Flyers 3, Blackhawks 1 Post Game: First line fires Flyers to victory

Updated: November 10, 2017 at 12:09 am by Zac DeMedio

Flyers 3 (8-6-2, 18 PTS) vs Blackhawks (7-7-2, 16 PTS)

The Flyers secured their eighth win of the season with an outstanding performance from the first line trio of Giroux, Couturier, and Voracek. Goalie Brian Elliott played his best game in the Orange and Black to date, as they kicked off this quick 2 game home stand against Western Conference teams with a positive result. Philadelphia was aided by the return of Radko Gudas, who hadn’t appeared since he left the Chicago game in the 2nd period last week.

1ST PERIOD 

The Flyers came out in the first period looking like a team who’s been itching to get on the ice vs. another team, as they hadn’t played in four days. For 60 minutes in Chicago last week, Corey Crawford looked unbeatable. It only took Philadelphia 4:58 to make him look human once again. Claude Giroux scored in his 3rd consecutive game as Jake Voracek took advantage of a Chicago turnover and found Giroux all alone by the left circle. Giroux one-timed the perfectly placed pass from Voracek past Crawford short side to give the Flyers an early 1-0 lead.

About 7 minutes later, Philadelphia doubled their lead as the top line continued their dominance of the start of the season. This time around Jake Voracek was the recipient of an extraordinary pass from Shayne Gostisbehere and Voracek found twine with a one-timer from the right circle. This play started with Sean Couturier being strong on the puck, getting it back to the blue line despite being slashed. A deflected pass from Ghost was gloved down by Giroux and slid back to Gostisbehere as he dashed his way towards the net and sucked Blackhawks towards him. Thus, this opened up a passing lane to Voracek who made no mistake with this one.

The Flyers played a composed and smart period of hockey, and lead Chicago in shots by 4, 16-12. Chicago had a few chances of their own, but for the most part Philadelphia controlled the play and Brian Elliot came up big when they needed him too.

2ND PERIOD

In the 2nd period, play continued to go the Flyers way as they continued to pile pressure in the Blackhawks zone before adding to their lead. What can’t you say about this first line? They’ve been a menace for team all year. This time, it was the center of the first line who got the reward as Sean Couturier scored his team-high 10th goal. All 3 members of the top line were involved in this scoring play as Voracek started the play on the rush before handing off to Giroux, who beat his man towards the net and placed a pass on the tape of Coots rushing the net to pot into an empty net.

Elliot was tested much more throughout this period and he was up to the task, as he’s stopped 22 of 23 shots at the end of forty minutes. The one shot he did let by I’m sure he would like to get back, Connor Murphy beat Elliot with a shot from the left circle after his blocked shot came back his way. Elliot seemed a bit slow to react as he could not locate the puck. Soon after Murphy’s goal, Philadelphia found themselves attempting to kill a 2-man advantage after Radko Gudas and Ivan Provorov took penalties in rapid succession. Thanks to some key saves and stellar defensive play, the Flyers survived the 5-on-3 and entered the 3rd with a two goal cushion.

3RD PERIOD

This 3rd looked like a 3rd period of old, as the Flyers predominantly sat back in their zone and allowed Chicago to pepper their net with shots all period. And that they did as the put 16 shots on net and Brian Elliot had an answer to every single one of them. Elliot picked up his 6th win of the season by stopping 38 out of 39 shots as the roles reversed from the last meeting, as he was the one who was tough to beat. Chicago handed Philadelphia ample opportunities to put them away as they gave them two power plays throughout the period to ice the game. The Flyers were unable to do so and relied and stellar goaltending and defensive plays to secure the victory on home ice.

QUICK HITTERS

What more can you say about this team’s first line? Tonight they tallied 7 points vs a Chicago defense that still enlists Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.  Between the three of them, they have a combined 60 points through 16 games. Moving Giroux to wing was always going to be a risk, but man has it been fun to watch this trio operate in the offensive zone.

I thought Travis Sanheim quietly had an extremely positive performance tonight. He logged over 16 minutes of ice time, and his presence was felt in the offensive zone with 3 shots on goal. Sanheim showed his offensive prowess in the preseason, and each game his confidence rises. I think we’re very close to seeing him notch his first NHL goal. On the defensive side, he played a very composed game and I rarely found him out of his position. He’s slowly coming more and more into his own as an NHL defenseman.

Tonight’s win against Chicago was the Flyers 14th consecutive win at home in the regular season. I’m not sure about all of you, but there is one game I can’t seem to remember us winning and now I’m sad and pretending like I didn’t just remind myself of that night in the summer of 2010.

NEXT GAME

Flyers vs Minnesota Wild

11/11/2017 7:00 P.M.

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