After being blanked by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, the Flyers rebounded in a big way Saturday night as they pound the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night, 6-0. The win was Philadelphia’s 30th of the season and with that, the club has climbed back within 3 points of the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.The Flyers received goals from Michael Raffl (9th), Radko Gudas (1st, 2nd), Sam Gagner (6th), Claude Giroux (18th) and Nick Cousins (4th) in the win. Clearly frustrated, the Columbus Blue Jackets really were a physical presence in this game and really appeared to try and sucker the Flyers into a lot of extracurricular activity after whistles but Philadelphia prevailed with cooler heads. The Flyers took care of business tonight against a team they should beat and they’ll take the points and run after a strong outing.
Winning goaltender Steve Mason was perfect with his return to the crease, stopping all 19 shots fired his way. Mason didn’t have to be acrobatic or otherworldly tonight as the team did a solid job in front of him. Perhaps most encouraging though was the fact that Mason didn’t appear to have any rust from sitting on the bench for two weeks. Mason was strong handling the puck, didn’t spit out any rebounds and calmly kicked pucks out of high risk areas on the ice. He looked like the Mason of old in this one and that should buy him another start when the Flyers host the Lightning on Monday night.
Here is your notable for tonight’s game:
In a contest with few negatives and some puck luck, the night belonged to defensemen Radko Gudas. The 25 year-old defensemen scored his 1st and 2nd goals of the season and tacked on 2 assists for good measure, giving him his first 4 point game of his career. Since getting a talking-to from Coach Dave Hakstol about his sometimes reckless style of play, Gudas has simplified his game and has been a good solider for the Flyers. The Czech defenseman seems to understand now that he doesn’t need to run out there, looking for the big hit every shift. Gudas can play an effective and physical brand of hockey out there without the recklessness. He has really stepped up in the absence of Michael Del Zotto and will need to continue to play well if the Flyers are to make the playoffs this season.