The Flyers held a 2-0 lead after outshooting the Red Wings 22-3 in the first period and rode that wave to an eventual 4-3 win. Michael Raffl
opened the scoring when he picked up his first of two goals 5:41 into the game, which was followed up 1:14 later by a goal from Wayne Simmonds
. Andreas Athanasiou scored 2:14 into the second to make it a 2-1 game, but the Flyers got that one back when Raffl tallied his second of the night at the 7:01 mark. Pavel Datsyuk made it 3-2 just over seven minutes later, only to see Shayne Gostisbehere
restore the two-goal lead with 1:06 to play in the second. Detroit hung around, outshooting the Flyers 21-9 in the third period and getting within a goal on a tally from Tomas Tatar with 3:46 left, but they would get nothing more past Steve Mason
, who made 34 saves and kept Detroit at bay in the third. Petr Mrazek turned aside 42 of 46 in the loss.
Score-wise, the turning point came on Gostisbehere’s eventual game-winner, which was a puck simply slid into traffic in the low slot that hit a Detroit defender and went in. But there were several game-saving defensive plays by the Flyers in the third period – most notably a block by Nick Schultz
a little past five minutes into the period, one by Gostisbehere on a Red Wing with 11:44 left in the third, and a save by Mason on Henrik Zetterberg with 7:11 to play. Mason made several more tremendous saves over the final minutes before Detroit lost the wind from its sails when Gustav Nyquist was called for slashing with 57 seconds remaining.
1. Michael Raffl: Recorded his second career two-goal game, both of which have come against Detroit. His first one was particularly remarkable – as he carried the puck down the left wing, Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey moved to cut off Raffl’s angle of approach. But once in the left circle, Raffl put his shoulder in Quincey’s chest and tossed him aside like a rag doll as he rounded the corner before depositing the puck past Mrazek, who looked as surprised as Quincey was. Raffl took a total of five shots, was credited with a hit late in the third period and drew a holding penalty on Danny DeKeyser.
2. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare: Recorded an assist, four takeaways, two blocked shots and was 8-for-12 on faceoffs. He did a whole bunch of other great stuff that doesn’t show up on a scoresheet, including 1:10 worth of highly effective penalty killing, but the biggest thing was making an outstanding play to keep the puck in the zone at the right point that led directly to Gostisbehere’s goal.
3. Pavel Datsyuk
: Played like Pavel Datsyuk, picking up a goal and an assist and going 14-for-20 on faceoffs, while generally being dangerous everywhere he went on the ice.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Flyers had 23+ sog in the first period of a game was 1/29/1984 at Chicago (25 SOG in first period); the Flyers outshot their opponent by 20 or more shots in the first period for just the second time in team history, with the other coming on 4/4/82 vs. Toronto when they outshot the Leafs 22-1 in the first period; and the last time the Flyers had 46+ SOG vs. Detroit was Nov. 13, 1986 (51 SOG)… Wayne Simmonds
led the Flyers with eight shots on goal and 13 total shot attempts… Gostisbehere had six shots on goal and eight total attempts… Ryan White
was credited with nine hits, while Brayden Schenn
picked up seven… Schenn now has 155 hits on the season. There are only five players in the NHL who have 150 or more hits and 20 or more goals, and the Flyers have two of them – Schenn (155, 21) and Simmonds (170, 25). The others: Alex Ovechkin (195, 42), Boone Jenner (184, 24) and Zack Smith (152, 21).
“The atmosphere was great. Our fans are second to none and we fed off of that a little bit. We got going with a good start. We were able to feed a little bit off of them and hopefully they felt a little bit of that energy up there too.”
“It’s fun to see, it’s fun to be a part of. You see the internal growth the guys are having. These are the type of feelings you get around the dressing room that you want to be around, because it’s a lot of fun. Guys are going out there and battling for each other and that’s something you want to be a part of.”