seconds of the period, the Flyers’ depth and skill proved too much for the Senators as Scott Laughton gave them a 3-1 lead.
The start to the third period was not ideal. Radko Gudas was called for holding Zack Smith, putting Ottawa on the power play. Luckily, the Senators were the Senators and shut their man advantage down by interfering with Claude. That’s a no-no. The Flyers couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity, though, as too much passing wasted away their chances.
Later in the third, the Flyers tried to do what teams do in tight games: Get the puck deep and spend time in the offensive zone to tire out the other team. But the Senators had other plans. They continued to push, keeping the puck in the Flyers’ zone late in the period. Their hard work paid off when Filip Chlapik brought the Senators within one.
The Senators continued their overall sloppy play, though. Zack Smith went to the box for tripping James van Riemsdyk with 2:01 to go. The Flyers didn’t score, but the team left Ottawa with the much-needed two points. They will host the Washington Capitals in another must-win situation on Thursday at 7:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry