HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
The Philadelphia Flyers used a lot of hustle, some slick passing and efficient finishes and strong goaltending at key times to defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 6-3, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
Goals by Matt Niskanen and Kevin Hayes gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The second period saw Valeri Nichushkin get a goal back early in the second period but Joel Farabee quickly restore a two-goal margin. On Colorado's first power play of the game, Mikko Rantanen buried a right-circle blast off a Nazem Kadri feed to bring the Avs to within 3-2.
In the third period, Farabee struck again for his second tally of the game. Andre Burakovsky got Colorado back to 4-3 before Hayes notched shorthanded goal for breathing room. Scott Laughton added an empty netter.
Alex Lyon was excellent in goal for the Flyers, stopping 28 of 31 shots. He had little chance on any of the ones that went in, and was severely tested multiple times. Lyon outplayed, Philipp Grubauer, who stopped 22 of 27.
1st: Kevin Hayes (2g-1a)
2nd: Joel Farabee (2g)
3rd: Sean Couturier (3a)
The pick here is Lyon's breakaway save on JT Compher with the Avs threatening to tie the game at 4-4. Had Compher scored, it would have been extremely deflating for Philly.Video: COL@PHI: Hayes beats Grubauer for the SHG
1) The Flyers got outplayed significantly in the first half of the opening period. Lyon stepped up big to keep the game scoreless, including a 2-on-1 save on Matt Calvert on the game's first shift and a later one on a wide-open Tyson Jost from the slot. In all, he made 11 saves and gave his team time to get going.
2) In basically a reversal of the second period of the teams' previous meeting in Denver, the Flyers took a two-goal lead to the first intermission despite Colorado outplaying them. Over the latter part of the period, the Flyers got going and in the waning seconds of the period, Philly made Colorado pay for Nathan MacKinnon's high-sticking double minor on the forecheck against Niskanen. Hayes made a nifty tip of a James van Riemsdyk setup to make it a 2-0 lead with 4.5 seconds left in the frame.Video: COL@PHI: Farabee buries wrist shot form the slot
3) The second period was an entertaining one with great scoring chances at both ends among a combined 23 shots on goal (14 for the Flyers, nine for Colorado). The Flyers forechecking pressure was much better through much this period than the first.
4) Nichuskin scored a deflection goal of a Nikita Zadorov point shot. Couturier made a gorgeous saucer pass and Farabee showed soft hands to receive the puck cleanly and slam-dunk it before Grubauer had a chance at a save. No goalie was stopping that one, nor Rantanen's one-timer on the power play from his lower right circle sweet spot. Both Lyon and Grubauer shined at times in the second period as well.
5) At 7:32 of the third period, after a keep by Niskanen and an Avs giveaway to Couturier, No. 14 made a good pass to Farabee, who buried his second goal of the game into the back of the net for an insurance marker. The Avs struck back at 9:09 as Burakovsky finished a chance from close range. Shortly thereafter, Lyon made a breakaway save on J.T. Compher to keep the Flyers ahead, 4-3. Hayes then made a huge play to extend the lead to 5-3 on his rush up the left wing and goal from the left circle.
* Joel Farabee recorded his first career two-point AND first two-goal game... He also extended his point streak to a new career-high five games - he has four goals and six points in that span.
* Matt Niskanen posted a goal and an assist and was a +4... He has recorded two-points in back-to-back games and has six points (1g-6a) in his last six games.Video: COL@PHI: Hayes deflects home PPG past Grubauer
* Sean Couturier posted a three-assist night - his third of the New Year - to give him 46 points, which takes over the team lead.
* Jake Voracek added an assist on the first Flyers goal giving him points in three straight games (2g-1a).
* The Flyers split the season series with Colorado and snapped a three-game losing skid against the Avs.
* The Flyers ran their record to 5-2-3 in games when they wear their third jerseys.
* The Flyers are back in action on Monday when they travel to Motor City to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Puck drop is 7:30 on NBCSP & 93.3 WMMR.
THEY SAID IT
Video: Hear from Flyers coach following win over COLVideo: Hear from Lyon, Niskanen and Farabee after win