Flyers 2, Blue Jackets 1: Mrazek shines in his Flyers debut

Updated: February 23, 2018 at 12:10 am by John Gove

In Petr Mrazek’s debut, the Philadelphia Flyers looked to extend their winning streak to four games when they took on the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night.

First Period

Before the opening faceoff even took place, the injury bug reared its ugly head for the Flyers once again. Although he participated in pregame warmups, Travis Konecny was unable to play, and Taylor Leier took his place. Luckily it appears to be a day-to-day type injury for Konecny, and he will not be out long term.

As for the on-ice action in period number one, there was very little that took place. The Flyers had a few solid chances but could not capitalize on any of them. They recorded just seven shots and failed to convert on two powerplay opportunities.

Columbus struggled to make Mrazek’s first period as a Flyer challenging at all. The Blue Jackets only managed two shots on net and put together a hideous attempt on their lone powerplay opportunity. In reality, it wouldn’t have hurt for Mrazek to face a few more shots but it is hardly something to complain about.

Second Period

The second period rolled along with the Blue Jackets outshooting the Flyers, but there was still no goals scored on either side. That was until Artemi Panarin capitalized off of a Philadelphia turnover 12:51 into the period and scored his 17th goal of the season to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.

No more goals were scored in the middle period. However, the Blue Jackets could have gone into the locker room with a more substantial lead if it wasn’t for stellar play from the Flyers netminder. The orange and black looked just plain sloppy and were outshot 14 to 6. Philadelphia was continuously caught making one too many passes which led to a limited amount of shots on net. Also, the Blue Jackets turned up the pressure as the period progressed, making it difficult for Philadelphia to accomplish anything.

Third Period

Fortunately for the Flyers, they were given a wakeup call during the second intermission and came out to start the third period determined to even up the score. It would not take long for them to do so as Claude Giroux found the back of the net for his 21st goal of the season to knot the game up at one 2:34 into the period. Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostisbehere were awarded assists on the goal. Giroux’s early tally completely swung the momentum in Philadelphia’s favor, and the team began to fire on all cylinders.

Midway through the period, the Flyers made the Blue Jackets pay for a dirty penalty committed by Brandon Dubinsky. Philadelphia finally scored on their fifth powerplay attempt of the night as Nolan Patrick put in his eighth of the season off of a Gostisbehere blast to give the orange and black a 2-1 lead 9:49 into the final period.

Although Columbus had its chances late in the period, they were never able to even up the score and the Flyers walked away with their fourth consecutive victory.

Final Thoughts

There were certainly times in the game where Philadelphia simply looked like they did not have enough to come away with a victory. However, they never backed down and did what they need to eventually secure the win.

The player most under the microscope in Thursday night’s game was, of course, Petr Mrazek. To put it simply, the goaltender delivered. He had a spectacular debut, doing everything he could to keep his team alive until they pulled ahead. Philadelphia hopes he can continue this level of play as they continue their climb up the Metropolitan Division standings.

Bookmark and Share


Leave a Reply