(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Ah, it was the showdown in Motown tonight, as the Flyers faced off against the Detroit Redwings, the worst team in the NHL. Going into the tilt, the Redwings were 0-13-1 against the Metro, easily the best division in the NHL. They are also on an 8 game losing streak, their 3rd losing streak of 6 games or more this season.
Early on, the Flyers controlled majority of the play and did so for the period, with lots of good chances, but nothing to show for it. The Van-Riemsdyk/Giroux/Konecny line was buzzing all period, with Giroux having lots of chances. It didn’t look like the Redwings wanted to cover the middle of the ice in their own zone, giving the Flyers all the time in the world. The Flyers outshot the Wings 11-4, and had 1 PP in the period as well.
The 2nd period continued with the Flyers dominating, but still nothing to show for it, until Scott Laughton got them on the board off a quick pass from Michael Raffl, right to Laughton in the slot, where he wired it by Bernier five-hole. The Flyers got the 1-0 lead, where it was so important for the Flyers to be up, and have some room to breathe going into the 3rd period.
The bottom 6 came through again for the Flyers, getting a goal by playing physical with everyone doing there job on the ice. Pitlick took Bernier’s eyes away, Hagg had a physical hit to separate the puck, and Raffl made the pass for the Laughton goal. Everyonehave had their chances all period, outshooting the Wings 21-11 after 2, Joel Farabee had 9 shots, with 3 of them on goal and lots of chances all night.
Farabee has played unreal with Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek, and to play that good at only 19 years old, is something the Flyers will love for years to come. Elliot didn’t see much of the play towards him, but he was solid and gobbled up every shot that came his way by not giving up rebounds and playing like a veteran goaltender.
In the 3rd, the Wings had some pressure and got a PP off a Laughton high-stick. Then, Kevin Hayes got a shorthand goal and made it 2-0 on a breakaway. Hayes is now tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with Chris Tierney, with 4. That’s the most shorthanded goals in a season for the Flyers since Matt Read in the 2013-14 season, where Read had 4. After that the Flyers had lots pressure and played it smart just getting the puck in deep and cycling. Justin Braun, Travis Konecny, and Michael Raffl where all robbed by Bernier, who made some great saves to keep the Red Wings in it.
Matt Niskanen potted a shorthanded empty-netter, giving the Flyers the 3-0. Brian Elliot got his 2nd shutout in 4 games, with 16 saves. The Flyers took care of business tonight, and moved into the 1st place WC spot, and are tied for 3rd place in the Metro. Shayne Ghostibehere should be back in the lineup for Thursday, as the Flyers host the Devils at 7 PM.