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POSTGAME 5: Rockin' the Rockies

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers went down 1-0 in the second period and 2-1 in the third, but they charged back over the final six minutes to take a 4-2 victory over Colorado. Nick Holden scored 3:05 into the second to give the Avs the early lead; the Flyers answered on a tally by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with 7:24 left in the frame. John Mitchell then put Colorado up 2-1 with a goal 6:13 into the third period. Just over eight minutes later, the Flyers scored twice in 19 seconds – a tying goal by Radko Gudas at 14:17 followed by the eventual game winner from Claude Giroux at 14:36. The Flyers were awarded a goal with five seconds left when Ryan White was taken down while approaching an empty net. Steve Mason made 32 saves, while Semyon Varlamov stopped 41. 

Although it sounds odd, it was Colorado’s first goal 3:05 into the second period – because something flipped within the Flyers at that point. The goal was Colorado’s 18th shot of the game and the Avs were outshooting Philadelphia 18-8 with that tally. After that point, the Flyers outshot Colorado 36-16 over the remaining 37 minutes of the game, leading to all three of their non-empty-net goals. "I think we started doing the little things well at that point," said Wayne Simmonds.  "Sometimes it’s not the fancy plays that make the big difference." 


1. Claude Giroux: picked up the game-winning goal with 5:24 remaining. He had four shots on goal and was 12-for-19 on faceoffs. 

2. Semyon Varlamov: made 41 saves as the Flyers mounted their charge in the final two thirds of the game. 

3. Steve Mason: Bested Varlamov’s effort with 32 saves on 34 shots, including 15-of-15 in the first period to keep the Flyers even at the first intermission. 

The Flyers won at Pepsi Center for the first time since December 27, 2002, snapping a seven-game winless streak. It’s just their third win at Colorado since the franchise relocated there in 1996… The 44 shots are the most the Flyers have had against the Avalanche since they had 44 in a 4-4 tie in Denver on January 4, 1997… Gudas now has five goals in his last 10 games after having no goals in his first 57 games… Bellemare had a career-high six shots on goal. His previous high was five on October 22, 2014 at PIT… Wayne Simmonds also had six shots on goal and eight total attempts. Shayne Gostisbehere had three shots on goal and nine total attempts… The Flyers remain tied with Detroit in points at 85 but sit ahead of the Red Wings by virtue of having played one fewer game. The Flyers are two points behind the New York Islanders with one more game played than the Isles; they are three points back of Pittsburgh with the same number of games played. 

“We got through [the first period]. You saw how short the shifts were and that’s typical when you come into this building. That was a real key. Guys did a good job on their own of keeping their shifts short and getting everybody involved. In the second period we seemed to do a good job of getting our second wind.”

(Dave Hakstol)

“We believe in each other and we know when we have a bad game we just have to figure it out and change a couple details. Our systems have worked against the big teams and they worked tonight.”

(Pierre-Edouard Bellemare)  

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