In a game that ended up being much closer than it should have been, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Calgary Flames at the Wells Fargo Center tonight, 5-3. The victory gives Philadelphia their third straight win on this home stand. The Flyers played a tenacious and structured game tonight, but started to go sideways a bit during the middle portion of the third period as they sat back and began bleeding chances to the Flames. However, a strong push late and good work from players like Matt Read and Sean Couturier, the Flyers held on.
The Flyers received goals from Brayden Schenn (19th, 20th, and 21th) and Wayne Simmonds (22th and 23th) in the win. The Flyers can look at tonight’s effort through the 40 minutes of the contest and pull a lot away from the game; the team was hard on puck throughout the contest and won a lot of 50/50 pucks in the corners as well. The Flyers also received a huge game from Captain Claude Giroux as he registered 4 assists and looked like a man possessed with the puck. His hallmark vision was on full display this evening as he was dishing pucks out to teammates left and right and could not be contained. Perhaps what is more remarkable is that the captain’s 4 helpers weren’t even a career-high, according to beat writer Dave Isaac; on February 16th, 2012, Giroux had 5 assists against the Buffalo Sabers.
Winning goaltender Michal Neuvirth was decent in goal as he turned away 29 of 32 to shots fired his way. Neuvirth provided the club with steady play throughout but there are definitely some areas he can improve upon; the third goal of the game that he gave up was a really anemic one at that stage of the hockey game and could have snowballed had Coach Dave Hakstol not called a timeout to reel in his team. Neuvy needs to better than that in the midst of the Flyers’ push towards the playoffs.
Here is tonight’s notably for the game:
While there were certainly many positives that can be plucked from this one, the night belonged to Brayden Schenn for his first-career hat-trick. In some of my earliest work for this site, we took an extensive look at the evolution of Brayden Schenn and how his consistency ultimately would decide if he could become more than a middle six player. Since that piece, Schenn’s game has picked up considerably with a myriad of different linemates. During his post-game presser, Claude Giroux talked a little about Brayden Schenn and his ability to “score from anywhere” on the ice. That ability was highlighted by the variety of chances Schenn got anywhere from the goal-line to the harsh marks tonight. It’s truly been a banner year for the 24 year-old winger to this point as Schenn is finally starting to turn all that potential into becoming an essential piece to the Flyers puzzle.