Ducks 6 (4-3-1, 9 PTS) @ Flyers 2 (5-4, 10 PTS)
Well, it took 9 games but the Philadelphia Flyers turned in their first dud of the year. It never seemed as the team was in the game from the jump, as they allowed Anaheim to come into their building and play their game from the opening face-off. Only the first line created chances throughout the game, a boost of energy is definitely called for in their next game. Some pre-game lineup changes occurred for the Flyers as Jordan Weal reclaimed his spot on the 2nd line, and Dale Weise came in for Taylor Leier who missed his 2nd consecutive game.
The first 20 minutes were some that the Flyers may have wanted to forget during the intermission. Philadelphia doubled the amount of shots the Ducks had, but it seemed that Anaheim dictated the game for the first period with a ton of action down in the Flyers defensive end. To the Flyers credit, they blocked 12 shots that Anaheim sent towards their goal. Brian Elliot made some outstanding saves under pressure and got some puck luck as a deflected shot that beat the goaltender careemed off the post back into his crease for an easy cover. Despite all the action in their own end, the Flyers actually opened up the scoring in this game.
A back-checking Voracek created a neutral zone turnover who then sprung Claude Giroux down the right wing. The captain made a gorgeous move to enter the zone and found a streaking Sean Couturier through the slot, Coots made no mistake as he deked his way past Anaheim goaltender John Gibson and potted his 5th of the season after loosing the puck for a split second.
Claude Giroux sends Sean Couturier in all alone to open the scoring! pic.twitter.com/MaHZ8GDx9E
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) October 24, 2017
It seemed that Philadelphia would head to the first intermission with a one goal lead, but a late and ill-advised turnover from Travis Konecny in his own zone led to the Ducks tying things up at 1 on a deflection right in front courtesy of Ondrej Kase. The 2nd year player for the Flyers certainly would like to have that one back.
If the 1st Period was a bad dream, then consider the 2nd Period a nightmare for the Orange and Black. Anaheim picked off right where they left off from the first by dictating the pace of play in the Flyers end. They extended their lead to 3 goals as they headed into the locker room up 4-1.
Again, Travis Konecny could be put to blame for the Ducks second goal. He was caught flat-footed at the blue line covering for Brandon Manning, which allowed defenseman Brandon Montour to blow past him into the Flyers zone and beat Elliot upstairs. But let’s not excuse Manning who was nowhere to be found and his side of the ice which led to Konecny having to cover his position.
After a few missed calls against Philly, the Ducks found themselves on the power play as a frustrated Claude Giroux took a tripping penalty. Anaheim didn’t waste this opportunity as they cashed in from the doorstep of Elliot’s net as the puck fell onto the stick of an uncovered Nick Ritchie. One of the two defenseman, Manning and Hagg can’t let him get inside positioning and sit right in front of the goaltender.
Rickard Rakell joined the goal party as he tucked away Anaheim’s 4th on a cross-ice feed from their captain Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf outmuscled Jordan Weal behind the net and worked his way to the front to find Rakell sitting on the backdoor.
The 3rd period offered the Flyers no more respite from the first two. Anaheim extended their lead to 5-1 before Philadelphia got a consolation go to cut the lead to 3, before Ondrej Kase finished the game off with a goal on a penalty shot to make it 6-2.
The Duck’s 5th goal has to be one Brian Elliot would like to have back. A turnover from Ivan Provorov led to a rush started by Corey Perry who dropped the puck off to his long time teammate Getzlaf, who took a wrist shot from beyond the face off circle and squeezed through Elliot’s five hole. It was Getzlaf’s first goal of the season.
Sean Couturier got his 2nd goal of the night off a great feed from rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim. A cross ice pass from Jake Voracek found Sanheim on the left wing and Sanheim baited the Duck’s defense into thinking he would shoot before sending a backdoor pass to a wide open Couturier who made no mistake with this one. This assist is Sanheim’s first career point, while Voracek recorded his 500th point and Couturier tallied his 200th career point. I’m sure none of them are exactly happy with it, but congratulations are in order for these three achievements.
Travis Sanheim sets up Sean Couturier for his first NHL point! pic.twitter.com/LB3fNKx0SB
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) October 25, 2017
Anaheim added one more after Ondrej Kase was awarded a penalty as Ivan Provorov was judged to have slashed the Czech. Kase knew exactly what he wanted to do as he skated in and buried his 2nd of the night on the backhand.
Kevin Bieksa drops Radko Gudas with a one-punch pic.twitter.com/1z1OJxsiKC
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 24, 2017
Nolan Patrick left tonight’s game early in the 2nd period after he was hit into the boards by Chris Wagner. It was a scary moment as the rookie’s head smashed into the glass and was slow to get up and went back to the dressing room immediately. It doesn’t seem to have been a major injury though, as he was seen in the press box during the 3rd period in his street clothes. Hopefully, the injury is minimal and we will see #19 back on the ice soon.
Flyers @ Ottawa
10/26/2017, 7:30 P.M.