Flyers: 3, Leafs: 2 (OT): Future Selke winner, Sean Couturier, seals the win

Updated: January 19, 2018 at 12:49 am by Matt Brauckmann

Here we go again. The Flyers played exactly 22 minutes and 18 seconds of hockey tonight while Michal Neuvirth stood on his head for 60 minutes and 18 seconds, but it all worked out in the end.

Before we get to that, we’ll touch on some other positives, and that was the ceremony for former captain, Eric Lindros.

In case your too young to remember or just hadn’t followed the Flyers in the 90s, Eric Lindros truly was a generational talent and one of the greatest players the Flyers have ever seen. In his 486 games as a Flyer, he amassed 290 goals and 369 assists for a total of 659 points. He is far and away the Flyers leader in points per game, averaging 1.36. To give some context, the next closest is Tim Kerr at 1.36.

Unfortunately, Scott Stevens laid a check on Lindros that altered his entire career, and he was never the same. He saw his Flyers career come to an end in 2000.

The Flyers rose the number 88 to the rafters tonight meaning other Flyer will ever wear the number. It was a great ceremony for the Big E.

1ST PERIOD

The first period was a very quiet one for both teams and it quickly made the game a defensive battle with the exception of Tyrell Goulbourne announced his return to the lineup in a booming fashion.

The Flyers would get a power play late in the period but had a lot of passing and little shooting. They failed to score on that power play and the teams headed to the locker rooms locked at 0. The Flyers led in shots, 9-8.

2ND PERIOD

The first 5 to 6 minutes saw a lot of the same play as the first period. Back and forth play with little offense generated and tight defense. The Leafs started to put on more pressure and that led to trouble for the Flyers. 7 minutes into the third period, Connor Brown broke the scoreless tie and gave the Leafs the lead.

Troubles for the Flyers didn’t end there. Just 28 seconds later, Frederick Gauthier snuck one through Neuvirth off of a Gostisbehere turnover. The play was nearly offside, but the Flyers opted not to challenge the call and the play stood giving the Leafs a 2-0 lead.

The Flyers would go on to generate a bit of offense in the final minutes of the period but nothing that got them a goal. There was a few missed calls by the refs, most notably a blatant cross-check on Michael Raffl, but nonetheless, the Flyers headed into the locker room down by 2 goals. The Flyers outshot Toronto by a margin of 12-11.

3RD PERIOD

The Flyers came alive!

After a flat first and second period, the Flyers came out looking to generate some offense and get themselves back in the game. They’d be in luck.

A little over a minute in, Nolan Patrick beat Anderson by picking Mitch Marner’s pocket (a-la Mike Richards style) to get the Flyers back within a goal.

That goal was Patrick’s third of the season and first in 24 (!) games. That one was earned and had to feel good for the rookie.

The excitement was short lived. A few seconds after that goal, Jori Lehtera would take a “penalty” which was called interference, but in reality was just a result of the referee seeing the Toronto player fall to the ice.

Luckily for the Flyers, that didn’t matter.

Valtteri Filppula picked up a loose puck in his own zone and took off on a two-on-one with Wayne Simmonds. Filppula slid a pass across the slot and Simmonds buried it, giving the Flyers their second shorthanded goal of the season.

After tying it up, the Flyers did not respond with any type of fire, in fact it was quite the opposite. Toronto came out firing on all cylinders and Michal Neuvirth made a string of great saves to keep the game tied at two.

The Flyers would go on to get a power play, generating a few shots, but once again Michal Neuvirth had to bail out the Flyers power play unit as they came extremely close to giving up their second short-handed goal in as many games. That being said, the Flyers failed to capitalize on that power play.

But let’s get back to Neuvirth again. You thought the other save was good? Neuvy says “hold his beer”…

That save earned the Flyers a much-needed point, forcing this game into overtime. The Flyers outshot the Leafs 15-11 in the third period.

OVERTIME

Not much to say here since it was a quick one. The Leafs got a chance right off the draw and Neuvirth stood tall once again. That’s when Travis Konecny picked up the puck and turned on the jets the other way. He fired a pass over to Sean Couturier who netted his 26th goal of the season and secured the extra point for the Flyers.

 

QUICK HITTERS

  • Michal Neuvirth let in two squeakers but other than that looked exceptionally strong in net. The Flyers hung him out to dry a few times including on power plays and while it was tied in the third period. Neuvirth kept them in the game. That is a welcome site for Flyers fans as it might give Brian Elliott more of a chance to rest down the stretch.
  • Nolan Patrick finally found the back of the net again, and it was a gritty play on his part. His last goal came on November 18th against the Calgary Flames and that goal was only his 9th point of the season. This goal had to be a huge confidence boost for the 19-year old and it will be interesting to see if this sparks some offense out of him.
  • Despite being tabbed as a guy who brings energy to the lineup, Tyrell Goulbourne had just 6 shifts and 3:11 seconds of ice time. Voracek took his spot on the fourth line for the remainder of the game and was all over the ice. I’m not sure if Goulbourne did something to enter Hakstol’s doghouse, if he was hurt, or if it was purely a strategic move but it certainly is disappointing. Goulbourne was called up and replaced Taylor Leier who had a pretty solid game in New York.
  • Sean Couturier now has 26 goals in 45 games. If your keeping track, that means Coots is now on pace for 47 goals this season. The last Flyer to net that many in a season was Jeff Carter.

 

NEXT GAME

Flyers vs. Devils

1/20/2018 @ 1:00 P.M.

 

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