What better way than to end a game with defensive stand than tonight.
Following an emotional ceremony that saw the Flyers retire their greatest defenseman in team history, the Flyers shut the door on one of the NHL's most powerful offenses for a 3-2 victory.
"I think for us to finish a game like this, protecting the lead in the last minute against a team like Detroit, is huge for confidence down the road," said Max Talbot, who added his 18th goal of the year.
The Flyers held off a flurry of scoring chances in the third period, which saw the Red Wings fire a total of 21 shots on Ilya Bryzgalov; a pale comparision to the two shots they managed in the first period.
Bryzgalov let one in, but that was it. He stopped multiple scoring chances in the final minute of play, while his defensemen threw themselves in front of shots and battled pucks in the corner to finish the Red Wings off.
With the victory, the Flyers have won ALL four games in which they have retired a number in a pre-game ceremony by now, a 21 to 9 margin. (The Flyers did not retire Barry Ashbee's #4 prior to a game).
“We really liked the way played, it was a great hockey game. They’ve got a good team," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "I’ve said this before, they’re experienced, and they move the puck and they’re dangerous and they’ve got high end players and they’ve had a lot of success for years playing together. You really have to be sharp. It was a big win for us to keep things moving in the right direction in the month of March.”
|The Flyers have won three games in a row for the first time since a seven-game winning streak from Dec.2-15. |
Ilya Bryzgalov has a .948 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average in the three-game win streak.
The Flyers were outshot 37-14 over the final two periods. The Red Wings had 21 shots in the third period; it’s the third time this season a team has had 21 shots against the Flyers in a period, which is the season high (NJD, 2nd period, 11-3-11; CBJ, 3rd period, 11-5-11).
Claude Giroux had a team-high five shots, as well as two hits and three blocks in the game. Scott Hartnell led the Flyers in hits with five.
With a goal and an assist, Giroux surpassed his career-high in points, which had been 76 set last season. Giroux has 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points.
With all due respect to the 20 Flyers who took to the ice tonight, Hall of Famer Mark Howe is hands down tonight's star.
|#2 - Mark Howe |
Howe became the just the fifth Flyer in the team's 45 seasons in the NHL to have his number retired by the club (#2).
In 10 seasons for the Flyers, he appeared in 594 games (1982 to 1992). He holds the franchise record for career goals (138), assists (342) and points (480) by a defenseman. He ranks 14th overall on the Flyers All-Time List in scoring, eighth overall in assists, and fourth overall in shorthanded goals (24).
|"I think the last two games the referees have been trying to let us play. I think tonight, like you said, was a playoff atmosphere a little bit, the crowd was loud. |
- Max Talbot
"Anytime you get chances to put it in and you do, it's gonna get you wins. Tonight we didn't have a lot of shots like we usually do but we found a way to bury the ones we had."
- Claude Giroux
|Tonight's turning point came all the way at the end of the game. |
Having already scored a third period goal to climb within one, the Red Wings had their best scoring chance amidst a crowd in front of the Flyers net in the final minute of play.
Ilya Bryzgalov came up with a great save with 56.8 seconds left in addition to fighting off several other shots in the waning seconds to secure the victory for the Flyers.