Photo belongs to John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
It hasn’t been often that the Philadelphia Flyers have put up gaudy goal totals this season but tonight everything went right for them offensively as they rout the Nashville Predators on Thursday, 6-3 in Nashville. A strong road contest from Philadelphia as a slew of players contributed to another Flyers victory. The Flyers skated well tonight and were able to generate offense despite being short-handed seven times and only got nineteen shots on goal. Philly was opportunistic, however, and that’s all they needed to be in this one.
The Flyers received goals from Matt Read (9th), Brayden Schenn (14th), Wayne Simmonds (17th, 18th) and Claude Giroux (15th, 16th) in the winning cause. The way Philadelphia moved the puck tonight allowed players to get into prime positions to score and just everything was working out there; the club found all the passing lanes, got to the front of the net and kept their stick on the ice to finish off plays. It was truly a team wide effort tonight from the Flyers.
Winning goaltender Steve Mason was brilliant this evening as he turned away a hefty 37 shots. Mason picked up his 12th win of the season tonight and will need to continue to play at a high level if the Flyers are to make the playoffs. He’s been fantastic over his last two starts.
Here are your game notes:
The Flyers penalty kill was stellar tonight as they were forced to kill off seven Predator man advantages in this one. The real issue obviously lies in why the Flyers were heading to the box as often as they did tonight but the season-long theme of a failing PK unit has undoubtedly hurt the club’s playoff hopes to this point. The unit has, however, turned their game around significantly over the last two games and if the playoffs are within their reach, it needs to continue.
Flyers forward Sean Couturier left Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury at the end of the second period and did not return. The 23 year-old forward just recently was activated from injure reserve and concern over the severity of the injury looms large. The role that Couturier fulfills for Philadelphia is a difficult one and the forward has proven to be an indispensable asset to the team over and over again. No one currently on the roster possesses the two-way acumen and hockey sense that Couturier displays and it would be a monumental blow to the team if he is out long-term here. To be blunt, the Flyers need him.