PHILADELPHIA – This great goaltending thing is contagious.
Steve Mason had been cruising along in his past five starts with lights out numbers as the Flyers won four-of five, including two shutouts.
But, in this final game before the Olympic break, Mason took a seat in favor of Ray Emery, who personally has tremendous lifetime numbers against Calgary, Saturday’s opponent.
It was a good recipe of past ingredients plus current momentum and energy for the Flyers to lean on Emery and go into the break on quite a roll.
The end result was a soufflé of good team play in a game that could easily have been a trap game against a non-conference, non-playoff opponent just before the team gets a 10-day hockey vacation.
Emery was at the center of it with 32 saves, not allowing a goal until the final minutes of play to T.J. Galiardi.
All told the Flyers increased their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 victory over the Flames and enter the Olympic break with a three-point lead for third place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
Emery entered the game with a 7-2-1 career record against Calgary with a 1.39 goals against average and a .948 save percentage, numbers that all got better after this performance.
Brayden Schenn struck first with a goal in the second period, and could have had a few more as he had a bevy of chances prior to scoring off a pass from Wayne Simmonds. He was easily the best offensive player for the Flyers as his line seemed to generate the most offense in the contest.
However it was the captain, once again, providing the needed offense for a win as Claude Giroux, fired a shot off of teammate Scott Hartnell's shin pad for the game-winner, It was Hartnell's 15th goal of the season and it moved Giroux into 11th in the NHL scoring race.
Stay tuned to PhiladelphiaFlyers.com for more post game analysis, reports from the locker room and video updates in the next couple hours.
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