The Philadelphia Flyers come out of the all-star break with a win Tuesday night against the Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center, 4-2. A gritty effort from Philadelphia tonight as the club faced some adversity in a game that wasn’t always perfect but they did find a way to keep their composure and finish the game strong.The Flyers received goals from Wayne Simmonds (15th, 16th), Brayden Schenn (13th) and Matt Read (8th). Philadelphia’s powerplay was the story tonight; the Flyers man advantage unit tallied twice in the winning cause and is 8 for 22 in their last five games.
The first powerplay showed off an impressive passing sequence that saw all five players on the ice touch the puck before Simmonds tucked it home. The second man advantage again exemplified just how poised Voracek is with the puck as he found Brayden Schenn in front of the Canadiens net for a deflection almost immediately after Claude Giroux’s face-off win.
Winning goaltender Steve Mason turned away 30 of 32 shots fired his way. Mason appeared to track the puck well and was tested early with a couple of odd man rushes but the Flyers’ goaltender stood tall. Mason also had to be sharp in killing off a five minute penalty doled out to Radko Gudas late in the third period as well.
Here are your game notes:
Given Montreal’s current free-falling in the standings, the Flyers needed to come out in this game early and put some doubt in the Canadiens’ heads. Two first period goals gave the Flyers that boost and in turn, put the Habs in desperation mode early in the game. Despite the fact that Montreal battled back to score the next two, the game can be managed differently when one is leading. It becomes doubly important when you’re the Flyers, a team that has notoriously stumbled out of the gate in games for most of this season.
Despite a strong start, the Flyers wouldn’t be void of adversity in the victory as defensemen Radko Gudas put the team behind the eight ball late in the game as he was handed a five minute major penalty and game misconduct for a hit on Montreal forward Lucas Lessio.
How the penalty got called was strange as there was no call made on the play immediately after contact; a gathering of officials and a TV timeout later, the play was ultimately ruled as a five and game for Gudas.
The hit itself was indeed low by Gudas and perhaps could even be categorized as predatory in its nature. Players like Gudas typically toe that disciplinary line and sometimes, press right up against what the league deems acceptable; on this particular play, the decision to call the hit a penalty was fair but why it took so long to come to that conclusion was perplexing in the least. Play carried on for quite a while and even then, no call was made after the sequence was over.
The penalty kill that followed was a strong effort that seemed to have energized the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center. This could potentially be a building block game for an ailing PK unit as tonight’s effort gave life to an important Flyers’ victory.