Another opportunity falls by the wayside Saturday afternoon for the Philadelphia Flyers as they let the New Jersey Devils slip by them in overtime. The game was one that allowed for little room to operate but while the game ended on a sour note for the Flyers, they did pick up a point. Problem is, one of the teams in front of them picked up two and that is why this team’s continued lack of urgency in the beginning of games hurts them. At this stage in the season, points league-wide are at a premium and teams like the Flyers can ill-afford to just give them away. The Flyers received one goal in the contest but it turned out to be a historical one. Defensemen Shayne Ghostisbehere’s third period powerplay goal (10th) made him the new NHL rookie record holder for a point streak by a defenseman as his streak is now up to 11 for the season. In addition to that record, Ghost also set a new Flyers rookie point streak record as well. It’s really been fun to watch Ghostisbehere hit the ground running in his rookie season and he has undoubtedly given the Flyers a shot in the arm offensively since he’s been called up from the AHL.
Losing goaltender Michal Neuvirth played solidly as he turned away 22 of 24 shots. Once again, it was the Flyers’ goaltending that played well enough to keep them in the game, although Neuvirth would probably like back the first goal of the game. All things considered though, it was a solid performance from Neuvy.
Here are your game notes:
Many people were displeased with the late powerplay awarded to New Jersey that saw Jake Voracek “hook” Devils’ defensemen Andy Greene. It wasn’t much from Voracek as he didn’t even tug on Greene but had the Flyers’ forward kept his feet moving on the play, it could have been avoided. Jake coasted back into the play and before he could get his feet going again, Greene was by him. Stick placement was likely the deciding factor by the referee to call the infraction a penalty and while fatigue is likely a factor in this as Voracek and Giroux have been playing a lot lately, it isn’t an excuse from one of the Flyers best players. He needs to be better than that.
Multiple beat writers have reported that Flyers defensemen Michael Del Zotto is now out for “weeks” after he took Devils’ forward Kyle Palmieri to the net before they collided with Michal Neuvirth. Hextall has said that the Flyers plan on calling someone up from Leigh Valley Phantoms and that is rather interesting considering that the Flyers have Evgeny Medvedev sitting in the press box. The only reason I could imagine the Flyers wanting to call someone up is to get a closer look at a younger player; many believe that Andrew MacDonald is the player that would receive the call-up but perhaps this represents a chance for the Flyers to call up someone like Mark Alt
Alt has not received as much praise as other Flyers prospects but he has evolved into a solid player for the Phantoms. It may be now or never for the 24 year-have old defensemen so getting a look at him now could determine if he has an NHL future.