Brian Smith | PhiladelphiaFlyers.com
/ Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers erased a 3-0 deficit over the second half of the game to beat St. Louis 4-3. The Blues had the upper hand through the first period, outshooting the Flyers 15-8 and taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Robby Fabbri and Kevin Shattenkirk (PP). Magnus Paajarvi made it 3-0 with a breakaway goal 9:11 into the third period. The rest of the game was all Flyers, with the comeback starting 52 seconds later on a shorthanded goal by Chris VandeVelde. Wayne Simmonds then scored 2:10 later, and added another on the power play 51 seconds into the third. Evgeny Medvedev wrapped things up with his first career game-winning goal, which came with 3:13 left in the frame. Steve Mason stopped 26 shots to take the win, while Jake Allen turned away 27 of 31 in the loss.
Halfway through the second period, the Flyers had just given up a breakaway that deepened their deficit to 3-0 when Claude Giroux was called for hooking off the ensuing center-ice faceoff. Now down three goals and facing a Blues power play that had been 6-for-11 in its last five games, the Flyers staged possibly the best penalty kill of their season. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare anticipated and intercepted a cross-ice pass from Kevin Shattenkirk and sprung himself on a breakaway that Allen stopped, but VandeVelde arrived to poke home the loose puck. After the goal the Flyers still had 1:13 to kill on the penalty, but did not allow St. Louis a shot and barely allowed them into the zone in the final 45 seconds. The kill completely reversed the momentum of the game and began the comeback.
1ST – Wayne Simmonds: Scored the second and third Flyers goals of the game, the latter of which tied the score just 51 seconds into the third period. Simmonds was also credited with three hits and three blocked shots. It’s his second multi-goal game of the season.
2ND – Evgeny Medvedev: The first-year defenseman picked up his first NHL game-winning goal with his drive late in the third period. Medvedev played 20:41 and was credited with two hits and two takeaways.
3RD – Shayne Gostisbehere: Posted his second multi-point game and his first multi-assist game. Gostisbehere has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 18 games and is now within one point of Colton Parayko for the NHL scoring lead among rookie defensemen despite playing 15 fewer games.
The Flyers erased a 3-0 deficit for a win for the first time since December 19, 2013 when they came back from 3-0 down to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4… All 18 skaters in the Flyers’ lineup recorded at least one shot on goal and at least one hit. The Flyers outshot St. Louis 23-14 over the final two periods of the game and outhit them 43-31 on the night… Chris VandeVelde’s shorthanded goal was the third the Flyers have scored this season and was his first in the NHL. It was just his second career multi-point game, with the other occurring on Jan. 12, 2015 vs. Tampa Bay (1-1-2)… In addition to their 31 shots on goal, the Flyers had an additional 32 that did not reach the net.
“[Simmonds] came out and had a huge game for us tonight. Guys were sacrificing themselves, blocking shots. It was a great overall effort, great shot by [Medvedev] to seal things. It just goes to show that when you put the effort in, guys are competing hard. That’s what type of team we can be. That’s not an easy team do what we just did against them.”
“We didn’t want to go into the break on a losing note. We thought that we’ve been playing really well and good hockey as of late and I thought it was only right for us to go into the break with a win. We channeled our inner strength and we got the win, the two points, it was big for us.” (Wayne Simmonds)